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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.

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 healthcare challenges.

Latest Innovation News


  • Story Slam 2020

    In Their Own Words

    Penn Nursing’s second annual Story Slam event was held on February 12th, 2020, and the videos of the evening, along with backstage interviews with each of the storytellers, are available now. The stories highlight the incredible role nurses play in our lives, as well as the endless possibilities for those entering the nursing profession.

  • Second Annual Story Slam

    On Wednesday, February 12, nurses (and one “non-nurse” who has been on a personal journey alongside many nurses for 20 years) from Penn Nursing and Penn Medicine came together to share their true, personal, and heartfelt and inspiring stories of courage in front of a sold out crowd at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

  • New Online Curriculum Equips Nurses to Lead Innovation by Offering Training in Design Thinking

    Unique suite of materials developed at Penn Nursing in collaboration with the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation is available free of charge to all nurses, nursing programs, and health care innovators.

  • University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

    Philadelphia Inquirer Honors Three from Penn Nursing

    Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN , Professor of Perinatal Nursing & the Helen M. Shearer Professor of Nutrition; Marion Leary, RN, MSN, MPH, FAHA , Director of Innovation; and Tarik S. Khan, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CRNP, Predoctoral Fellow, NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, have been named 2019 Influencers of Healthcare by the Philadelphia Inquirer. This awards program honors Philadelphia’s leading healthcare professionals.