We think of innovation today as relating to new technology but ideas that positively impact human health have a rich history in nursing. If innovation represents ideas… then who has better ideas than nurses?
Nurse Innovators More Crucial Now than Ever Before
The emergence of professional nursing in the mid-19th century represents the most innovative change to healthcare delivery in our nation’s history. In an era when most individuals relied on family members to care for them when sick, the idea of using a corps of nurses educated to deliver the increasingly complex, technological care demanded by modern scientific medicine was revolutionary.
For a profession with a storied tradition as developers of novel ways to advance health and meet ever-evolving human needs, nurse innovators are more crucial now than ever as our nation and the world enters a new era of healthcare challenges.
Support Innovation in Nursing Education
In 1887, Penn’s first class of graduating nurses provided their own thermometers, scissors, and pins. Today, each student has access to electronic health records, iPads, and high-fidelity simulations. Supported by a generous $4.35 million grant from the Helene Fuld Trust, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Trustee, Penn Nursing has evolved its efforts, methods, and technologies to extend the reach of nursing education, help shape the future of healthcare, and prepare the next generation of nurses.
Our drive to execute the vision for the future of nursing education is ongoing. As part of the Helene Fuld Trust
grant, the foundation issued a $500,000 challenge grant to create an educational innovation endowment allowing Penn Nursing to continually advance the frontlines of nursing education.
The Fellowship supports nursing faculty to develop an intellectual foundation in innovation methodology and gain expertise in rapidly testing new approaches to enhance health care delivery and patient outcomes.
Health research has led to significant discoveries, development of new therapies and improved health and health care. In an article set for publication in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), writes that researchers need to be aware of contextual factors affecting their science in order to develop both innovative and sustainable programs of research that are crucial to solving important health issues.