Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (March 21, 2023) -- The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing recently announced the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship Program (JJNIF), powered by Penn Nursing and the Wharton School–a ground-breaking, one-year, team-based nursing fellowship for Chief Nursing Officers (CNO), nurse executives, and senior nurse leaders. The fellowship is unique in that two nurse leaders – one Chief Nursing Officer or nurse executive and one other senior nurse leader from the same organization – participate and work together to address a real-world challenge their health system is facing.

The fellowship will immerse participants in the innovation process by focusing on human-centered design and design thinking methodologies and will teach fellows how to apply it to their specific challenge area. The innovation curriculum provided by Penn Nursing will be paired with business acumen, change management and strategic leadership skills development through Wharton Executive Education. At the conclusion of the fellowship, fellows will pitch their innovative solutions with the goal of bringing that solution back to their healthcare system to implement. The sponsorship of the fellowship covers all attendance and travel costs for participants.

“Health care systems are complex organizations where patients and families are cared for during vulnerable times in their lives, said Penn Nursing’s Therese Richmond, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation. “Nurses are on the frontlines of care across the entire system and identify problems that impede humanistic, patient-centered, and equitable care. Who better than nurses to tackle these problems and transform care to achieve optimal outcomes.”

During the fellowship, participants will work on a health care problem specific to their health system. While two-person teams from each health system are required to attend all in-person and virtual sessions, fellows may invite extended team members from their health system who can help them identify the problem and develop their solutions to attend virtual sessions as needed. The program will conclude with a final in-person pitch session where fellows will describe the problem they are addressing and their recommended solution. Teams from ten different US health systems will be selected to participate in the upcoming fellowship cohort. “This is a tremendous opportunity for CNOs and senior nurse leaders to learn how to use innovation, paired with business acumen, to transform healthcare” said Marion Leary RN, MSN, MPH, Director of Innovation.

The JJNIF program is a combination of in-person and virtual sessions, and teams are expected to attend all sessions. The program begins with a virtual half-day kick-off meeting in early June 2023, followed by an in-person 5-day Summer Innovation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, from June 26-30, 2023. Following the Summer Innovation Institute, there are three 2-day virtual synchronous sessions (one each quarter) throughout the year and a 2-day in-person closing event at Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters in New Brunswick, NJ, on May 22-23, 2024.