Florence Nightingale, OM, RRC, DStJ was an English social reformer, statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organized care for wounded soldiers at Constantinople. Leaving quite the mark on the profession, Nightingale’s birthday is used to mark the end of a period of recognition for nurses nationwide – National Nurses Week. National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, and is used to raise awareness of all nurse contributions and commitments, as well as the vital role they play in society.
At Cleveland Clinic, we are fortunate to work alongside talented and passionate nurses who are dedicated to their patients and their profession. Nurses who are world-renowned, not only for their superior and empathetic delivery of clinical care, but for their contributions to the development of the industry. Experiencing issues that require solutions first-hand, nursing staff have the unique ability to understand true value when it comes to medical innovations. Helping ensuring technologies are need-based, iterating with our nurses on the floor allows for the commercialization of ideas with true impact.
For this reason, invention disclosures from our nursing staff often capture the essence of necessity, and provide a relatively low-tech solution to a long-plaguing problem. The ability to quickly prototype is a crucial part of their development process. Through the years, we’ve prototyped many a nursing innovation – getting them into the hands of our staff. But in 2020, the establishment of Innovation at Cleveland Clinic’s Nursing Innovation Fund took the commitment to commercializing solutions from our nurses one step further. Historically, submissions from the Nursing Institute have been closed due to lack of intellectual property. Given the low-cost nature of the solutions in question, however, filing for patents is often not best practice. To prevent premature closure, and eliminate barriers to invention, the Nursing Innovation Fund commits increased funding to a selection of their ideas.
2020’s inaugural Nursing Innovation Fund is currently supporting the development of a handful of ideas – we invite you to get to know a few. Read an interview with ‘Inventor to Watch’ and nurse Leanna Huffman, as she details her Pill Crusher invention, and the journey it’s been to take it from conception to near reality. Or read about Cleveland Clinic HighLine™ Solution – a medical device that held great utility in COVID-19, devised entirely from one nurse’s IV line observations.
Lastly, get to know Associate Chief Nursing Officer for Cleveland Clinic’s Office of Nursing Research and Innovation, Nancy Albert, PhD, CCNS, CHFN, CCRN, NE-BC, FAHA, FCCM, FHFSA, FAAN. Longtime colleague and innovator, hear how Dr. Albert inspires and encourages her staff – fueling invention disclosures from the nursing institute.