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Advancing Science and Delivering Solutions

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?

Therese S. Richmond, PhD, RN, FAANAssociate Dean for Research & Innovation

“We’re thinking about nurses as innovators. Nurses solve problems every day in complex situations, but how do we solve those proactively, scale them up, and make them sustainable? Every product and process that touches a patient goes through a nurse. Once you grasp that, you can’t do anything in the innovation space without a nurse.”

Therese S. Richmond, PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Dean for Research & Innovation


Nurses are on the front lines of health and healthcare, and this affords nurses enormous opportunities to use innovation to improve health and well-being, design and create new approaches to the delivery of care, and communicate health information in a way that is easily accessible to patients, families, and the community at-large.

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 health care challenges.

The Path Forward

Innovation is an evergreen priority for the School — across areas of research, education and practice — and woven into the fabric of our core mission and vision. Goal - $15M over five years.

Nurse in labThe Penn Nursing I-Hub: The Penn Nursing I-Hub will be the first of its kind at a school of nursing. It will be solely dedicated to integrating innovation across the silos of research, education and clinical practice, and disseminating innovative methodologies and teaching to diverse audiences from faculty to students to community health partners.

The I-Hub will have multiple facets and functions, each with areas of equal impact that may be funded as part of the whole, or via individual investments in a specific area:

  • Human Capital – In order to expand its reach, functionality and impact, innovation at Nursing requires investments for infrastructure, i.e. additional staff to implement current and expand upon its vision. Sample giving opportunities include endowing/naming the Innovation Director position or funding administrative support.
  • Immersion for Students – Penn Nursing seeks to fully immerse students in innovation teachings and practice via interactive course instruction, as well as practice in their simulation and live clinical sessions. Infusing innovation into the very aspect of students’ learning experiences will require dedicated resources.
  • Events – The I-Hub will continue to host current events e.g. the annual Story Slam, the Innovation Accelerator Event and others that evolve in support of overall innovation efforts at Nursing. All gifts for events may be recognized in all event advertisements, on the web site, at the actual event as named sponsors if desired.
  • Faculty Training – Faculty are among our most valuable stakeholders who support the School’s innovation mission by training and teaching students. To best prepare faculty, innovation must be intentionally introduced and incorporated into all learning techniques and methodologies. We will accomplish this via Innovation Fellowships for faculty as well as faculty term and endowed chairs.

To support the path forward for Penn Nursing’s giving priorities and to learn more about how you can help advance the School’s strategic plan, please contact:

Nadina R. Deigh
Vice Dean, Institutional Advancement
(215) 746-6184