Inspired to improve healthcare

Entrepreneurship education engaging students to improve healthcare!

By Gunn-Berit Neergård, researcher at SFU Engage

In august, the graduate students of nursing education at NTNU were invited to participate in a three-day innovation camp. The students were introduced to innovation, entrepreneurship, authentic challenges by industry actors and collaborative team work. The camp ended with a pitch competition after four intensive days of working with healthcare challenges in the Norwegian context.

The NTNU nursing faculty has provided this camp to their students for six years, with various stakeholders and pedagogical solutions – for instance by throwing an online innovation camp during the Covid-19 shut down of society in 2020. For 2022 they had given the students the choice of participating – the camp was no longer a mandatory part of the education to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This seems to be an interesting pedagogical choice that might be fruitful; at 8AM more than a hundred nursing students found the innovation camp relevant to their careers as future nurses, and attended the lectures in the big auditorium at Øya helsehus. Being there by their own choice might influence the atmosphere and cause less resistance than mandatory participation. This is for sure an interesting pedagogical test, knowing from research that «forced» participation in innovation camps for nursing students has come with some protests and negative attitudes among students. As another interesting change, the faculty is now exploring a four-day programme as compared to a previous three-day programme. This is also a change that might suit the students well, as previous research show that students experience three-day camps as too short, with few real opportunities to gain knowledge about authentic challenges and potential solutions. It is impressive to see the faculty implement such research-based pedagogical changes!

Engage has been present at the innovation camp with lectures and student mentors from Spark* since the very beginning in 2017. This year, researcher and nurse Gunn-Berit Neergård opened the camp with an introductory lecture about entrepreneurship. She also shared her story becoming an entrepreneur through the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship. She was very happy to be ‘back home’ at her old campus, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing!

Engage look forward to following the innovation camp for nurses in the years ahead, and wish the students and faculty all the best with this year’s camp.

Interested in research about entrepreneurship education for nursing students?

Enabling Entrepreneurial Empowerment Through a Three-Day Entrepreneurship Camp

Innovation camp for nursing students: Igniting an entrepreneurial spirit in three days

From the Engage blog: The value of entrepreneurial nurses