Nursing, Innovation & Entrepreneurship – Transforming the Healthcare Experience at Northeastern University

Northeastern UniversityWe live in a world where innovation and the entrepreneurial dream go hand-in-hand. The Internet changed the way we conduct business, acquire information and connect people with ideas from around the world.

Nurses are the newest breed of innovators and entrepreneurs.

Our goal here at Northeastern University is to make sure nurses are prepared to lead innovation that changes the healthcare system, transforms the patient and family healthcare experience, and engages and motivates health behaviors.

There are 2 major factors that inspired our investment into an initiative that changes the landscape of innovation, healthcare & the role our nurses play in both:

  1. Nurses make up the largest employment block in the United States – with over 3.1 million Registered Nurses surpassing any other group of healthcare professionals.
  1. The healthcare landscape is dynamically changing—spurred by the 2010 Affordable Care Act—catalyzing health reform that resulted in huge advances in health informatics, data analytics, and health behavior engagement strategies. Engineers and business experts have flooded the market with new ideas about how to manage populations of patients and lower costs and one such example can be seen in the growing use of electronic medical records. Nurses have the expertise to join engineers and business experts.

So We Asked Ourselves:

Where are the nurses in this dynamic landscape change?

Nurses are the largest health professional workforce and named the most trusted health professional by Gallop polls for the past 14 years.  Having a ‘seat at the innovation table’ will add value to healthcare innovation.

Innovators from business and engineering backgrounds should think about nurses as major contributors to creating or testing new ideas, because of their rich knowledge about the patients and families that was acquired from intimate time spent with them during their illness.

It is apparent to us that nurses provide significant knowledge about redesigning the patient’s healthcare experience and we want to bring nurses to the ‘innovation table’ to have their voice and ideas heard and brought to fruition.

It All Starts With the Education

Northeastern University, one of the leading Nursing Schools in the Country, is taking Nursing Education in a new direction of innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership – and we are kicking this off with the first ever Nursing Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Summit & Hackathon in Boston June 17-19th.

For nearly a century, nursing education has largely consisted of the same degrees and opportunities for nurses – graduate with a degree – care for patients – regardless of the level of degree obtained that basic overriding principal exists.  Nursing education is carefully monitored and is a regulated program that is established to meet qualifying criteria with the goal to produce a commodity of nurses to support healthcare.  But there is so much room for opportunity and change in nursing education to allow our nurses to do so much more.   And that change has begun….

This revolutionary event is the first of its kind in the country and will be “the benchmark/the beginning/the catalyst” in the changing of the future of Nursing Education and Opportunity.   Northeastern plans on launching new nursing degree programs that will forever change the future of opportunities in nursing education.

Northeastern is empowering nurses in the skills they posses and changing the way they think about problems and solutions that will ultimately inspire the next generation of healthcare products and devices and hopefully next generation of young people to become nurses. The future of nursing education is as exciting as the endless opportunities that will be available to nurses.

The Future

The future of healthcare innovation lies in the hands of nurses; any product, service or program that is designed for healthcare is going to need to engage with nurses to develop and implement these products as nurses are the end user of nearly 90% of any product in healthcare.

For years, industries and businesses have developed products without engaging nurses on the products they are producing – and these products have repeatedly gone on to fail to be adopted.  Why? Because many of these products made more work for the nurses, did less for the patients and overall failed to improve outcomes. We’ve learned that many of these products when under development never engaged with a nurse in its design. Nurses are at the front lines of healthcare – they understand patients, diseases, and illness – but most importantly they understand how to initiate and engage in care. They are the eyes, ears and hands of healthcare, thus, any product in healthcare, for large-scale use, will touch the hands of a nurse and therefore nurses should engage with the device in it’s conception, design and build.

This event is so revolutionary in it’s scope, that the FDA is sending a specialist from their Device and Manufacturing department to attend this event in order to help nurses understand how to patent their ideas and get through the FDA approval process.  That says a lot about what this event means to the future of healthcare – this Nursing Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Summit & Hackathon in Boston on June 17-19th is going to change the future of innovation in healthcare.

This is all happening because Northeastern University recognized that the future of healthcare rests in the hands of nursing, and that nursing education, after nearly a century of being stagnant in reform, is ready to catch up to the endless opportunities for nurses ahead.

The Nursing Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Summit & Hackathon in Boston on June 17-19th provides nurses with the experience of applying “design” skills that hone their contribution to improve the patient and families’ healthcare experience. Nurses know where the problems are and can become leaders in designing a patient sensitive healthcare experience.

Click on the link below to view our event website for more information:

We hope to see you there!