What is “making”?

With the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset, people use their creativity to design, invent, make and re-imagine everyday devices, using unique applications of technology  and off-the-shelf materials.

What is a maker nurse?

MakerNurses are the problem solvers and patient advocates who live and work in the heart of our healthcare system. MakerNurses recognize the opportunity for better patient care through improved technology or new design. Sometimes these improvements are within their reach to create. Other times, these innovative ideas remain a sketch on the back of a napkin, waiting for the right support to bring them into realization.

What are nurses making?

Across the country, nurse are reimagining their supply closet and using everyday materials from Legos, to Velcro, to help patients heal. We’ve met nurses who are making custom bandages in the NICU, adapting pill bottles to make them easier for geriatric patients to use, and wrapping hospital blankets in medical tape to make a tiny donut to cushion a child’s back. Check out our blog for more stories and share your own story with us.


What exactly is MakerNurse?

MakerNurse is an initiative of MakerHealth. MakerNurse provides tools, resources and community to support nurses to innovate and bring nurse making to the forefront of health care.

Is MakerNurse an incubator for ideas?

No. We are not focused on re-creating, fabricating, or finishing an idea for the healthcare community. We care about empowering others to create.

Is MakerNurse an event?

No. But we can help you organize a Hospital Mini Maker Faire to highlight examples of making health in your hospital that allow for excellent patient care and create a forum for exchange of ideas among staff from all departments. Contact us.

I’m a nurse. How can MakerNurse help me?

Our blog and MakerNurse Create platform provide a forum for nurses to come together to share their stories of medical making and learn from one another. We also work directly with health care institutions to empower nurses across the nation to develop solutions and technologies that improve patient health.

How can my health care institute work with MakerNurse?

The IOM report, The Future of Nursing, calls on health care organizations to support and help nurses in taking the lead in developing and adopting innovative, patient-centered care models and engaging nurses and other front-line staff in the design, development, purchase, implementation, and evaluation of medical and health devices and health information technology products. MakerNurse partners with health care institutions to create and encourage a culture of making among nursing staff. Learn more

What is the MakerHealth™ Space at UTMB Health?

In September 2015, MakerNurse and UTMB Health launched the nation’s first medical makerspace in John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. Read more about it here.

How are nurses sharing their ideas?

Sometimes it’s word of mouth, with nurses teaching others in their unit how to recreate their device. 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 picked up by a company. And sometimes it’s the ability of making an item that becomes so pervasive it simply becomes part of a culture of health care. The MakerNurse blog and MakerNurse Create are another platform where nurses can share and learn from one another, so that solutions spread beyond the unit where they were born.

How can we protect nurse ideas and innovation?

Nurses should own more of the solution, not just own the problem. Pointing out a challenge 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 this level is part of the MakerNurse mission.

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. Nurses should know how to prototype their idea and protect it if they can and if they want to.

Through MakerNurse, we hope to empower nurses to be the holders of solutions and bring their ideas into realization, and build recognition for nurses as problem solvers and innovators.

Why focus on nurses?

Closer to the patient than conventional engineering labs in America, nurses are uniquely positioned to spot suboptimal technology and design break-through solutions to improve care. With an idea in mind, nurses often partner with other health care providers and even patients and caregivers, to build and test their solution.

Is this only about nurses?

Health making facilities for physicians, caregivers, and patients are also being developed across the country as part of MakerHealth, the parent initiative of MakerNurse. Learn more at www.makerhealth.co

Is this only about inpatient care?

No. We know there are maker nurses in every setting, from hospitals to homes and schools.

How can I get involved?

Check out ways to get involved, sign up for updates and share your story.