"The Fellowship gave us the opportunity to grow as innovators. We all felt like we had innovation in us, but the Fellowship became the platform for us to build our credibility and explore new avenues to serve our communities as nurse innovators."
Olivia graduated with a BSN from Marquette University in 1997 and then joined the Peace Corps to serve as a health service volunteer in Guinea, West Africa. Olivia’s time in Guinea initiated an appreciation for innovation and created an opportunity to learn how to practice nursing with limited resources. Over the past twenty-two years she has worked as a nurse in Neurosurgical and Emergency Departments. She completed her MSN with a focus on nursing education at Lewis University.
Olivia has focused on nursing innovation since the outset of her studies at Northern Illinois University, where her PhD research has centered around the work of nurse innovators throughout the history of the profession. Currently, Olivia is a clinical nurse educator and simulation coordinator at Rush Copley Medical Center where she is extremely proud to coordinate the mentoring program and the transition to practice program for new graduate nurses. Olivia credits Florence Nightingale as her nursing mentor and enjoys representing nursing during career days at local middle schools to promote the profession of nursing.
Olivia's J&J Nursing Innovation Fellow Journey
As she began the Fellowship, Olivia combined her academic research and resources and tools from the program to address a core need across the nursing profession. Olivia noticed that nurses and healthcare practitioners at large did not have a central place to reference both the pedigree of nurse innovation and contemporary ideas that continue to change bedside care every day. She built an index that notates nurse innovation both as a tool and reference for practitioners, but also as a demonstrable example of nurses representing the best of healthcare innovation. Aggregating the data on nurse innovation has brought insights on trends, patterns, gaps and needs for new nurse innovation, offering the profession a new tool to continue to improve, enhance and innovate care delivery. Through the Fellowship, Olivia leveraged resources and a robust network to build a comprehensive tool that continues to grow alongside the ever-expanding index of nurse innovation.
Olivia believes that the Fellowship is a vote of confidence in nurses and an important opportunity for nurses to embrace innovation, something most nurses are typically not exposed to or encouraged to champion. For her, memorializing and encouraging nurse innovation through her Nurse Innovator Index was the perfect way to utilize the JJNIF platform and push the profession forward.
Meet J&J Nurse Innovation Fellow Olivia Lemberger: