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Innovation in Nursing Education + Design Thinking for Health with Marion Leary — DT101 E41

Marion Leary is the Director of Innovation at the Pennsylvania School of Nursing. We discuss innovation and nursing education, University of Pennsylvania’s free online Design Thinking for Health platform, nurses as innovation leaders, and why storytelling matters. Show host: Dawan Stanford.

Show Summary

Design thinking was not Marion’s first focus. She was a researcher for 13 years before taking the role of Director of Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She has a dual degree, with a Master’s in Nursing and Public Health. Marion is currently pursuing her Ph.D., focusing on innovation and design thinking around cardiac arrest and bystander response. She is interested in using design thinking to solve problems in nursing and healthcare.

Marion enjoys the empathetic, human-centered approach of creatively solving problems in health and healthcare, which connects with nursing. She is a leader in design thinking and created the course Innovation and Health Foundations of Design Thinking using a flipped-classroom, active-learning approach. This interdisciplinary course at Penn can be taken by upper-level undergraduate or graduate students, regardless of their major.

Learn how Marion collaborates with other departments to create a successful design thinking cohort, how she coordinated the first Penn Nursing Innovation Accelerator Program, and how Marion is integrating design thinking into her curriculum.

Listen to learn:

  • How nursing and design thinking are similar iterative processes
  • More about the Innovation and Health Foundations of Design Thinking course
  • How this design thinking course attracts students from many majors
  • Marion’s experience on campus leading design thinking students
  • Marion’s prediction for long-term trends in nursing and innovative design

Our Guest’s Bio

Marion Leary is the Director of Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing. As the Director of Innovation at Penn Nursing, she works to amplify and educate nurses as leaders in health and healthcare innovation, recently launching a free, online, open access platform called Design Thinking for Health. Ms. Leary is a member of the American Nurses Association’s Innovation Advisory Committee, a Founding member of the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Leaders (SONSIEL), and a member of the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Innovation Subcommittee. This past August 2019, she was named as an Influencer of Healthcare winner in the category of Excellence in Innovation by the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2017, she was named Geek of the Year for her outstanding achievements in Philadelphia’s vibrant geek community in the areas of innovation, technology, and activism.

Show Highlights

[02:22] Marion walks us through her journey to her current position today.
[04:30] How nursing and design thinking are similar processes.
[06:11] Marion describes the design thinking course.
[09:12] Student experience in the design thinking classroom at University of Pennsylvania.
[11:10] Marion’s experience leading design thinking on campus at University of Pennsylvania
[12:30] The first Penn Nursing Innovation Accelerator Program.
[14:05] Her prediction for long-term trends in nursing and innovative design.
[17:14] How do others outside of nursing use Marion’s design thinking resources?
[21:45] Focusing on storytelling as an integral part of design thinking.
[24:49] How healthcare leaders and designers can support nurses in their role.
[27:28] The type of listening that comes with nursing training.
[31:44] Scope of practice and human-centered design.
[35:45] How Marion is integrating design thinking into her curriculum.
[39:14] Resources to use for learning first-aid and first response techniques.


Design Thinking 101
Fluid Hive Design Innovation
Design Thinking for Health
Design For Health at UPenn
UPENN nursing
Health Design Thinking by Bon Ku and Ellen Lupton
Design resources at UPenn
Marion Leary on Twitter
Marion Leary on the Web
Marion Leary Nursing Profile

Design Thinking 101 Episodes You Might Like

Designer’s Role in Healthcare & Public Health + Studio Thinking with Jess Roberts — DT101 E21

Nursing + Service Design + Healthcare Innovation with Brittany Merkle — DT101 E38

Healthcare Design Teams + Wellness + ScienceXDesign with Chris McCarthy — DT101 E24

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