Educating the next generation of nurses to be innovators and change agents.


University of Connecticut School of Nursing, United States of America. Electronic address: [Email]


With over 4 million nurses in the United States and an ever changing health care environment, undergraduate nursing faculty must consider proactively educating students on essential principles of innovation within the core curriculum. New nurses must be prepared to identify and facilitate innovations to enhance patient and populations outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to describe an approach to prepare the next generation of registered nurses to be innovators and change agents through a Health Care Innovation Program within an undergraduate nursing program. The paper describes the importance of innovations within nursing and provides details on the curriculum and approach used to incorporate health care innovations content and application. Examples of health care innovation student projects are provided. An evaluation of the program after three years of implementation assessed graduates' use of taught innovation principles and their own innovative behaviors. The majority of graduates described using innovation principles taught in the Program and scored high on innovation self-efficacy. Graduates with higher average innovation scores were more likely to engage in innovative behavior. A national conversation is encouraged to ensure our educational programs are effectively preparing the future generation of nurses to be innovators and change agents.


Health care innovation,Innovation,Innovative behaviors,Nursing education,Nursing leadership,Nursing practice,

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