Nursing Education

Preparing a Generation of Innovators in Nursing Education

A webinar featuring Dr. Tiffany Kelley from the University of Connecticut, Nightingale Apps, and iCare Nursing Solutions

Dr. Tiffany Kelley, UConn Visiting Professor and CEO of Nightingale Apps & iCare Nursing Solutions, discusses the benefits of empowering nurses as innovators.

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Hillary Gamblin:

Hello. Thank you for joining today’s workshop on Preparing a Generation of Innovators in Nursing Education. My name is Hillary Gamblin, I’m a GoReact employee, and, today, I’m excited to interview Dr. Tiffany Kelley. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, you might have heard of her app, Know My Patient. Tiffany, do you want to introduce yourself?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Yes. Thank you so much, Hillary, for having me here today. I’m delighted to be here and talk about Preparing a Generation of Innovators in Nursing Education. I wear a few hats, day-to-day, and a lot of what you’re going to hear from me today is in my role in education as the DeLuca Foundation Visiting Professor for Innovation & New Knowledge at the University of Connecticut. My role there has been to develop and execute on a strategic plan on how to educate nursing students across degree programs on the principles and foundations of innovation in their education. I also am the founder and CEO of two companies, Nightingale Apps and iCare Nursing Solutions, and author of a book on electronic health records, Electronic Health Records for Quality Nursing in Health Care. I’m excited to talk to you today and answer questions that you might have about this topic.

Hillary Gamblin:

That is a lot of hats. We’re excited to have you. Quick, for those of you who are new to our GoReact workshop, let me quickly outline how we structure these virtual events. So, for the first 30 minutes or so, I’m going to discuss the role of innovation in nursing education with Tiffany. And, after the interview, we’ll do a live Q&A that will last somewhere between 10-15 minutes. If you’d like to submit a question, there is a tab just below the video feed, and if you see a question that someone else posted and you’re like, “Yeah, I want that answered as well,” there’s a cool upvote feature. Don’t forget to use the chat feature, which is on the right side of the video feed. A lot happens there, it’s kind of a party, it’s where everybody shares their name, their information, their resources, so don’t miss out.

Hillary Gamblin:

And then, right next to the Ask a Question is a polling feature, and we actually want to start off today with a quick poll. Some of you have already submitted your answers, but the question is: in your opinion, how important is it that nursing programs prepare their students with the right skills and attitude towards innovation? We want you to be honest here. So, the first one is “it’s very important,” “it could be useful,” “not sure how important it should be, but I’m open to it,” and then “we’re really, really busy, innovation is the last thing on our list”. So, we will not be offended by your answers, we just wanted to get a better idea of who is joining us and your thoughts. Okay, so the highest vote is “we need to integrate innovation into this course”. You have a captive audience.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

That is so good to hear, it makes my day.

Hillary Gamblin:

That is fantastic because that is the crux of today’s workshop. The goal is for nursing educators to see the value of integrating innovation into nursing programs, and then give you the basic steps to start doing that in your own program. Now, we’ve covered the technical details, we’ve gotten to know you a little bit more, and outlined the goals, let’s get started. Tiffany, to understand why you champion innovation in nursing, it helps to know your history. Can you share your background and how your personal experiences led you to see the importance of innovation in nursing?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Absolutely. I am a nurse of 20 years now, and I started my career as a pediatric nurse at Children’s National Medical Center, in Washington, D.C., shortly after graduating from Georgetown University, and a year after my role there, I went on to become a travel nurse at [inaudible 00:04:02] Children’s Hospital, and then went to Boston Children’s Hospital as a travel nurse. And I share that with you because those were three large academic medical centers, in different parts of the United States, and I started to see similar issues that I saw as barriers to me providing optimal care quality.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

I became frustrated, and I didn’t really know why I seemed like I was the only one frustrated, and so that led me to pursue more education and my master’s degree in Nursing Administration and Business Administration. And then, I call it serendipity, I found myself in nursing informatics, in electronic health record project at Boston Children’s Hospital, and that really gave me a view of healthcare that I wouldn’t have gotten at the bedside in the sense of being able to see the entire organization. So, working on that project and really seeing the lens of change-making in the day-to-day, and the resistance to change, the acceptance of change, and then really looking on the other side of, once we’ve made changes, are we really making care quality better?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

That question stayed with me for a long period of time and led me to my doctoral program, where I studied the meaning of knowing the patient for nurses before and after an electronic nursing charting system implementation, really trying to understand what is happening in this transition period that’s leading nurses to say, “I feel like I don’t know my patients anymore.” And, at some point during that process, it really became evident to me that nurses were relying on scrap pieces of paper more so than the electronic expensive tools that had just been implemented.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And I thought, “I could solve for this. I have the background, I have the expertise, and I have the interest in this.” That led me down my entrepreneurial pathway, which I won’t go into too much detail today, but I’m happy to answer questions after today about, to really try to bring a new solution to the marketplace to help solve for the pain points I was seeing nurses faced with. And while I didn’t know it at the time in which this epiphany happened for me, I was really embarking on nursing innovation. It didn’t have a name at that time, and I was hitting resistance myself around, as a nurse, starting a business or really trying to tackle something like this.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And it led me to want to help other nurses and healthcare professionals who felt the way I did, that they could make a difference, but just needed the tools to be able to do so. And, around that time, about six months before that time of me having these thoughts, a few months later, I got an email about the role that I have now, at UConn, for me to explore it. So, it’s been a trajectory, it isn’t something that’s happened overnight, but every step has led me to where I am today, and it’s been exciting, it’s been a great journey to be a nurse.

Hillary Gamblin:

Already, we said the keyword of today’s workshop, “innovation,” probably a dozen times. To make sure that we’re all on the same page, how would you define innovation? Because when I hear “innovation,” often, I think “technology”. Is that the case?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Yes. Well, before I define innovation for you, I want to share something that I think everybody should just have in their minds for this session because it’s something that changed my perspective when I first heard it. And it’s a quote that I heard in a video clip from Steve Jobs, “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. You can change it. You can influence it. And you can build your own things that other people can use.”

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, keep this in your mind as we go through today and beyond, but as we start to think about, “Well, what is innovation?” Because I get asked, very often, almost daily, “Well, what is it? What is this thing of innovation? Is it just new technologies? It is about smart devices? How do we look at this?” And I have two definitions. The first I’m going to share with you is my elevator pitch. So, let’s say you’re in an elevator with someone and you’ve got one floor to answer this question, or you’re passing someone in the hallway, and I realize, in our COVID world we’re in today, these situations might be a little bit different.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

But I always describe innovation as bringing positive change to healthcare. And I would hope that we all can agree that we want positive change in healthcare. The key question becomes: well, how? So, this is really that first top-level layer of how would you describe this to someone else? But then, to dig a little bit deeper and defining it in a way that could be measurable, innovation is the development and diffusion of a new product, process, and/or service, sometimes these things get put together, that addresses an unmet need for a target population.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And I’ll talk a little bit more about what these things are, but there really has to be an unmet need, and we’ve seen so many of those over the last year, and we know the target population in many of the conversations is the world or our communities or the U.S. So, those are the two definitions I tend to work with, and it depends on where I am and the audience as to which one I’ll give first.

Hillary Gamblin:

So, now that we have that basic definition of innovation, I’m curious, what role do you believe innovation plays in nursing education?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Well, let’s talk about a couple of examples, and then I’ll show how it fits into nursing education. In terms of the product, process, and service that I had just mentioned, in the case of the pandemic, and we’re thinking about healthcare, face masks, social distancing, and telemedicine were three things that emerged as daily conversation points. And face masks, we know, from a healthcare professional, the N95 became something that everybody in the public became aware of. But we didn’t necessarily wear these on a daily basis, as a mask population. So, this became an emerging need or an unmet need for our population that led to new companies and new products developing these solutions for the public.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Social distancing, as a process, that wasn’t a term I was familiar with a year ago today. It started to emerge, I think, in March, just a couple weeks from now, and really thinking about how do we safely distance one another from potentially contracting a virus that has led to now over 500,000 deaths. And from a service perspective, as an innovation, telemedicine, or telehealth, whichever term that you use, that’s actually been around from the 60s, conceptualized, but it wasn’t until that unmet need was truly felt by the public and healthcare professionals to keep people at a safe distance and still provide care that, one, people were willing to adopt and use it, and, two, that it got paid for at the federal level.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

But I think the adoption of telemedicine becomes extremely important to look at in terms of these innovations can exist for a long period of time in the marketplace, and, thankfully, we have people thinking of them well in advance of when we need them because something like that telemedicine, if that wasn’t available, if there weren’t people working on that ahead of time, then we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in today, which leads into, Hillary, your question of nursing innovation and the role of education.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, I wanted to pose a question to each of you in thinking about, as we educate our students, sometimes we also need to be educated as well, to help better prepare our students. So, just thinking to yourself, how comfortable and competent would you feel if you were asked to innovate your organization today without any instruction on how to do it? So, let’s say someone came to you and said, let’s just use me as an example, “Tiffany, really, I think it’s important that we innovate our nursing education program.” The feedback that I get is many say, “Well, I’m not really sure how to do that” or “How do we teach people to do that?”

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, thinking about integrating innovation into nursing education, where do you start? And I think an important distinction to make is innovation is a science, it is not something that magically appears out of thin air. I think the media can definitely publicize a few key innovators throughout history, but anybody has the capability of doing this. So, the first step is relating the science to your audience.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, I just went through three different examples for you that everybody should be aware of today, that you could think about, “Okay, I get it. I understand, now. So, this intervention of telemedicine has helped us change and provide positive change to our healthcare communities. It addressed an unmet need. The face masks have allowed us to continue to operate in society, while also social distancing.” So, relating the science to your audience to get their attention and understand what you’re referring to.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And then, moving from problem identification to problem solving. I often will say that we’re really good at complaining, meaning if I were to ask each of you something that maybe didn’t go perfectly so far today, I bet everybody could find something. Or maybe you’re having a great day and maybe, yesterday, something happened. There’s likely something that didn’t feel right that could have been done better. We’re really good at identifying problems. Where I see an opportunity is to move beyond that, to problem solving.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, as educators, getting individuals and students, and I do this with my students, to say, “What’s a problem that you see?” And if they’re undergraduates and they’ve not made it into the clinical situation yet or the clinical rotations yet, I say, “Well, look around you. What are you seeing in the community? What are you seeing on campus? What are you feeling as a potential patient or consumer of healthcare? What’s not working for you? And are other people feeling it? So, then how could you solve it? If you were given all of the tools that you needed, what would your solution be?” And I don’t put any restrictions on people at the beginning point because I want them to truly think about what could be possible and not think about budgets and resources and staff and whatnot.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, when you’ve gotten to the place of really getting what I call “turning that light bulb on,” then you can go deeper into the concepts. I have some of my students do a concept analysis in my Healthcare Innovation Certificate program, where they analyze what is healthcare innovation. Going through the theories of innovation, there are several different theorists. Methodology, design thinking is a very helpful methodology for prototyping and applying it to certain problems.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And I think the last one, leadership behaviors, is extremely important. I have just two listed here. Divergent thinking, meaning that not everything’s a straight line, and it can get messy. So, when you recognize that there’s an opportunity to solve a problem, instead of just trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, sometimes you have to do that, I understand, but is there another way to think about it? Could you ask the user or the consumer of the course, or look at the course evaluations to see what students liked or didn’t like, or what you think might work better, and trying something new and allowing for that failure tolerance, something that I think we struggle with as a profession.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And I understand where it becomes important to not want to fail, and what I mean by that is not making an error. We don’t want to make errors with patient care and med errors or anything like that. That’s completely appropriate, to reduce the failure tolerance to a bare minimum. But when you’re innovating, it’s a completely different way of looking at things. You’re going to have failures, but those failures are going to transition you to the next step.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, these are some high-level areas, where to start and how to go deeper into thinking about innovation in nursing education. If you’re thinking about, “Well, I want to really just get people to be thinking about innovation as something that’s needed for nursing,” I would stick to the first two, until folks start to really come forward and say, “I really have these ideas that I want to work through. How do I do it?” And then you can build into the deeper areas. I’ll pause there. I could keep going, but I think there’ll be more, as we go.

Hillary Gamblin:

You’ve touched on the role that you now have at the University of Connecticut, the DeLuca Foundation Visiting Associate Professor of Innovation & New Knowledge, that is a really long name, and you’ve been doing that since 2008. I’m wondering, because you’ve been focusing so much on education, helping nursing students, can you explain, from a macro view, or perhaps administrative view, what steps you’ve taken to incorporate innovation into the nursing curriculum at University of Connecticut?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Yeah, definitely. So, my role as the DeLuca Foundation Visiting Professor for Innovation & New Knowledge, I have been in that role for two and a half years now, and coming into that role, the charge that I was given was to develop a strategic plan for innovation across the UConn School of Nursing and execute on that plan. Some things that I really paid attention to before even taking the role was looking at the overall ecosystem of the university and recognizing that there was an infrastructure in place, there was a culture supportive of innovation, and there was support from leadership at the dean’s level, associate dean’s level, and even among the faculty for, yes, we want to do this.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And so those are some really important factors for success, as you’re thinking about, “I want to bring innovation into my nursing education,” or maybe it’s just the course you’re starting with, but having support, and there was a previous slide, and having that culture of innovation is important. So, there’s a few things here, I’ll touch upon a couple that I think were the first two that were extremely important for me, and then a couple other things that may be of interest to those that are on the webinar today.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, one of the other major charges was that I was given a directive that all degree programs were educated on innovation: undergraduates, our certificate entry and nursing, master’s programs, DMP, PhD. And so looking at that landscape and really saying, “Okay, where are the opportunities that I could integrate innovation into the curriculum?” And so there’s a few ways you could do that. You could add on courses, or you could integrate it into existing courses, and probably a little bit of both.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

I felt as though to stick with the culture of the school, and also getting a pulse of the faculty and where they felt like there was opportunity for change, because, remember, I’m talking about positive change-making, but my job is to change the existing curriculum, and so anytime you’re embarking on change, there’s going to be a variety of interest in that. If we think about Roger’s Diffusion of innovation, that some are going to be extremely excited, you got your early adopters, early late majority, and then the laggards. So, really getting a sense of what will work that will be acceptable amongst the school. I did not want to create any friction or causing any deviations from our core purpose.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, I looked at the different courses, met with faculty, and proposed changes as to where this would fit, and went through the processes of the school across degree programs so that these would sustain beyond necessarily my presence. You always want a succession plan, and so that even if you’re not there, whoever comes in behind you, the framework is there. So, that was a major endeavor. That took me, largely, the first two years of my role to work through those processes.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And then the second item on this list is to develop … I develop, direct, and teach our Healthcare Innovation Online Graduate Certificate Program, and that was actually the first thing that I put a major proposal forward for because I felt as though I know there are nurses out there and healthcare professionals that are seeking to innovate, I know that they’re asking for help because I see it every day, and I’ve gone through it myself, so how do we provide that infrastructure to allow for students, whether they’re new nurses, they’re nurse leaders, they’re chief nurses, they’re faculty, whomever it may be, even have it open to any healthcare discipline, to be able to get the foundation, the theory, the application, the product development, and the leadership components to really be poised to go off and lead their organizations or lead their innovation ideas to marketplace. I talk a lot about not just scaling products in the sense of what you’re developing, but scaling your knowledge, and so how do I replicate this amongst whomever comes through the program? And so that was a big initiative.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Some other things that I focus on is developing relationships across the nation and globe to understand what other people are doing, how can we help, how can we work together, and then dissemination of this knowledge, and a lot of speaking events and some publications, and hopefully I can get some more out this year.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, those are just a couple of the items, but I listed these here in case this is helpful for those listening and watching to think about where they might want to start or how to start, and this has been my role, so I’m the sole individual in this capacity, so all of this falls on my shoulders in the sense of it’s not disseminated amongst a committee, I really work with individual faculty and our associate deans and deans to determine what’s the next step. I’ll pause there. I hope I answered that question for you.

Hillary Gamblin:

Yes, you did. You did an excellent job. Now, I’m imagining that there are probably some participants here that really love this idea, and they want to integrate innovation into their own programs, but they probably feel tied down by limited resources. What advice do you have for this program? Is it possible to incorporate these themes of innovation into a program that has limited resources and technology?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Absolutely. I don’t lead with technology when I give these conversations. In some examples, I talk about the history of the telephone and how that’s changed over time, or the nurse call bell, and use that as an example for folks to see the evolution of that over time. But much of my focus, and I think I have something here that I wanted to share, much of my focus, initially, is in getting beyond the problem identification to the problem-solving place.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And so when I meet with undergraduates, especially the freshmen, my objective and goal is to have them understand that bridge, getting over that bridge. And so, for me, I can see it happening. So, once I see that light bulb come on, like they got it, you really can’t turn it off. So, once you give somebody permission and the confidence, even if they may not think they have it yet, the confidence to know that they could solve a really big problem in healthcare, that sticks with them for life.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, for me, my objective is always going into a classroom and getting students to think about making that gap, and when you think about workarounds, another example I give is bridging between a workaround and a scalable solution. As nurses, we’re very well-versed in workarounds, we know how to patch things together because we have to. But just because we have to right now, does that mean that’s what we should be doing? Could that patch, that workaround that I’m doing, with the scrap piece of paper, could I solve for that for every nurse that experience it, or every patient that experiences it? And so that’s another leap, when you think about it that way.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, to your question of for those that might have limited resources, always my first go-to is getting students to think about these problems. I give them a challenge and say, “Think of a problem, and how could you solve it, and then that next step is thinking about prototyping.” In terms of prototyping, you might think, “Well, that’s going to require resources and funding, etc.” You can do a lot with just a piece of paper and a pencil, to start, or a free software program.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

I sometimes think less is more because you also don’t want to put in someone’s mind that they need a lot of money to get started on something, especially if they graduate and they’re thinking, “Well, I don’t have the fancy tools that we had at school, so how am I going to do this?” As you’re progressing through innovation development, the costs will only increase, so the less you spend in the beginning, the further you can get with the resources that you do have. So, I don’t see not having a lot of technical resources as a disadvantage at all. I think creativity and finding ways to simulate students’ interests and finding what captures their attention, that’s probably the more important thing, from my perspective.

Hillary Gamblin:

I think that’s really invigorating and a positive way of looking at it. You don’t need the money, the technology, all those different things. This can be put into any nursing program, across the board.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Absolutely. It’s about thinking differently. That’s the first step. I’m not the best with home improvement tools, that’s not my strength. And so you could give me all the tools that Home Depot has, but if I don’t know how to use them, they’re just going to sit there, and so someone would need to teach me how to use them in order for them to be valuable to me. And so when we’re thinking about innovating, the same is true, the tool box just happens to be different aspects of your mind.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

There’s a great book, The Innovator’s DNA. That book, I would recommend for anyone, and it talks about five characteristics of the innovator’s DNA, and it really teaches you that there are behaviors that you can practice, daily, to become a stronger innovator. They’re not necessarily like …. Somebody wants you to become stronger and they say, “You’re going to have to do push-ups,” you can’t read about the push-ups to get that strength, you actually have to do it.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And so practicing these behaviors of associating, networking, experimenting, prototyping, questioning, and observing, prototyping’s not one of them, but the observing is, that will help you see these opportunities. So, if you wanted to think about a resource that I think would be essential, that book would be one of them. Clay Christensen’s one of the authors, and he’s the theorist behind disruptive innovation.

Hillary Gamblin:

Fantastic. Can you say the name again, and the author?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Yeah. The Innovator’s DNA, Clayton Christensen’s one of the authors, there are three, I can’t recall the names of the other two. The students in one of my certificate courses read that book.

Hillary Gamblin:

Okay. Thank you for restating that. I know it’s not on our slides, and so I didn’t want anybody-

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

No, it just came to me in my mind, as we were talking.

Hillary Gamblin:

So, based on your experience as you’ve been integrating innovation into the nursing curriculum at UConn, what challenges have you faced, do you think maybe our participants will face as they’re doing that, and what advice can you give them as they work through those challenges?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Yes. Okay, so, I was on a panel a few months ago, and somebody had asked me if I ever come across resistance, or it might have been rejection, but one of those two words. And my answer was, “Of course,” because my role is to change things, so I’m in the forward-thinking, looking ahead, how do we make things better, and moving away from the status quo. It doesn’t mean that I want to change everything; I mean if there’s things that are working well and there’s no need to change it and we can’t reach a better outcome, then it doesn’t make sense.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

But by nature of wanting to evolve nursing as a profession and add on a new skillset and thinking perspective of wanting to bring positive change to healthcare through new products, processes, or services, there will be resistance that will occur. And I share that because I believe that when you know what you’re walking into, then you can frame it better for yourself, and so the pushback or the “no” or “not right now” won’t feel as harsh as if you thought everyone was just going to accept all of your ideas. And I’ve been doing this for a long time now, so I’m kind of used to it.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

But I think the approach matters, too, in the sense that how you introduce new change. And so I felt very strongly that I wanted to meet with the faculty when I came on board, and I met with many of the faculty, especially the program directors, one-on-one, talked to them about their programs, talked to them, “What does innovation mean to you? Where do you see that there might be an opportunity?” Because the last thing I wanted to do was to disrupt what was working for their programs.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And so approach absolutely matters. This is something I picked up in my health IT implementations, in the sense that it’s not just the outcome, but it’s how you reach that outcome. So, for those that are going to embark on this journey, I think patience is another thing that requires active participation on your part of recognizing that when you’re starting to change a culture or a way of thinking, that does take time, and you have to give yourself that time and have that support from your leadership, that they also know that it will take time.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

But you’ll start to see small things happen that are encouraging, and what I mean by that is you’ll start to get emails from people that will say, “Could you sit down and talk to me about this? Because I want to know a little bit more” or “I was in your lecture, and you said something and I want to talk to you more about it,” or you’ll hear people use the words that you’ve been talking about for a year in meetings, and so that diffusion process starts to happen. So, much of it is just being aware that you are in a role of driving change; change is hard for anyone, it’s not unique to us as nurses, it’s just hard, and having patience, being aware of your approach, being willing to pivot when what you wanted to do, it’s not the right time.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

This year of COVID, I haven’t actively tried to make too many changes because our whole school has had to change how we do, I don’t want to say everything, but a lot, and I don’t feel as though it’s the right time for me to add on another thing to an already very different year than many faculty and students are used to. So, I strategically have continued with some things I knew I wanted to do, but not anything that is a major new idea. And there’s probably more thoughts I have, which if they pop into my head, I’ll share them, but I’ll stop there for now.

Hillary Gamblin:

Thank you. I especially like the approach because if you’re going to convince people to get on board, you really have to think about where they’re coming from, come to a similar basis or goal, so I think that would be extremely important. Thank you for answering all of my questions, you’ve been such a good sport about it. I’m sure your experiences and work at the University of Connecticut have sparked ideas and questions for the participants, so let’s take the next 10, 15 minutes to do a live Q&A. There is still time, if you have not submitted a question, type it in really quickly, right below the video feed. My colleagues have been monitoring your questions and selected a few. Okay, the first one is, “Can you give some examples of innovative strategies you integrated into core nursing courses?”

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Innovative strategies or content?

Hillary Gamblin:

They say “innovative strategies”.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

That I integrated into core courses? Okay. I will start with our first-semester freshmen students. They take a Healthcare Delivery Systems course, and in working with one of the faculty who has been teaching that course, we came up with a plan for how to work with the students, to talk about innovation. So, not just standing in front of the room, or, in this case, virtually, for an hour and defining terms, but we work with the National Patient Safety Goals.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, each year, we pull the list of the National Patient Safety Goals, and these are first-year students, and the students are given time to work in small groups, they are asked, after about 20 minutes of me defining innovation and what it is and why it’s important for healthcare, they’re asked to look at that Patient Safety Goal list and identify a problem that they want to try to solve for. And, in their groups, they propose a solution to that problem, and then present it back to the group.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

I did this in the fall, and, oh my goodness, the ideas. One of the Patient Safety Goals is about identifying patients, and so some of the students, I’m sure, were thinking, “How have we not figured this out yet?” But one student group had thought about a temporary tattoo, providing patients with a temporary tattoo so that there wouldn’t be any way to not identify the patient, and I just thought, “How clever is that?” Whether or not that goes to scale and implementation, that wasn’t the purpose of the exercise, but it was just to get them to think of different ideas. And there were many others, but they were only given 15 minutes to do this exercise, so you don’t need a lot of time to get people to start thinking creatively.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, that’s something with the freshmen. With some of our graduating master’s students, I’ve spent time with them at the end of their academic program, I’ve been invited, the last two years, to talk to them about innovation and the opportunity for potential entrepreneurship in developing their practices, or thinking about how nurse practitioners themselves are an innovation throughout nursing history and presenting that history of how nurse practitioners emerged. So, that’s strategically done at the end of their program, as they’re about to embark on their next journey.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

With our certificate students, one strategy I’ve used is I’ve felt it’s important to bring in different speakers, but I do it in a way as interviews. So, instead of having a speaker provide a guest lecture on their background or their innovation or their company, we do video interviews, and the interviewee is given questions ahead of time of what I will ask, and then we sit for about an hour and do a Q&A. And I think that’s important for the students to see different people in different roles across healthcare innovation. Many of them are from UConn, many of them are not from UConn. And I think that’s important for role modeling, as well as getting different insights from people that maybe they will meet, but maybe listening in a different way sparks something that maybe I can’t convey in that language. So, those are a few strategies that I’ve used, and, again, it depends on the program, it depends on the depth, and it depends on where the students are.

Hillary Gamblin:

Thank you for providing three different examples, I think that’s really helpful, especially at different stages of their education, too. The next question is, “How can AI be used for nursing education innovation?”

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

I’m going to back up from AI for a minute and talk … So, how can artificial intelligence be used for … Repeat the question.

Hillary Gamblin:

Nursing education innovation.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Nursing education innovation. Well, there’s two ways to think about that. There’s artificial intelligence tools and using them in the educational classroom, or where my mind is going is there’s a lot of discussion about the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare, and this may not be the most popular opinion, but I think we still need to have a fundamental understanding of informatics at its core across the profession, not just as an informatics nurse, but everyone needs to really understand that these systems are based off of data and information, and understanding how the data is put together, how it’s organized, where the data’s coming from, data integrity, those core concepts.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

I know that there’s parts of that in the essentials, but I think it could be done deeper because the further we get in looking at these complicated tools, if we don’t understand how these systems are constructed in a way of something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet, I use that when I teach informatics, like, “Let’s look at how this is put together, and then we can start to build on top of that.” So, artificial intelligence, I think it’s not going to not appear; I think for us to truly understand its value, we need to invest more time and attention to really looking at informatics as data information knowledge and wisdom, and taking that a bit away from the automatic link to the computer, because I think that conflates things a little bit.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

I’ve heard some say, it hasn’t happened in a long time, but, “Informatics is about the computer,” and it’s not not about the computer, but it’s a lot more than the computer. So, I think there’s opportunities, for sure, but I think, again, we need to recognize where could that added value be, and not just take it for what might be a emerging trend.

Hillary Gamblin:

Which makes a lot of sense. You made the analogy of going to Home Depot and having all these tools, you have no idea how to use them or how they work, that could be the same for AI.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Right.

Hillary Gamblin:

Okay, so this third question, you touched on it a little bit, but here’s what they asked, “What tools or steps do you take to engage leaders who do not embrace change and innovation?” And then the next part is, “How do you get individuals to become key stakeholders in creating a positive culture of innovation?” So, party-poopers and how to get stakeholders.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Repeat the first question again, I want to make sure I answer it.

Hillary Gamblin:

“What tools or steps do you take to engage leaders who do not want to embrace change and innovation?”

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

I remember, when I was designing the electronic health record years ago, all of my meetings, I was the woman who came and was going to help them reinvent how they were going to use charting, and not everyone was excited about that, not everyone wanted to see me coming. So, some of the things that I learned in that process, I still apply today, in the sense that I know not everyone’s going to be on board, and it would be awkward if I tried to pretend that everybody was on the same page at all times.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

I think there’s something that you learn from those that aren’t quite on board yet. So, let’s call that the late majority or the laggards, so they’re not quite past that 50% threshold, they’ve got questions, they’re not sure how things fit into the equation, maybe it’s a little intimidating, maybe they don’t know how it’s going to fit into their courses. I’m sure there’s so many other reasons that I didn’t just mention. I let people share their opinions, and I let people share their thoughts because I think there’s something you can learn from their point of view when they’re not embracing your proposed change.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And so let someone have their moment to tell you what they think, and there might be questions that maybe you haven’t answered thoroughly yet that you need to go back and answer. So, I take it as knowing that there’s going to be areas where it’s going to be a little bit more challenging to move an idea forward, but then you break that down and say, “Okay, well, what do I need to do to help reach this point where you’re feeling comfortable or you’re willing to get on board? What would that balance be?”

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

So, I think it’s about, again, relationship-building, listening to people, hearing what they’re saying, answering their questions that they have, getting more information, maybe even reframing your proposal a bit to address those concerns, all of these things happen. I think those are some of the things you can do, and just know, with time, that someone will likely come around, maybe not completely, but at least you can have mutual respect for the fact that you don’t share the same opinion, I think that’s okay. And what was the second part of the question?

Hillary Gamblin:

“How do you get individuals to become key stakeholders?”

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

How do you get individuals to become key stakeholders? Well, it’s very helpful if leadership is already interested in making this change. So, in the case of the role that I walked into, that was my situation, in the sense that I had support from my dean, associate deans, our faculty, I was there to help move this needle forward. I still am there. I’m there to move this needle forward.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

And then, from there, I think it just naturally occurs. There’s going to be people that are going to gravitate towards this topic area sooner, rather than others, and so when those individuals start to appear and they want to help or they want to participate, making an effort to find a way where that can happen, or making an active effort to include or talk about different opportunities that are there. Relationship-building.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

You could assign people, I suppose that’s a strategy, assigning people to a committee. I didn’t do that. I have worked to build relationships across different degree programs, courses, areas, asking for feedback after I give lectures, what worked, what didn’t work, what do you want me to do differently, what do you think will work? That’s been my approach. And I learn something each time. So, the stakeholders, I see far more people on board than I do not. There’s not someone that I could think of that is not on board at this moment in time. There may be folks that are not … I think it’s about relationship-building and just continuing to reinforce the ideas of what it is and why this needs to be done.

Hillary Gamblin:

Okay. That’s actually all the time we have for questions, actually. Thank you for everybody that submitted their questions, it really makes this an integrative learning experience for everybody that we can do this live, so thank you for submitting those. Now, before we end, I like to ask all of our guests for three takeaways. So, Dr. Kelley, if you could give our audience three takeaways when it comes to the role of innovation and nursing education, what would they be?

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

The first, if you walk away remembering this, I’ll be really happy: innovation is about bringing positive change to healthcare. Remember that elevator speech. The second, as educators, we really do have the power to transform the lives of students through knowledge, skills, and abilities around innovation science. And the third is that innovation is a science, and if it’s taught at scale, then it can transform our profession and industry for the betterment of society.

Hillary Gamblin:

Thank you. Those are really great takeaways. Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise with us on innovation today. You did this workshop voluntarily, and we appreciate you taking your personal time to talk to other nursing educators. And, on a personal note, not to sound too much like Anna Green Gables, but, here at GoReact, we feel like you’re a kindred spirit because GoReact had a similar origin story. A professor saw a need in higher education, they built technology to solve that problem, and here we are, so we’re inspired and honored that we could share your work and keep the idea of innovation going.

Hillary Gamblin:

We’re actually really grateful to everybody that joined us live, so we actually randomly selected one participant to win a pair of AirPod Pros. Yes, you heard right. I love mine, so you guys are going to love it. Okay, so the winner is, they will send this to me … I should ask for a drum roll. I have yet to … Okay, I’m going to say this wrong. Kylene Menvial. So, yes, you won a pair of AirPod Pros. Congratulations. We will be reaching out to you to make sure that you get your prize. And we’ll be doing this for all of our workshops, going forward, so if you want a chance to win, keep tuning in.

Hillary Gamblin:

We know that this workshop was particularly valuable for all of our participants who were able to join us live, and maybe who are going to be watching this as a recording, so we’re going to make the recording available as soon as possible. We’ll send it in an email, with a link, and all of the slides from today, as well, so watch for that in your inbox. But that is it for today. Thank you to those that participated. Thank you to those behind the scenes that make this look so professional and fantastic. And, of course, thank you to our guest, Dr. Kelley, and we will see you next time.

Dr. Tiffany Kelley:

Thank you for having me, this was great.

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