Quiz: A Nurse Invented That? Inventiveness, Ingenuity, and Innovation in Nurses

Laura A. Stokowski, RN, MS


June 06, 2014

Nurses invent all the time, but you will rarely find them at the patent office. Similarly, their ideas are rarely thought of as "inventions," but instead as "creative solutions" or "workarounds." Lacking the resources to follow through on their ideas, nurses typically share them with one another or their coworkers but do not often achieve recognition or rewards (monetary or otherwise) from what they invent.

Consequently, the pages of history are almost empty of documented inventions by nurses, and those that can be found suggest that nurses tend to invent everyday items that help a great many people in small, rather than lifesaving, ways. No doubt, nurses have been involved in coming up with many more ideas than they have been given credit for, but unfortunately those stories are lost to us now.

So, although nurses may not go down in history for inventing antibiotics or MRI scanners, they have achieved an impressive list of practical discoveries. Take our quiz and see how much you know about the inventiveness of your professional colleagues, past and present.


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