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The Center of Nursing Collaboration, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (CONCEPT) fosters creative, relevant and robust innovation at the Duke University School of Nursing. The objective is to move great ideas from the bench to the bedside, and from the classroom into the national conversation.

Through consulting services, networking resources, and seed funding to get great ideas off the ground, CONCEPT provides a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship at Duke University School of Nursing, and serves as a gateway to the greater campus community, including colleagues from fields such as biomedical engineering, business, law, and social entrepreneurship.

At Duke, entrepreneurship is viewed in the broadest possible sense. Entrepreneurship develops sustainable new programs and projects to solve problems and address serve social needs. Through CONCEPT, the faculty, staff and students of DUSON can become adept in the entrepreneurial process of transforming ideas into sustainable initiatives in the service of society.

Current CONCEPT initiatives include:
DUSON “Raise the Voice” Campaign. The first step in fueling health care innovation is ensuring that the rest of the world can see what individual nurses are already doing to transform health care for the better. The American Academy of Nursing (AAN), in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is raising the national visibility of nurse innovators through its “Raise the Voice” campaign. In October 2011, CONCEPT launched a DUSON version of the national Raise the Voice campaign with the intent of raising our visibility both within the Duke community and also beyond.

Co-Curricular Planning. The Duke University School of Nursing is in conversation with faculty from other Schools within Duke University regarding the possibility of integrating co-curricular, experiential learning activities into the course offerings for School of Nursing students interested in healthcare innovation and the design of creative, relevant, and robust solutions to clinical challenges.

Seed Funding. CONCEPT fosters faculty innovation through its CATALYST Innovation Award competition each semester. The award serves to identify faculty teams interested in working with CONCEPT on innovation projects of strategic importance to the School.

For Fall 2011, the Innovation Award went to Mike Scott and Penny Cooper in support of their proposal, “Using Multimedia Applications with Longitudinal Case Studies: An Online Approach to Nurse Practitioner Clinical Development.” The project begins with an inventive approach to teaching and a pedagogical challenge with strategic importance for nursing education in an era of increasing reliance on distance education.

Their inventive approach to teaching N334: Managing Common Acute and Chronic Health Problems II focuses class interaction over the entire 13-week semester on the unfolding life histories and health trajectories of two fully-realized characters whose health trajectories from early adulthood to end-of-life formed the basis for in-class discussion of key concepts and treatment issues. The challenges they confront now that the course is being offered to students at a distance involves moving their active learning technique from the classroom to the fully online realm. The proposed solution involves exploiting a media-rich “software for storytellers,” a category of easy-to-use media production tools first embraced by online photojournalists and documentarians to engage audiences in complex narratives through carefully selected images synced with evocative audio tracks. This project has all the elements of an idea worth pursuing:

  1. a promising teaching technique;
  2. supported by an easy-to-use, cost-effective technology; 
  3. in service of a School-wide priority, in this case the development and advancement of innovation in distance education.