Johnson & Johnson Looking for Nurse Innovators

Nurses are often credited with being the stalwarts of healthcare’s “front lines”

Patient satisfaction surveys have long indicated the benefits of having nurses at the bedside. But new research by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has also shown that nearly half of all Americans (41%) are unaware of the role nurses play away from the bedside — specifically in developing new medical tools and solutions.

In an attempt to promote and honor the many efforts that nurses offer to the healthcare industry, J&J officials have announced the launch of the Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge and are inviting the more than 3.2 million nurses located throughout the United States to submit ideas for new devices, health technologies, protocols and/or treatment approaches that they believe can profoundly impact patient care and human health. The nursing innovators who submit the best idea(s) will receive up to $100,000 in grants and access to mentoring and coaching via JLABS, a global network that seeks to enable and empower innovators across the healthcare spectrum to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness.

There appears to be some buzz generating about the opportunity, according to nurses who recently spoke with ADVANCE.

“Nurses should enter the Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge because nurses are aware of what is needed for improved patient outcomes and have firsthand knowledge about how to effectively implement the technology,” said Rebecca S. Koszalinski, PhD, RN, CRRN, CMSRN, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing who is credited with inventing the Speak for Myself® app, a mobile application that assists patients who are speech vulnerable due to disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. The app helps individuals to better communicate their feelings of pain, fear, anxiety, and more, while making it easier for them to request assistance regarding physical needs. “Nurses should be at the head of the table for all technology innovations used in patient care, regardless of the intended setting,” she said.

The QuickFire Challenge began accepting applications Oct. 1 and will continue to do so until Feb. 2, 2019. Finalists will be chosen in April and a winning announcement is expected in May. The Challenge, the result of a partnership between J&J and Maria Menounos, a professional actress and journalist who recently underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor and has served as an advocate for nurses, is rooted in the fact that nurses have made significant impacts to the advancement of healthcare for generations. The general population may not be aware that Florence Nightingale established sanitary practices that today’s hospitals still employ or that Sister Jean Ward discovered that sunlight helped reduce jaundice in newborns. This Challenge is meant to bring that type of awareness while celebrating nurses for their commitment.

“Nurses spend the most time with patients [and] being at the beside, the nurse knows what the patient needs and creates what [they] clinically need to achieve the best outcome for the patient,” said Roxana Reyna, MSN, RNC-NIC, WCC, CWOCN, FNP-C, who has developed a specialized dressing for keeping omphaloceles infection-free until a patient’s surgery.

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