Inspiring New Nurse Innovators

Nancy Hanrahan, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is committed to evolving nursing’s reputation from a passive profession to one of recognized and essential innovators in the field of healthcare. An internationally renowned leader in innovative nursing interventions, Hanrahan is executive director/associate dean of healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship at the Bouve College of Health Sciences and a professor and former dean of the School of Nursing at Northeastern University.

A former psychiatric nurse, Hanrahan realized nurses often worked with new technologies and/or policies, but weren’t actively involved in their development.  As dean of the Northeastern University School of Nursing, she began leading the sector following creation of the Nursing Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NIE) program at the university.

“Patients value their nurses,” Hanrahan says, because nurses are technicians, strategists and innovators…even if they don’t think so. Nurses should “carry forward innovations that power positive patient outcomes. Even small modifications can contribute to huge innovations,” she adds.

Hanrahan’s commitment to innovation extends beyond the campus. Her NIE program offers nurse leadership and entrepreneurship opportunities, connecting nurses across the country with mentors and career sponsors.

While its basic mission of providing quality medical care to patients remains the same, the scope of nursing certainly has changed and the environments in which they operate can be quite intense. As Hanrahan likes to point out…not only do nurses have to adapt to new technologies and procedures on an ongoing basis, they need to be involved in effecting change.

“For so long, we didn’t have the resources or forum to implement change – our curriculum now gives that to nurses,” she notes.

If the healthcare field appeals to you and you’re ready and willing to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship, a career in nursing may “Fit you to a T.“ Fortis Colleges and Institutes can help you prepare to enter the field of nursing through programs offered at campuses across the country. A good place to start is on our Nursing program page to learn more about the profession, what’s involved in becoming a nurse, and which campuses offer the program you need to take you where you want to go in your career.

Good luck! We hope to see you on campus in the near future. 

Tags: nursing, Engage, Innovation

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