Celebrating Nurses and Their Impact on Healthcare Advancements

A nurse smiling and sitting at a table with a crowd of nurses in the background
Photo by SDI Productions

As the largest group of healthcare professionals in the U.S., nurses provide care across all areas of the healthcare system and care settings. Honoring these healthcare professionals during National Nurses Week is a fantastic way to support the impact they have on the health and well-being of every person in our communities. 

From investing in the future of healthcare by creating better nurse practitioner jobs to innovating within the best nursing schools across the U.S., collectively we can build momentum for systematic improvement for patients, nurses and all healthcare professionals, too. 

Let’s take it a step further by offering opportunities beyond standard nursing qualifications. By exploring entrepreneurial thinking, for example, we can help nursing students develop the skills they need for successful careers in healthcare or healthcare innovation. This way, lifelong learning becomes second nature, benefiting our communities as a whole.

Nurses make the difference


A nurse smiling with text that reads Nurses make the Difference for Nurses Week

May 6th through 12th is National Nurses Week. As we recognize and acknowledge the commitment, strength, and value of nurses, we spark a conversation that ripples across communities about the importance of showing gratitude to these professionals and encouraging the next generation of nurses as well.

For 2024, the American Nurses Association has selected the theme “Nurses Make the Difference” to honor the varying roles of nurses and their positive impact on our lives. Nurses make a difference as trusted advocates who ensure individuals, families, and communities receive quality patient care and services. 

Nurses also make a difference in the future of healthcare. With an aging population and incredible advances in treatments and technology, nurses have the opportunity to lead and support the constant changes that improve healthcare for everyone. 

Healthcare on campus

It benefits all of us when we find ways to inspire nurses to maintain their motivation throughout their careers. Invested and prepared nurses contribute to our collective goal of improving quality and expanding access. Plus, investing in preparing future nurses is a smart move. The College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University is approaching this in several ways, from innovative coursework to state-of-the-art simulation experiences

The Health Entrepreneurship Accelerator Lab (HEALab) is another way ASU invests in healthcare. HEALab is an idea and innovation incubator held within the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. It serves as a hub for fostering innovative solutions across various health industries. While organically drawing in students from ASU Nursing and Health Innovation degree programs, its reach extends beyond healthcare, embracing a diverse array of disciplines across ASU. 

Students, faculty and staff all embark upon HEALab resources to assist in finding a mentor, prepare for a pitch competition or just talk through their next steps with like-minded health entrepreneurs. Recognizing that innovation flourishes through interdisciplinary cooperation, the HEALab nurtures the potential of its participants to become trailblazers in healthcare, so they are poised to revolutionize the industry.

In addition to supporting a variety of healthcare ideas and ventures year round, this summer the HEALab is planning a collaborative project with a local major healthcare provider to transform a piece of equipment that nurses utilize daily. The most brilliant and creative group of students from nursing, health innovation, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, human user experience and business management will all collaborate on this exciting solution. This combination of students participating in this year’s HEALab internship will ignite a synergistic spark that will transform ideas into impactful solutions.

ASU students reimagining healthcare


Three people and a mascot smiling and holding a large check at Venture Devils Demo day
Sam Bregman, Founder of Melts and a winner at Venture Devils Demo day

Students and faculty are exploring entrepreneurship across campus in many forms and at a variety of stages. Future healthcare professionals at ASU are innovating in many ways. At HEALab, student founders show their dedication and commitment through their healthcare solutions. It’s a testament to the potential that lies ahead for the future of healthcare.

We connected with three impressive student founders who are participants at HEALab. Their perspectives are truly inspiring. It’s amazing to see how support from various sources is collectively empowering the next generation of healthcare innovators.

Sam Bregman, CEO and Founder of Melts and recent $50k winner of ASU’s Investment Competition and Venture Devils Demo Day $5k prize recipient tells us about his journey with the resources and opportunities at ASU.

“The HEALab has been instrumental in Melts’ success. Erika and Dr. Collins have provided critical mentorship, connected us with people who recently joined our team, and intro’d us to an ASU lab where we are conducting efficacy studies this summer. The HEALab is a place that helps bring your healthcare innovation idea to life.”

Ashwaq Mohamed, Founder of Dawee Mascaxda and Health Entrepreneurship and Innovation Student Club President tells us about her experience with HEALab.

“My experience with the HEALab was truly transformative. As a student, it’s difficult to know where to start. Thankfully, the HEALab provided me with the tools and resources to transform my dream into a reality.” 

Ashlyn Varner, Founder of SonoBuddy and Venture Devils Demo Day $6k prize recipient tells us about her view on the future of healthcare.

“Technological advancements in healthcare help pave the way to efficient patient care and a better future. Having the confidence to notice an issue, and taking a chance to develop a solution could potentially impact people around the world.”

Improving healthcare through research and innovation

ASU is one of the fastest-growing research institutions in the U.S. In addition to supporting healthcare students, ASU’s research is advancing innovative solutions that will enhance patient outcomes and the overall healthcare landscape.

ASU faculty, staff and students are fundamentally changing the way the world solves problems. At ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise, Human Health is one area of focus, from developing new diagnostics and therapies to ensuring equitable access to care. Overall, the research conducted at ASU is next level. These initiatives will not only benefit the future of communities all over the globe, but they’ll also help ASU students achieve a fulfilling career of compassion and care.

Let’s keep celebrating nurses for all they do. They’re an inspiration! To all the nursing students, you have a bright path ahead, where you can make a real difference in the lives of others. If you’re interested, the HEALab program is open to ASU students of any major, faculty, staff and community members. Take the next step in your healthcare journey, learn more on our website.

Erika Griffin and Jackie Gutierrez

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