Viewpoint: Nurses deserve more recognition for innovation

University of Massachusetts Amherst Assistant Professor Rachel Walker, PhD, RN, believes nurses deserve more credit for their innovative contributions to healthcare.

Dr. Walker is the first nurse to be named an invention ambassador by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, according to a report from New England Public Radio. She is on the panel alongside ambassadors from IBM, Microsoft and MIT. 

In the position, Dr. Walker plans to raise awareness about nurse-led innovation. For example, nurses are responsible for inventing feeding tubes and hospice care, and contributed to the development of hand sanitizer, she told NEPR. They used safety checklists long before a physician won the MacArthur award for checklists. And recently, a nurse workaround for babies who pull out their intravenous tubes is now becoming a medical device, she said.

"If we don't take ownership of [our inventions], sometimes they can also be taken in directions that maybe aren't where we want to see them go," she told NEPR.

Read the full story here.

 

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