Last Tuesday, Northeastern University hosted their latest installment of the Women Who Empower Speaker Series along with the launch of new Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Programs for 2017 in accordance with Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 14-20, 2016). The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Vanessa Kerry, Co-Founder and CEO of Seed Global Health, an innovative nonprofit aimed at solving the workforce shortfall. Kerry used her keynote speech as an opportunity to talk about how her healthcare nonprofit is ‘seeding’ the next generation of doctors and nurses.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a shortage of 7.2 million healthcare professionals worldwide, a number which is expected to worsen in coming years. Armed with this statistic, Kerry, a critical-care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, used her entrepreneurial and healthcare experience to help create Seed Global Health, which deploys US health professionals to serve as educators in resource-limited countries to build a pipeline of future in-country providers. Referring to Seed Global Health, Kerry says,

“We are committed to raising the next generation of well-trained doctors and nurses who can be agents of change for their countries.”

A World Health Report from 2006 cites that, “The more healthcare workers you have [in a particular country], the higher the survival rate of the population.” This is why the global burden of disease is worse in countries with critical shortages. Kerry noted in her keynote address that the vast majority of cases of HIV, maternal mortality, and non-communicable diseases are concentrated in underserved regions like Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Seed Global Health, under Kerry’s leadership, helped established the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), a public-private partnership with the Peace Corps, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the countries in which the program operates. GHSP has sent volunteers to Uganda, Malawi, and Tanzania, and trained more than 10,000 doctors, nurses, and midwives since 2013.

In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Northeastern University announced the launch of their new Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Programs for 2017. The programs are intended to define and shape nurse innovation and entrepreneurship across the lifespan of nursing: from student nurse, to the career nurse, to Nurse Practitioners and beyond. The following programs will all be available at the Northeastern University Boston Campus:

Nurse Leadership & Entrepreneurship Certificate, February 8-11, 2017 – The first non-degree, certificate program to focus on leadership and entrepreneurship in a transformational four-day leadership development program designed for mid-career nurses. Develop key business, strategy, and entrepreneurship markers to build on the strengths and competencies of a strong nursing foundation, imparting the functional knowledge and mindset nursing leaders need to succeed.

Nurse Hackathon: Nurses Hacking Healthcare, March 24-26, 2017 – The nurse hackathon is a fast-paced, high-energy event designed to present problems in healthcare and formulate solutions among teams of attendees. Nurses Hacking Healthcare brings together individuals from all backgrounds including nursing, engineering, computer science, and business to work together in a collaborative environment of innovation leading to product creation that accelerates the growing trend of bringing healthcare from hospital to home for older adults.

Nurse SharkTank, May 1, 2017 – This is an event designed for Nurse Entrepreneurs to display their product and pitch to a team of investors for funding their idea or company. In support of young Nurse or Healthcare Entrepreneurs, go beyond the hackathon with this event to gain traction and support for your idea or venture.

Nurse Practitioners in Business Conference, July 13-15, 2017 – The Nurse Practitioner in Business Conference focuses on developing Nurse Practitioner Entrepreneurs who want to start an independent practice or other business, or those who have taken the plunge and want to strengthen their business fundamentals. Learn about the how-to, macroeconomics of the health care marketplace, and what this means for Nurse Practitioners as business owners through all stages of business creation and growth.

Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Summit, Fall 2017 – This will be the second annual Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Summit, a two-day event focusing on the pedagogy of innovation and entrepreneurship in the sphere of nursing. Nurse attendees will be provided with awareness of the design cycle and tools needed for innovation and entrepreneurship.

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