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Nursing News HighlightsNurses Leading Innovation

Register Now for “NurseHack4Health: Improving Access to Care”

Johnson & Johnson, SONSIEL, Microsoft and dev up have teamed up again to host “NurseHack4Health: Improving Access to Care,” a free, virtual hackathon, May 14 - 16, inviting nurses and other innovators to solve for better quality, sustainable and equitable access to healthcare. Register today!

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on hospitals, health centers and communities around the world, many that were already experiencing significant burdens and gaps in care before the pandemic. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 30 million people live in a medical desert, or a region with inadequate access to healthcare, creating issues for routine care, emergency care and vaccinations. The pandemic has also revealed how injustices related to race, sexual orientation and gender identity are connected to poorer public health outcomes. But just as COVID-19 has raised immense healthcare challenges, it has also created an environment ripe for innovation, And nurses, with their clinical expertise, knowledge and innovative problem-solving skills are uniquely poised to take on that challenge.

That’s why as part of our larger commitment to supporting frontline health workers amid COVID-19, Johnson & Johnson, in partnership with SONSIEL (Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs & Leaders), Microsoft and dev up, is excited to host our third virtual hackathon, "NurseHack4Health: Improving Access to Care." Nurses, other healthcare professionals, developers, engineers, IT experts and other innovators from around the world are invited to come together and innovate with us during this free event on May 14 to 16, 2021. No hackathon experience necessary!

“As COVID-19 has both presented new health challenges and exacerbated existing ones for health systems around the world, we’re proud to support nurses as innovators with the insights, experience and knowledge to find new ways to improve access to care,” said Lynda Benton, Senior Director of Corporate Equity at Johnson & Johnson. “Our NurseHack4Health hackathons create an open, collaborative, powerful platform where nurses and all hackers can flex their innovation muscles and that show the world that nurses working in collaboration with other healthcare professionals and tech experts is a magical combination that can solve for some of today’s greatest health challenges.”

At “NurseHack4Health: Improving Access to Care,” participating hackers will be invited to collaborate on and solve for better quality, sustainable and equitable access to care in the following focus areas: Vaccine Education & Delivery; Medical Deserts; Health Equity, Racial Disparities & Inclusion; New Models and Settings for Care; and an Open Topic, for a solution that can help improve access to care in an area that isn’t represented in one of the other focus areas.

"Nurses continue to rise to the challenges presented by COVID-19 with their great ideas for new devices, protocols, technologies adn more," said Rebecca Love, RN, MSN, FIEL, President of SONSIEL. "Because of their experiences, we know that nurse insights can play a vital role in creating solutions to help improve healthcare access and delivery. We're proud that NurseHack4Health can provide a springboard for their ideas."

Participants can register for NurseHack4Health either individually or as part of a team. No prior hackathon experience is required, and you do not need to have an idea for a healthcare innovation in order to participate. To join us for “NurseHack4Health: Improving Access to Care,” complete the registration form at, download Microsoft Teams and get ready for an inspiring and productive weekend that kicks off on Friday, May 14 at 6 PM ET.

The weekend promises to serve up an inspiring and rewarding innovation opportunity. Hackers will divide into teams to develop their innovative ideas into minimally viable products (MVPs), or solutions that can be fast-tracked for further development and testing in a healthcare setting. Each team will be invited to pitch their solution on Sunday afternoon to a panel of healthcare innovation experts. Throughout the weekend, hackers will be paired with Coaches who will provide mentoring, pitch advice, tech expertise and more. Participating hackers should plan on being online for most of NurseHack4Health weekend, which includes a kickoff on Friday night at 6 PM ET, solution development and mentoring on Saturday and pitch presentations on Sunday, which will conclude around 3 PM ET.

“NurseHack4Health provides a rare opportunity for nurses, developers and more to enhance their innovation skills and solve for some of today’s greatest health challenges,” said Kelly Larrabee-Robke, MBA, MS, RN, US Chief Nursing Officer at Microsoft. “Without a doubt, the ability to collaborate on multidisciplinary teams and develop solutions in real-time with tech experts allows us to power-up nurse innovation to a new level.”

After registering for NurseHack4Health, be on the lookout for an email from the NurseHack4Health team and follow @JNJNursing for more information on Info Sessions and Workshops that can help you both prepare for the weekend and enhance your innovation skills!

Also, for the first time in the NurseHack4Health series, any nurse who participates in "NurseHack4Health: Improving Access to Care" can apply for the chance to be randomly selected for a post-hackathon complimentary scholarship seat in the Drexel - SONSIEL Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate Program. The two-day, virtual program on June 5-6, 2021 is designed for nurses interested in further developing their innovation and entrepreneurial skills. In addition, following the hackathon, nurses will also be invited to submit their ideas to improve access to care in a new Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge for the opportunity to be awarded grant funding up to $100,000 and mentoring from experts across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to help bring their solution to life.

It is going to be a great weekend! We look forward to innovating with you!

Want to learn more about nurse innovation hackathons? Check out our new site that explores how you can prepare and why you should attend.

Looking for innovation inspiration? Learn about our previous NurseHack4Health hackathon events, NurseHack4Health: COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon and NurseHack4Health: Pandemic Management – Improving Education and Communication.

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