Every School of Nursing student is educated on health care and nursing innovation within their core program curriculum.

All students have the opportunity to pursue an idea for innovation development with mentored guidance in the School of Nursing and the University at large.

Innovation is a core value of the University of Connecticut. We are dedicated to discovery and communication of breakthrough and foundational ideas; to translation and collaboration across disciplines and communities; and to positive transformation through research, scholarship, and creative works.

Students hold a poster at the annual ATHENA conference and poster session.

Healthcare Innovation Online Graduate Certificate

Offered through the School of Nursing, the Healthcare Innovation Online Graduate Certificate is a 12-credit program that brings together nurses and health care professionals who share a common goal of developing solutions and introducing positive change to the industry.

While nurses, health care professionals, and others have to be innovators in their day-to day-work, their innovations tend to be work-arounds that deliver the necessary care to each patient on a case-by-case basis. Daily work-arounds expose existing gaps in standard system-level solutions and can be indicators of formal innovation opportunities.

Student and Faculty Innovations


Portraits of students Ellen Quintana and Kelsey MarcAurele.

Ellen Quintana ’21 (NUR), left, invented a patent-pending antimicrobial shield that adheres to the front of a standard box of gloves, thereby reducing the volume of potential microbes going into the box while also reducing waste by only allowing one glove to exit the box at a time. Kelsey MarcAurele ’22 (NURS), right, is her partner on the project.

Concussion Watch

Joey Fetta ’18 (NUR) identified an opportunity to support individuals who are recovering from a concussion or traumatic brain injury at home with a device that helps monitor symptoms at an individualized level.




Breastfeeding Diagnostic Device (BDD)

A depiction of the Breastfeeding Diagnostic Device.

Assistant Professor Ruth Lucas invented a biomedical device created to identify where and what is triggering the point of failure in breastfeeding leading to early breastfeeding cessation.




Know My Patient®

A depiction the Know My Patient app is depicted on a phone screen.

DeLuca Foundation Visiting Professor for Innovations and New Knowledge in Nursing Tiffany Kelley saw the need to provide essential information to health care professionals through a mobile application that promotes interoperable use of data between a mobile software application and an electronic health record (EHR).


Additional Innovation Resources at UConn

Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Grants and Accelerator Programs

UConn offers several programs that support innovation development across all stages from initial seed funding to venture development and commercialization. Funding is available on a competitive basis to UConn-affiliated and Connecticut-based companies through many state-funded and private sources.

Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Werth Institute serves the University of Connecticut through an interdisciplinary approach to entrepreneurship and innovation that is inclusive of existing and new programs. We facilitate opportunities for all students, while continually driving to promote the University’s academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular programs.

Technology Innovation Fellows & Commercialization Services Programs

Summer research fellowships are available for undergraduate and masters’ nursing students in bioscience, health, and bioengineering inter-related areas. Students are paired with on-campus UConn-affiliated startup companies for mentored research internships and fellowships in business or STEM areas.

Innovation Guest Speaker - Dr. Shanina Knighton, Ph.D., RN, CIC

Shanina C. Knighton, Ph.D., RN, CIC, virtually presented "Curiosity and Change-Making: Innovation in Nursing" on Nov. 3, 2021.

Knighton, a clinical nurse scientist and infection preventionist, is faculty at Case Western Reserve University. Her research focuses on design, development, & evaluation of technology-based interventions including the use of wearable sensors, machine learning and simple technology to support patient self-management with a specific focus on helping older adults manage their care in various settings. Her work focuses on infection prevention and control including technology-based interventions to improve patient hand hygiene, identification of harmful bacteria and viruses on patients’ hands, and strategies for implementing infection prevention guidelines in different settings. During COVID-19, Dr. Knighton has been instrumental in innovating and providing practical prevention tools and guidelines to community members, small businesses, community organizations and public officials.