Nurse Innovator & Entrepreneur Emphasizes Adding Value to Patient Care
As a nurse with experience in emergency medicine and administration, along with time spent in the U.S. Army National Guard, Wayne Nix, MBA, RN, RRT, has seen firsthand how valuable a diversified background is for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare.
Today, Wayne is the co-founder of RNvention, a company dedicated to facilitating innovations by healthcare professionals, and the creator of the MultiNix, a multifunctional tool for frontline healthcare providers, like nurses. Ultimately, it was his diverse experience on the front lines of healthcare that inspired him to pursue a path of innovation and entrepreneurship – after seeing the multitude of small, day-to-day inefficiencies in providing healthcare, Wayne realized the instrumental role that nurses can play in healthcare improvement.
“When I went into nursing after business school, I was looking at things from a process point of view,” Wayne said. “I noticed that we could build a more efficient healthcare system with nurses on the front lines, since we are often the ones who best understand the dynamic flows of patient care.”
Wayne’s unconventional entry to the nursing profession helped him approach innovation from a different point of view. The combination of his business and administrative background and nursing experience eventually inspired the creation of his company, RNvention.
When Wayne realized the untapped potential of nurses to foster improvement through innovation, he worked with his wife, who is also a nurse, to create a company that would help nurses recognize themselves as innovators, and further, bring their ideas to fruition. By approaching the challenge from multiple angles – administrative, clinical, manufacturing, and marketing – Wayne created a resource to help nurses navigate the obstacles of innovation.
“One of the biggest challenges of innovation is defining what it is,” Wayne said. “It comes down to finding ways that you can add value.”
Wayne also stressed that innovation all comes back to a mission and vision – identifying a goal and following the steps to make it a reality are key. For him, these steps ultimately led to his invention of the MultiNix tool.
After learning that nurses often spend hours throughout the day in search of the right equipment, Wayne dedicated himself to creating a solution that would allow nurses to spend more time with their patients. The MultiNix is a 15-in-one utility tool with more than 25 applications, which helps reduce the time nurses spend looking for various instruments. Because the tool was created for nurses by nurses, it focuses on helping nurses perform tasks more efficiently and, ultimately, provide more efficient patient care.
“The skills I used to bring the tool to life came from being a nurse,” Wayne said. “By using patient assessment skills, I gathered feedback not only from what the customers were telling me, but I saw the value of delivering customer excellence by observing as well.”
It’s skills like this that make nurses uniquely qualified to lead innovation in healthcare, Wayne said. Nurses know what to prioritize to deliver the best patient care, use a diverse skillset to introduce unique solutions, and, importantly, have heart and a desire to help their patients.
For nurses who are interested in pursuing an innovation, Wayne recommends eliminating the fear of failure. Nurses are often so afraid to fail and like to know everything about the process and he recommends that they should instead prioritize adding value and not let the fear of failure stop you from trying.
“The world is constantly changing and someone else probably has your idea – it’s the execution of your idea and the passion you put behind it that’s valuable,” Wayne concluded.
If you have your own innovative idea that can help change human health, submit it to the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge for a chance to win up to $100,000 in grants and mentoring from JLABS. More information on the challenge, which runs through February 1, 2019, can be found on our website.