Why MakerNurse?

MakerNurse is working to understand how nurses have been innovating and making for more than 100 years, and how best to nurture that creativity and ingenuity.

We want to empower nurses in bringing their ideas into realization. For ideas to go from napkin sketches into something we can hold in our hand they have to be made. Physically made. So our team at MakerNurse is really focused on understanding what tools and materials you’re using as you are out there trying things out, making everyday prototypes, and coming up with solutions.

Roxana Reyna, RN making a prototype with a simulation mannequin at Driscoll Children’s Hospital Expedition Site in Corpus Christi, Texas

Roxana Reyna, RN making a prototype with a simulation mannequin at Driscoll Children’s Hospital Expedition Site in Corpus Christi, Texas

In the end, we want to collect and identify the tools and practices that nurses, healthcare providers and patients around the world can adopt to have a better chance of making their own medical innovation. We are not focused on re-creating, fabricating, or finishing an idea for the healthcare community. We care about creating things so others can create. We’re more interested in understanding the materials you use than what you use them for. That’s how we’ll propel system change to democratize medical fabrication in line with our approach to healthcare.

Let’s borrow from music for a second. If MakerNurse was focused instead on musicians, we would be more interested what types of sounds they want to make so we could look at the right types of musical instruments they should have access to. We would ask you what it was like to get others hear you perform. What type of response you got from your audience. What could make things better for you? It’s less important for us to get a sneak peak at the full recording of your hit song to make that happen. That said, it makes our job a lot easier if we hear those songs in the first place, but what we are distilling from that conversation is the process and the fundamentals of how they came into being.

We want to encourage making. We want to understand how nurses are being recognized so that we can develop policies that make the environment more supportive. We want to understand how you’re sharing your initial ideas so that we can make that environment more productive and safer. We want to bring recognition for nursing innovation to the forefront of the healthcare community so more nurses can get known for being the holders of solutions.

Let’s protect nurse innovation. That means ensuring nurses who are approached by designers and product development consultancies, have the knowledge to engage in a meaningful conversation. And that they are participating in the process of crafting a design into something they can hold in their hands not just something they could describe in a patent application to be made by others. Nurse should know how to prototype their idea and protect it if they can and if they want to. Nurses should own more of the solution, not just own the problem. This is important distinction. Pointing out a challenge opportunity overlooked by others in a healthcare setting is only the beginning of a long road. It’s being able to follow through with a robust solution that matters. Equipping nurses to play at the level is part of the MakerNurse mission so you can collaborate with confidence.

Help us build a community. Community is central to making. Our website is a platform where nurses can share and learn from one another, so that solutions spread beyond the unit where they were discovered.

Getting solutions for our patients out there. How will you take your innovation to the next level? That’s called diffusion and there’s many flavors to it. We’re exploring what are the many forms it takes when it comes to MakerNurse devices. Sometimes it’s a How-To published in a journal or on a website. Sometimes it’s a protocol that gets embedded in a curriculum. Sometimes it’s a company . And sometimes it’s the ability of making an item that becomes so pervasive it simply becomes part of a culture of making in health. Makers diffuse things in many ways.


Viral, Massive Diffusion: Tennis balls on walkers

Viral, Massive Diffusion: Tennis balls on walkers

We’re serious about protecting you. We are learning from nurses through our survey and through our expedition sites. Through this research, we are bound by confidentiality agreements and IRB regulations to keep all survey submissions private. Our expedition sites also include custom regulations for intellectual property that are drafted by internal counsel from teach hospital – to protect nurse ideas. We hope you will join us.

  • Sign up for updates
  • Share your story and example of making
  • Join the conversation and give feedback to other MakerNurses
  • Host a meet-up