Virtual Nurse App Receives $8 Million from Investors, Including Mayo Clinic

Virtual Nurse App Receives $8 Million from Investors, Including Mayo Clinic, a San Francisco startup that has created a virtual nursing app to help physicians stay in touch with their patients and prevent readmission to the hospital, has recently raised $8 million from investors in its most recent round of venture funding. The new funding from investors like the Mayo Clinic will be used to bring the virtual nurse technology to a wide array of clinics and patients.

Designed for both patients and healthcare professionals, the app asks patients to tell the nurse avatar how they are doing by simply talking through a 5-minute “check in.” Patient check-ins are then stored as medical records that only authorized physicians can view. The medical reports also include device data that the app pulls from medical devices and wearables (like Fitbits or Apple watches) that patients use day-to-day.

Using artificial intelligence,’s nurse avatar speaks to patients in empathetic tones about their healthcare concerns, and uses emotional analysis to alert a patient’s care provider when the app detects that a patient is in need of mental health counseling or feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety as a side effect of medications or lifestyle changes.

The app is designed around commonly accepted medical protocols for diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses. So far, the company has focused on patients 60 and older who are suffering from health problems like COPD, heart failure, diabetes, and other age-related issues. But ultimately they want the app to work for people from all age groups and populations dealing with a variety of health issues. They are improving their analysis capabilities by adding new protocols and content from partner hospitals and clinics.

Adam Odessky, Chief Executive Officer and founder of, believes in the platform’s potential help people live longer and healthier lives and make quality healthcare more affordable and available. When asked if virtual nurses might “steal” jobs from human nurses in a discussion with, Odessky says no: “There aren’t people doing this job already…This is a technology to help medical professionals do their jobs more effectively, and not one that threatens their livelihood.”

To learn more about this new virtual nurse platform, visit or

Elms College School of Nursing Adds New Graduate Programs to Meet Mass. School Nurse Needs

Elms College School of Nursing Adds New Graduate Programs to Meet Mass. School Nurse Needs

The Elms College School of Nursing in Chicopee, Mass. recently announced a new Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and graduate certificate in school nursing program to help expand opportunities for school nurses to meet state education requirements. Massachusetts school nurses are required to earn board certification in school nursing or their MSN degree within five years of employment and currently there is only one graduate program in New England that focuses on school nursing.

School nurses see large numbers of students with a wide array of needs, sometimes spread over several schools as our country faces a shortage of nurses, especially in schools. They must be able to assess; diagnose; identify outcomes; plan, implement, and coordinate care; and teach healthy practices to their students while working with several other healthcare professionals when needed from physicians to counselors to classroom aides.

The school nurse track offered at Elms will be comprised of MSN curriculum components, with a focus on school nursing that includes core graduate nursing classes, direct-care courses, school nurse professional standards, technology and informatics, and school nurse practicums. The school nurse certificate won’t fulfill state board-certification requirements, but it benefits nurses with a graduate degree in another discipline who want to improve their school nursing knowledge base.

All BSN nurses at Elms College will be eligible to enroll in the school nursing graduate certificate which consists of 12 credits and three class options: classroom attendance, livestream, or archived videos. The first group of students enrolled in the graduate core classes will begin in Fall 2017, and school nursing functional content courses will roll out in Spring 2018.

Nurse of the Week: Senior Nursing Student Sara Huffaker Organizes Hair Donation Drive for Making Cancer Wigs

Nurse of the Week: Senior Nursing Student Sara Huffaker Organizes Hair Donation Drive for Making Cancer Wigs

Our Nurse of the Week is Sara Huffaker, a senior nursing student at Pittsburg State University (PSU), who has been donating her hair to help make wigs for cancer patients for over a decade. Inspired by her own hair donations, Huffaker decided to organize a donation drive on PSU’s campus. Discussing her decision to organize the donation drive, Huffaker told Pittsburg’s

“I’ve been doing this since I was in fourth grade. I was donating last year and thought ‘why isn’t everyone doing this?’ So I decided to get to work.”

The goal of her event was to receive eight donations – enough to make one wig. They already had eight people lined up by the time the donation drive was opening, and had over 64 donations by the end of the day, enough for eight wigs. After far exceeding Huffaker’s expectations, she decided that the hair drive will be a yearly event in the future, occurring on the first Saturday in February.

Huffaker is the Breakthrough to Nursing Program leader for PSU’s chapter of the Kansas Association of Nursing Students. Using her position there, she partnered with Wild Side Salon to organize the drive and ended up with hairdressers from multiple salons volunteering to donate their time. Donations were made through Pantene Beautiful Lengths in partnership with the American Cancer Society.

You can read the original story on Huffaker’s hair donation drive here.

Vanderbilt School of Nursing Dean Selected as National Ambassador for Nursing Research Advocacy

Vanderbilt School of Nursing Dean Selected as National Ambassador for Nursing Research Advocacy

Linda D. Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Dean, has been selected as a national ambassador for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR). Norman was one of 15 nurse leaders selected from around the nation to advance public, health profession, and policy-maker awareness of the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR).

FNINR is an independent nonprofit dedicated to advocating for nursing science and its role in promoting the health and wellbeing of Americans. Ambassadors are expected to work with congressional leaders and educate them on high-impact, cost-effective treatments and quality of life developments discovered by nursing science. Ultimately, ambassadors are working to expand funding that ensures the training of nurse scientists.

As an internationally recognized leader in nursing and health profession education, Norman is well known for her curricular innovations in blended learning, interprofessional education, quality improvement, and doctoral distance learning. In her role as Dean of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing, Norman is responsible for implementing new and improved nursing programs and helping the school rise as a top graduate nursing program.

You can learn more about Norman and her new role as a nursing research advocacy ambassador here.

Louisiana Tech University Professor Awarded Nurse’s Touch Award from ATI Nursing Education

Louisiana Tech University Professor Awarded Nurse’s Touch Award from ATI Nursing Education

Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) Nursing Education recently awarded Patti McFadden, an associate professor of nursing at Louisiana Tech University, a 2017 Nurse’s Touch Award. The award honors outstanding educators for advancing professionalism, leadership, and communication skills in nursing education programs.

McFadden was one of four recipients this year out of over 800 nominees representing the best nursing educators around the country. After receiving news of her award, McFadden told,

“I am honored to receive this award and it means even more that a student nominated me…Nursing education is a very rewarding profession. When you see the future generation of nurses be so successful and know you are a small part of the reason, there is no better feeling.”

ATI Nursing Education’s announcement stated that McFadden received the award after impressing judges with her integration of professional and interpersonal skills as a nurse educator. She offers a lot as a nursing instructor, teaching nursing students how to stay healthy, manage work-related stress, be patient advocates, convey professional behaviors and attitudes, use nursing informatics and technology, and function as healthcare team leaders.

McFadden was nominated by Shelby Yarbrough, a recent Louisiana Tech nursing graduate. She appreciated McFadden’s teaching style as a tough but rewarding nursing instructor and described McFadden as a nurse you would want taking care of your loved ones. Dr. Donna Hood, professor and director of Louisiana Tech’s nursing program, was thrilled by McFadden’s award recognition which speaks to the exceptional staff and student-focused commitment of her nursing program.

To learn more about Patti McFadden’s nursing experience and Nurse’s Touch Award, visit here.