The Engine of Nurse Innovation
The Engine of Nurse Innovation
Serving at the forefront of the nurse entrepreneurship movement, the National Nurses in Business Association, NNBA, is dedicated to promoting and advancing nurses in business since 1985. As the current President of the NNBA, I’ve personally witnessed the powerful and sweeping vision of nurse innovation in the 21st century. The scope of nurses’ influence is amazing, and those of us who’ve watched the profession grow are awestruck by how nursing continues to come into its own.
Box? What Box?
From its earliest days under the guidance of Florence Nightingale, the original nurse innovator, we’ve seen an explosion of nurses willing to think outside of the box; in fact, many of the most powerful nurse influencers active in the profession today likely ignore the existence of the box altogether.
Nurses are no longer willing to accept limits placed upon the course of their careers. The horizon for nurses has expanded exponentially, and the roads to that horizon are being traveled by courageous nurses willing to bridge the distance.
From nurse inventors and entrepreneurs to nurses creating novel paths as clinicians, educators, and researchers, we’re shaping an exciting future filled with the promise of innovation uncoupled from the profession’s historically limited role and status.
Expanding Definitions, Expanding Minds
Ask the average person on the street who nurses are and what they do, and the answer will more often than not define nurses as trusted professionals who care for sick people in hospitals. We can’t blame the public for this view of the nursing profession – the media constantly reinforces this limited image of nursing based on their own ignorance. In fact, many nurses are themselves unaware to the almost limitless options open to exploration.
Stoking the Fires of Nurse Entrepreneurship
I’m personally waiting for the day when nurse entrepreneurs enter the mainstream of public consciousness and for healthcare delivery systems to recognize the vast potential of its largest number of healthcare providers – nurses. Nonetheless we continue to make headway, and the National Nurses in Business Association is at the forefront of the movement.
At this year’s 2018 NNBA National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, nurses from all walks of life and professional backgrounds converged for yet another stellar weekend of networking, education, camaraderie, and mutual support. Nurses with diverse backgrounds, passions and pursuits filled the conference area. The breadth and depth of experience demonstrated within the NNBA universe still astounds, and our largest conference ever still retained its feeling of family and supportive community.
The Nurse Innovator Brain Trust
From the standpoint of inspiration, keynote speaker LeAnn Thieman brought tears to the eyes of attendees as she told the moving story of how she participated in saving orphaned Vietnamese babies, including adopting one baby boy herself. LeAnn went on to describe her incredible journey of serendipity, accomplishment, and success, even as she doubted her own worth as a nurse innovator and influencer. And yet, LeAnn went on to become a New York Times bestselling author and Hall of Fame Legend Speaker.
The NNBA annual conference offers attendees ready access to nurse superstars like Donna Cardillo, Renee Thompson, Brittney Wilson, and Louise Jakubik — these nurses have paved the way for their peers, testing the market and raising awareness of nurses’ true capabilities.
The NNBA was the first nursing organization to hold a Shark Tank competition for nurse’s to have an opportunity to showcase their innovative products, services, and programs. Seven nurses competed for awards, prizes and strategy sessions with business experts. Laura Futrell won our 2018 NNBA Shark Tank. She unveiled her multi-faceted, online program, “Patient Learning Center” which educates and advocates for women with breast cancer about their breast reconstruction options.
The wider NNBA community is truly a brain trust of like-minded individuals engaged in varying stages of the entrepreneurial journey. At our annual NNBA gathering, lifelong connections are made, business partnerships are forged, and friendships are solidified.
When curious and intelligent nurses converge on the annual NNBA conference, they bring their dreams, creativity, aspirations, and plans for success. The NNBA family offers a laboratory where nurses bounce ideas around, pick the brains of experts, and find common ground and shared challenges than can often be solved through the crowd-sourcing potential of a cohesive and supportive nurse entrepreneur community.
A Nurse-Powered Movement
The National Nurses in Business Association is a gateway to emotional support and practical encouragement for nurse innovators. As our brain trust grows, NNBA members reap the rewards of a community bursting with enthusiasm, creativity, groundbreaking innovation, and mutuality.
Based on the buzz surrounding our continued successful growth as a nurse-powered organization, I believe strongly that the future of the NNBA is assured. With a dedicated Advisory Board and the enthusiasm of our growing membership, we’ll continue to serve as an engine for nurse innovation, influence, and thought leadership in boardrooms, operating rooms, and business offices throughout the United States and the world at large.
The sky’s the limit for nurses willing to put some skin in the game, and the NNBA will stand by its members as they lift off into the stratosphere with experience, wisdom, and a community that supports their courageous efforts. Nurse entrepreneurs rock, and I’m truly humbled by the ongoing success of the NNBA and its stellar members.