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First All-Women SXSW Panel Focused on Nurses Transforming Healthcare

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Each year, the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival brings together the world’s most forward-thinking industry leaders to talk about today’s best practices and tomorrow’s most exciting trends. SXSW Interactive sessions highlight recent technology advancements and feature forward-thinking innovators looking to make positive change around the world. This year, SXSW featured a panel comprised of some of healthcare’s top innovators: nurses.

Each year, the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival brings together the world’s most forward-thinking industry leaders to talk about today’s best practices and tomorrow’s most exciting trends. SXSW Interactive sessions highlight recent technology advancements and feature forward-thinking innovators looking to make positive change around the world. This year, SXSW featured a panel comprised of some of healthcare’s top innovators: nurses.

The SXSW panel “EntrepreNURSE: Hacking, Making & Disrupting Health" held on March 10, 2018 in Austin, TX brought together a panel of nurse experts to spotlight the value of nurses as the best chance for innovating and transforming healthcare. This session was the first at SXSW to feature a panel of all nurses, and the first to feature an all-female group:

  • Shawna Butler, RN, MBA, who served as the panel’s moderator and first speaker, is the partnerships lead at Singularity University. Dubbed the originator of the “entrepreNURSEship” movement, Butler blends her clinical nursing experience (including emergency, cardiac, and critical care) with sharp business skills to bring nurses to the forefront of healthcare technology and innovation.
  •  Rebecca Love, RN, MSN, ANP, is the director of nurse innovation and entrepreneurship at the Northeastern School of Nursing and founder of HireNurses.com. Through her work at Northeastern, Love works to transform traditional nursing education, providing future nurses the business background needed to drive innovation and establish change where they provide care.
  • Molly K. McCarthy, MBA, BSN, RN-BC, National Director of U.S. Provider Industry and Chief Nursing Officer at Microsoft U.S. Health & Life Sciences, began her career as a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and pediatric nurse, which provided her a unique perspective in the healthcare information technology industry.
  •  Wendy L. Wright, DNP(c), ANP-BC, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, FNAP, an adult/family nurse practitioner and owner of Wright & Associates Family Healthcare in Amherst and Concord, N.H., which she opened when she realized she could provide care as an advanced practice nurse that was not only high-quality, comprehensive, and personalized care, but accessible, too.

While Rebecca indicated early in the discussion that nearly 50 percent of the nursing work force will retire in the coming years, leaving a deficit in the number of primary care professionals by 2025, the panelists focused on the increasing need for nurses in transforming patient outcomes. The panelists highlighted cloud and predictive technology as a key component in helping nurses take care of patients more efficiently; discussed scope of practice and the need for legislation allowing advanced practice nurses to provide a wider repertoire of care; and, of course, nurses’ responsibility to innovate to continue effectively advocating on behalf of their patients.

Following the panel, Nursing Notes spoke with the panelists to gain more insight.

“Who better to innovate than nurses who are doing the work, seeing patients in those examination rooms and leading healthcare teams? Given that nothing like [my practice] existed, I created it,” Wendy said. “As a nurse, if we see things we don’t like or agree with, it is time to change and innovate.”

With the goal of inspiring others to consider nursing not just as a career path, but as an engaging, vital opportunity to advance the health of the nation, Shawna, Rebecca, Molly, and Wendy shared keen insights and learnings with panel attendees. In addition to emphasizing mentorship and expanding policies and standard education for nursing, Molly called on other nurses to take action.

 “Innovation in nursing is essential because as patient advocates,” Molly said. “We need to seek better ways for caring and communicating as there is always room for improvement.”

To view the full panel discussion, click here. To learn more about programs promoting nursing innovation, visit Northeastern University’s Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship website.

 

 

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