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Nurse Innovation Hackathons

Rooted in design thinking, this four-hour co-design workshop on May 1, 2023 aims to provide nurse leaders with the knowledge and problem-solving skills to implement and foster pragmatic innovation within their health systems.  

Designed for nurse leaders, specifically for AONL 2023 Inspiring Leaders Pre-Conference, the Innovation Sprint is focused on the value of an innovative culture, applying systems and futures thinking principles, applying techniques to envision creative solutions, and identifying strategies to address organizational transformation. Nurse leaders will leave with a flexible innovation methodology and the skills to apply it to workplace challenges, health equity efforts, mental well-being needs, and more!
SAVE THE DATE: NurseHack4Health Hackathon coming September 22-24, 2023.

Check back soon for more information!

What Is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is a weekend event that brings nurses and people from other professions together in-person or virtually to take on human health problems by creating solutions in a supportive setting with colleagues and mentors.

While hackathons started within the technology space, they have been used more broadly as a dynamic way to source solutions by bringing together a diverse group of problem solvers.

Nurses are innate problem solvers, and as part of our larger commitment to frontline health workers, Johnson & Johnson is committed to unleashing the power of nurses as innovative leaders to improve healthcare. We believe that hackathons provide a unique experience for nurses to flex their innovation muscles and receive the support and motivation needed to bring their ideas to life and improve human health.

Learn About the First NurseHack4Health Pitch-A-Thon
A NurseHack4Health Pitch-A-Thon is a virtual event that enables health systems to take direct action in the nursing workforce crisis. Nurse-led teams are empowered to ideate, create solutions and pitch ideas that directly address workplace and well-being challenges with the goal of receiving grant funding to bring ideas to life.

In the first NurseHack4Health Pitch-A-Thon, October 2022, ten nurse-led multidisciplinary health system teams took center stage to pitch their solutions for redesigning a healthcare workplace where nurses and other health care professionals can thrive.

Watch the NurseHack4Health Pitch-A-Thon Event and the finalist pitches here.
Meet the Awardees
Congratulations! Three awardees will receive grant funds from #FirstRespondersFirst to bring their solutions to life:
Read more about our Awardees and the other Finalists in Notes on Nursing.

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For additional information on the NurseHack4Health Pitch-A-Thon, visit

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Why Should You Attend?

Attending a hackathon is a great way to bond, brainstorm, develop and pitch healthcare solutions that will forever change the way you think about a problem, your perceived value and impact and your vision for your future in nursing and healthcare!

How to Prepare for a Hackathon
  • What to Expect
    Hackathons champion nurse-led innovation by bringing nurses together with people from different professions, in-person or virtually, to “hack” real solutions to health problems in a supportive team setting with peers and mentors. Participants don’t need to come with an idea – just be ready to join a team, examine the problem and dive in to develop a solution. By the end of the hackathon, the goal is for teams to have minimum viable products (MVPs) that can be fast-tracked for further development and implementation in a healthcare setting.

    Attending a hackathon is a great way to bond, brainstorm, develop and pitch healthcare solutions that will forever change the way you think about a problem, your perceived value and impact, and your vision for your future in nursing and healthcare!

    Watch Our NurseHack4Health May 2020 Video
  • Innovation Skills
    What does it take to make the most of a hackathon experience? Understanding fundamental innovation skills—such as problem solving, risk-taking, collaboration and strategic planning—can help you make the most of your time participating in a hackathon.

    Even when you develop a valuable idea, sometimes figuring out what to do next can feel overwhelming.

    Get started today and explore how to unlock your potential to spark innovative health solutions and improve patient care. Be sure to check out the section on Design Thinking for Health – a must-read before any hackathon! Learn more:

    Skills Nurse Innovators Should Develop and Grow
  • What Makes a Good Pitch
    Pitching your idea to a panel of judges is a critical part of the hackathon process. The judges are often well-respected industry experts who will examine how well your idea meets hackathon criteria, such as its viability or impact on human health.

    Each team typically has three to five minutes to present to the judges and answer questions. Assembling a rock star team and developing a valuable idea are critical; however, sometimes teams fall short in making a compelling pitch. Learn more:

    How to Tell Stories that Influence People and Inspire Action

    NurseHack4Health Pitch Template

    Pitch Deck Dos and Don’ts

    How to Win a Pitch
  • Open Source Innovation
    Hackathons can have different goals, such as launching a start-up business or generating ideas for the open market to adopt. As a participant, it’s important to understand your responsibilities as well as the desired hackathon output.

    “Open source” means that no one legally owns or has intellectual property associated with the ideas. People come together to hack for social good and ideas are publicly available to any individual or organization to quickly use or adapt to help solve problems. For NurseHack4Health, participants are asked to post their ideas on GitHub, a collaborative hosting platform where hackers can iterate collectively. Learn more:

    What is Open Source

    Open Source Resources

    GitHub Learning Lab
  • Minimum Viable Product
    The goal of many healthcare hackathons is for teams to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). A minimum viable product has just enough core features for the solution to be demonstrated or used. Developers then typically deploy the product to potential customers or early adopters who are more likely to give feedback and be able to grasp a product vision from an early prototype. The advantage of developing an MVP is to quickly get a working solution for a pressing problem into the healthcare setting. Learn more:

    Forbes: What Is A Minimum Viable Product, And Why Do Companies Need Them?

    LEANSTACK: What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

    CleverTap: What Is A Minimum Viable Product + Methodologies For Marketers
group of nurse innovators on stage during Nurse Hackathon event
2019 Nurses Hackathon #NursesChangeLives
How to Advance Your Solution
From idea generation to launch: how do you bring an idea to life? Bringing your innovation forward involves extensive planning; deep understanding of the target market; validating your idea; making key financial decisions, including funding; legally protecting your business and developing a marketing plan. We’ve curated resources to help.*
If you’re looking for more ways to feel inspired about hackathons, look here.
    NurseHack4Health: Propelling Nurse Innovation in the Year of the Nurse and Beyond
    An Innovator’s Guide to Crafting the Perfect Hackathon Pitch
    200 Nurses, One Goal: Powering Up Innovation to Transform Healthcare
A group of nurses and healthcare professionals smiling
A group of nurses and healthcare professionals smiling
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