Acknowledging Personal Growth through Public Speaking

Last week I had some major flashbacks this afternoon as I approached the Northeastern campus. I was invited to speak on innovation in nursing and healthcare to graduate nursing students. I’ve done this annually for the last several years.

As I approached the classroom, I had memories of rushing to class two nights a week for 4 years after being at work all day. I used to park in this garage as I would rush to make it to class on time.


I then spoke for 2 1/2 hours straight tonight 😳🤣.

As I left, I remembered how much I greatly disliked speaking in front of a class 10+ years ago.

I’d stress about it all day.

My knee caps would shake while I tried to remember what I wrote on my notecards.

I wouldn’t think about anything else but the fact I needed to do that for about 5 minutes, 10 at most.

Now I enjoy it and find it one of the fun parts of my job.

While I’m talking, I don’t think about anything else going on in my day. I make fun of myself and laugh about it. Most importantly, I hope the students think differently as they leave about the opportunities that might catch them by surprise at some point in their career.


**If you are interested in having me come to speak at your event, school, conference etc., please do reach out at and I’d be happy to discuss further**

Nightingale’s November Newsletter: Are you subscribed?

Are you subscribed to the Nightingale Apps‘ newsletter? Here is the one just released yesterday for November.

If interested in receiving it, let us know at

PS…something really fun is coming your way early 2018!! We’re working on it now and will share more details when able .

To read our newsletter from November, click here. Enjoy!

We have the ability to make change.

Tonight I spoke to a group of graduate nursing students at Northeastern University about how to look at daily problems as opportunities to form impactful solutions.

Too often we just accept that ‘this is just the way that it is’ and keep battling the challenges that really don’t make sense when you have a moment to stop and think about them.

So what do you do? Well let’s think about the linen cart.

Tonight I asked the group how many had experienced a situation where there was never enough linen on the cart to change the bed or bathe the patient or get a new onesie or johnny for the patient. The vast majority raised their hands.

So why is it that we all experience this but yet it remains an issue? I think part of it is that we aren’t speaking up to ask why and help to solve the problem. I think we also haven’t necessarily been trained to recognize these issues as solvable problems. Instead, we view them as individual workarounds. Yet, it wastes valuable time that could be spent caring for the patient instead of running after linen on another unit. There is no reason why this needs to continue.

The same is true with many different workarounds that nurses, health care professionals, patients and families face each day in the health care delivery process. Tonight I encouraged the group to think about what bothers them or affects their ability to provide the best care and see how it could be solved.

If we don’t start to take on some of these issues within our profession, we will continue to workaround them. We have the ability to make change, we simply need to begin and/or continue to take action.



Post originally appeared on LinkedIn on November 7th, 2017

Health Tech Venture Network Female Entrepreneurship Conference: Recap

A nice recap of the HealthTech Venture Network Female Entrepreneurship Conference on October 7th in Seaport Boston.

“To hear the other women’s stories and to hear how similar, not necessarily the specifics are, but just the accounts of the day-to-day… I felt like I was in the right place. And there are so many times you feel like you’re not in the right place. So that was really rewarding for me.” – Tiffany Kelley of Nightingale Apps

Female Entrepreneurs in Health Tech at their Finest: a HTVN17 Recap



Nightingale’s Innovative Nurse (October): Dr. Shanina Knighton PhD RN

Meet Dr. Shanina Knighton:
The Entrepreneur in Patient Hand Hygiene


Describe your initial interest in patient hand hygiene? 

As a student nurse during my clinical rotations I would often hear about the importance of healthcare worker hand hygiene, but with flu outbreaks such as Swine and H1N1 being an issue at the time I wondered why patients did not practice hand hygiene. I asked my clinical instructor who said, “Our hands being clean matters more than patients.” I disagreed and wanted to theoretically understand how a population that comes to hospital settings because of illness could not be a risk to contaminating others.

What was the problem that you saw which was not being addressed? 

Throughout my years as a nursing student and now as a nurse, I repeatedly observed patients’ deficient hand hygiene practices. I would provide them with resources which they could not and would not use because of being sick, weak, bedbound or forgetful. I would watch them struggle to use the wall dispensers, sinks, hand sanitizer bottles and wipes.

As a nurse, I knew the burden and frustration of not being able to assist patients with hand hygiene every time they blew their nose, used their urinals, touched their wounds, or simply just wanted to clean their hands. Without many studies to support my phenomena, I created a patient-smart hand sanitation dispenser that affixes to the patient’s bedrail, reminds the patient when and how to clean their hands and advocates for the patient by telling others coming near to clean their hands. I remember pitching my product in front of a group of investors for an innovation startup fund and being rejected by a guy with no nursing background that said, “You seem nice…but only healthcare workers cause infections.”

What was a turning point for you in your efforts to support patients with hand hygiene? 

My expertise and years of experience was overshadowed by someone that never practiced as a clinician. That day changed my life. I said, “If entrepreneurs, inventors, investors, healthcare leaders whom have never practiced heavily influence products and services used by patients and nurses WITHOUT nurses, something is wrong.” Furthermore, I noticed that there was not much research or policies out there to support my claim that patients carry pathogens on their hands and have poor hand hygiene practice.

How did your entrepreneurial journey begin? 

I remember walking into Frances Payne Bolton School of nursing and saying, “I am an entrepreneur and infection control leader and I want to study patient hand hygiene because our patients need usable products.” I will never forget the words of Dr. Jaclene Zauszniewski, “Well study it then, let me tell you about out PhD Program.” Entrepreneurship launched my nursing career in research and research enhances the depth of innovation, collaboration and impact that I am and will be as an entrepreneur and researcher.