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Meet the 12 Inspired Nurses of the First J&J Nurse Innovation Fellowship

From a CEO in Texas to a Clinical Educator in Illinois; a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Arizona, to a Regional Nurse Consultant in Georgia. Meet the 12 diverse, inspired and innovative nurse leaders chosen to be a part of the first cohort of the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship.
Nursing News & ProgramsNurses Leading Innovation

Meet the 12 Inspired Nurses of the First J&J Nurse Innovation Fellowship


From a CEO in Texas to a Clinical Educator in Illinois; a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Arizona, to a Regional Nurse Consultant in Georgia. Meet the 12 diverse, inspired and innovative nurse leaders chosen to be a part of the first cohort of the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship.

Bringing together nurse leaders from across the country with diverse backgrounds and a passion for improving health, Johnson & Johnson is excited to launch the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship by introducing our first cohort of Fellows. The Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship aims to strengthen the leadership and entrepreneurial skills of inspired and innovative nurses to help amplify and integrate nurse-led innovation in healthcare.

As part of the Nurse Innovation Fellowship, the 12 selected nurse leaders will receive individualized mentoring and participate in action learning projects and both virtual and in-person sessions aimed at strengthening their leadership, entrepreneurial and innovation skills. The two-year program was developed in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership, a leading international provider of executive education, and Nurse Approved, a premier nursing organization striving to educate and provide opportunities for nurses in healthcare innovation.

Out of the many impressive applications received, these 12 nurse leaders stood out because of their diverse professional backgrounds, vision for the future of the nursing profession and passion to have an impact on healthcare. We look forward to welcoming these nurse leaders into our Johnson & Johnson Nursing network and updating you on their progress in the months to come.

The Johnson & Johnson Notes on Nursing team recently connected with the new Fellows to learn more about what inspired them to apply and what they’re looking to glean from the program. Meet our first cohort here:

Erik Andersen, BSN, RN
Critical Care/ICU Nurse, WakeMed Health and Hospitals
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina

J&J: How does it feel to be a part of the first cohort of the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship program?

Erik: It is an honor to have been selected for a program like this. I’ve been looking for opportunities to learn more about innovation and entrepreneurship, specifically to pursue ideas I have imagined over the years at the bedside. From cars, to cameras, to the kitchen sink, I’ve always been fascinated with making things better, faster, simpler or more useful. I have been actively seeking out local professionals to find a mentor who could guide me through an innovative project of my own. I knew I had to apply for the Fellowship because after a year of looking, I’ve made some great connections but nothing that can help guide me through the process from start to finish. I am thankful to have found a partner in Johnson and Johnson and very excited to begin improving healthcare.

Princess Fumi Stephanie Hancock, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Principal Psychiatric Mental Health Doctor of Nurse Practice, Pool of Bethesda Psychiatric Health
Founder, The Princess of Suburbia(R) Project
Princess from Emure Ekiti Kingdom, South Western region of Nigeria, West Africa
Tucson, Arizona

J&J: How do you think the Fellowship program will help you elevate your ideas and goals?

Princess Fumi Stephanie: I have always seen myself as someone who will use innovative technology to bridge gaps between rural America and Africa. Over four years ago, my king, His Royal Majesty, King Emmanuel Adebayo and my parents, Prince Ademola & Princess Remi Ogunleye visited Nashville, Tennessee where I resided up until a few months ago. Spring Hill, TN was officially announced as the sister city to Emure-Ekiti Kingdom. I was charged with ensuring that I continue to be a good citizen to my two homes, America and Africa. Since then, I have been looking at ways to use technology and innovative devices to bring valuable resources to those dealing with mental illness. I believe this Fellowship will help me to explore this further in Arizona and abroad. J&J is not a stranger to Africans-many of my people use their products and being able to say to them the same company has offered me an opportunity to be a part of their Fellowship program is huge.

Deidra Heuring, DNP, RN, CCRN, AHN-BC
Staff RN, St. Cloud Hospital Post Anesthesia Care Unit
St. Cloud, Minnesota

J&J: Why did you decide to apply for the Fellowship?

Deidra: I applied for the J&J Fellowship because I felt it would be an incredible journey in which I could learn from others, strengthen my voice and learn entrepreneurial and business skills. I am excited to meet new colleagues that are passionate about finding new ways to approach healthcare and to do better for the patients and families we serve. My hope is that I can share what I learn in the Fellowship to improve the health and wellness in my community because from infants to the elderly, I love taking care of people.

Olivia Lemberger, MSN, RN, CHSE
Clinical Educator, Rush Copley Medical Center
PhD Student in the Health Sciences program, Northern Illinois University
Aurora, Illinois

J&J: What does nurse innovation mean to you?

Olivia: Working with nurses over the past two decades has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. I have been surrounded by the most creative, intelligent and thoughtful individuals who improve healthcare every day by innovating. Nurses are inherently innovators; and are perfectly suited to bring practical solutions to improve healthcare. Nursing innovation means leveraging resources, creating solutions, building equity, learning from failure and navigating alternatives to existing barriers in healthcare. I am thrilled and honored to be a member of the inaugural cohort of the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship program to collaborate with THE leaders in nursing innovation and leverage the collective knowledge of nurses dedicated to finding innovative solutions to improve healthcare.

Jennifferre Mancillas, RN, BSN
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Valley Children's Hospital
Madera, California

J&J: Why did you decide to apply for the Fellowship?

Jennifferre: Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to use my knack for problem solving to create practical solutions for problems found at the bedside by designing new devices, developing tools to improve workflow and creating change in interesting ways. Earlier this year, I was asked by my administration to fill out a form indicating what my career path and interests were, but none of the boxes fit my strengths. My solution? I made my own box! I drew a square and very neatly to the side wrote, “Nurse Innovator”. Since then I have been looking for opportunities to strengthen my innovation skills and connect with other nurses who are passionate about encouraging innovation amongst nurses at the bedside. Finding this Fellowship was the best surprise!

Michelle Munro-Kramer, PhD, CNM, FNP-BC
Assistant Professor and Suzanne Bellinger Feetham Professor of Nursing, University of Michigan School of Nursing
Plymouth, Michigan

J&J: Do you have any big passions or solutions, and how do you think the Fellowship program will help you elevate your ideas and goals?

Michelle: My passion is eliminating gender-based violence. Although I am not sure that I will see this happen in my lifetime, I am committed to contributing my unique skills and knowledge as a nurse to improve education for healthcare providers and primary prevention programs for our youth. Since gender-based violence is such a multi-faceted problem, I believe it is essential to have nurses serving as leaders and innovators in this arena. I believe this Fellowship will help me elevate my skills as a leader and business-minded thinker to more effectively contribute solutions to this problem.

Hiyam Nadel, RN, MBA, BSN, CGC
Director of the Center for Innovations in Care Delivery, Massachusetts General Hospital
Founding Member and Board Member for the Society of Nurse Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Leaders (SONSIEL)
Boston, Massachusetts

J&J: What are you most looking forward to in the Fellowship program?

Hiyam: This is timely for me since I just started a new position as the Director for the Center of Innovations in Care Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital. This position works with frontline caregivers, especially nurses, to understand pain points and how to think differently to solve and transform healthcare. Nursing has a unique perspective regarding patient and family needs. We want to hear from these frontline caregivers because I believe this is where real change will come from. What I am hoping to learn is how to continue to innovate and help others to do the same, especially from the perspective of a large organization. I am just going to be a total sponge!

Charlene Grace Platon, MS, RN, FNP-BC
Manager of Advanced Practice, Center for Advanced Practice, Stanford Health Care
Redwood City, California

J&J: Do you have any passions that connect to the Nurse Innovation Fellowship?

Charlene: Various industries enable employees to innovate and create new ideas; however, healthcare falls short when seeking innovation from the frontline. Throughout my career, I've worked with so many nurses who had brilliant ideas for improving patient outcomes or processes. However, nurses are not often incentivized nor encouraged to create solutions for patient-related issues. If they are interested in that type of work, it is done on their personal time, and unpaid. I am passionate about fostering a culture of nurse-led innovation within healthcare systems, whether that is by incentivizing innovation or building a creative environment. The Fellowship will support me in this mission by connecting me with mentors, peers and like-minded colleagues whom I may brainstorm with to ensure that nurse-led innovation is encouraged and promoted, rather than stifled.

Joanna Seltzer Uribe, RN, MSN, EdD Candidate
Director of Strategic Design, Hourglass Education Technology Solutions
Rita & Alex Hillman Grant Design Thinking Lead, New York University College of Nursing
Founding Member of the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders (SONSIEL)
Montclair, New Jersey

J&J: How do you think the Fellowship program will help you elevate your ideas and goals?

Joanna: In addition to developing our knowledge and competencies as nurses, nursing programs like this provide inspiration for igniting the imaginations of our next generation and giving them time to experiment collaboratively and see how far their ideas will take them. The Fellowship can provide a toolkit and support system to help engineer innovative nursing curriculum and how to best deliver and scale it.

Timothy Thomas, MSN, RN, CCHP
Captain, United States Public Health Service (PHS)
Regional Nurse Consultant, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Jesup, Georgia

J&J: Why did you decide to apply for the Fellowship?

Timothy: It’s a great opportunity! I can read all I want to about leadership skills, but I believe this program will guide me in applying the skills I have read about. I believe that as a better leader, I can build better teams and therefore increase the quality of care provided to our patient population, underserved incarcerated individuals. They are a ripe group to prepare for reentry into society because upon their return, they may impact the health of their communities. I believe the Fellowship program will help me to acquire skills, broaden my thinking and develop new innovations to help me address this problem.

Briana White, MSN, RN, CPN, CCRN-K, CNL
Clinical Nurse Supervisor, CHaD Pediatric Clinics, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Wilmot, New Hampshire

J&J: How does it feel to be a part of the first cohort of the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship program?

Briana: I feel like I am buzzing with creative energy and complete gratitude for this opportunity. There is so much to look forward to: the unknown, the mentors, the lessons, meeting the other nurse innovators, taking this step into uncharted territory to challenge my ideas and give me feedback. I tried to capture my thoughts in a poem shortly after I found out that I was accepted, which also speaks to a feeling of untapped empowerment:

I will not be a contortionist
To become a conformist
When my ideas outweigh my fears
I know it’s NOT all been tried
Because I live with my eyes wide
Moving forward with creative intention
Power and potential, possibility of extension
Flexible I may remain
But walls no longer contain

Lydel Wright, MSN, BSN, RN
Founder and CEO, SafeWatch, LLC
Chairman, EmPACT Foundation
Houston, Texas

J&J: Where do you see yourself as a healthcare leader in the next few years?

Lydel: I see myself as a global healthcare innovator having contributed to healthcare transformation through product innovation and care delivery system transformation. I see myself utilizing the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship as a springboard to further carry on my God given purpose of healthcare transformation. Johnson & Johnson has been a part of my journey from infancy even to today. I am so honored to be a part of this program that not only lifts the profession of nursing but also carries the prestige and global impact of Johnson & Johnson.

Look out for more updates from the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship and its first cohort of Fellows by following @JNJNursing on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship, visit here.

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