First Nurse Hackathon Held at Northeastern University School of Nursing to Help Drive Innovation in Healthcare

First Nurse Hackathon Held at Northeastern University School of Nursing to Help Drive Innovation in Healthcare

The first Nurse Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit and Hackathon was held at Northeastern University’s Boston Campus on June 17-19 with attending nurses from all practice settings. “Hackathon” was created from combining “hack” – writing computer programming for enjoyment – and marathon. It’s a concept that has been used in Silicon Valley since 1999, but it’s now used in many industries, especially healthcare, to bring together people from different specialties to pitch ideas or problems and then attempt to solve them.

With nursing being a hands-on profession and many nurses working in the trenches of healthcare as the true patient caregivers, many nurses realize there is a lot of room for improvement, or have already thought of novel concepts but don’t know how to make them a reality. This is where the idea for a nurse hackathon came from. Northeastern School of Nursing Dean, Nancy Hanrahan, knows that nurses are in a unique position to not only contribute ideas to healthcare startups and ventures, but to create their own.

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The Nurse Hackathon gathered over 200 nurses to discuss solutions to healthcare problems and ways to hone the skills they need to make their ideas and solutions a reality. The summit also brought in several keynote speakers from the healthcare technology industry, including Tiffany Kelly, founder of Nightingale Apps, the health information technology company bringing mobile applications to nurses in hospital settings.

In addition to keynote speakers, the summit also included brainstorming sessions focused on specific healthcare themes, and marked the opening of the Nurse Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, to host business seminars and a startup academy specifically geared toward nurses. The summit had three key focus areas including incorporating Big Data into healthcare, transforming the patient and family experience, and motivating patient behavior changes.

Many nursing leaders know that nurses are passionate about getting what patients need, and innovative nurses can have a huge impact on improving healthcare systems. The mission for the Nurse Hackathon was to encourage nurses to go into work with the idea that they are the ones responsible for improving healthcare environments. Congratulations to the Hackathon winner, TeleCode.