Nurses see it all, and the Penn Nursing Incubator Fund helps them translate their experience into innovative ideas that shape the future of health care.
The life of a nurse is never business as usual. Unexpected situations are inevitable when treating patients with chronic ailments, epidemic diseases, or traumas requiring emergency services. But those challenges bring opportunities to think outside the box and enhance health care.
“Every product and process that touches a patient goes through a nurse,” says Terry Richmond, the Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation at Penn Nursing. “Who better than nurses to lead innovation in health care?”
Today’s nurses are often employed as primary care providers—especially in hospitals, where they are the first people attending to patients upon admission and the last people patients see before discharge. Nurses spend the most time with patients, and their judgment and expertise are crucial to ensuring optimal health outcomes.
The resourcefulness of nurses is demanded every day. They are masters of the workaround, directing their ingenuity and sharing knowledge to bring comprehensive, compassionate care to patients.
Because of their unique position in the health care process, excellence in nursing requires agile focus, creativity, and limitless understanding of both the science and practice of medicine. Those same qualities are hallmarks of innovation.
Through its Innovating for Life and Living Campaign, which is part of The Power of Penn Campaign, Penn Nursing is investing in programs, initiatives, and curricular development that will cultivate forward-thinking leaders. Among Penn Nursing’s top priorities is building support for the Nursing Incubator Fund, which has received pilot funding from Nursing Overseer Seth Ginns, C’00. The School is seeking continued support to endow the fund in perpetuity.
Cultivating a culture of innovation is a critical part of my vision and responsibility as dean, and Penn has the perfect environment to foster innovation.”Toni Villarruel, Margaret Simon Bond Dean of Nursing
Donors to the Nursing Incubator Fund are investing in solutions by providing faculty and students with resources to pursue groundbreaking discoveries while learning through both success and failure. Funds are awarded through a competitive process, and ideas reach the next level through prototyping, testing, and business plan development, with the goal of bridging to start-up investment.
Ongoing Penn Nursing faculty projects that demonstrate the breadth of possibilities include the development of socks that monitor patients with heart failure; examining how text messages can be used to improve dietary outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder; and implementing augmented virtual reality to enhance CPR training.
Support for the Nursing Incubator Fund will enable the School to initiate more inventive endeavors like these. Whether that means utilizing state-of-the-art technologies to devise new health instruments or tweaking a process to increase efficiency in care facilities, patients around the world benefit from these pioneering advances. Penn Nursing is more than ready to meet the challenge.
“We are excited to use our Nursing Incubator Fund to improve health and well-being,” says Richmond. “The possibilities are endless.”
Visit the Campaign website to learn more about the impact of Penn Nursing, and contact the School’s Office of Institutional Advancement to find out how you can help empower innovation.