UPenn Nursing Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation

The Course

Nurses are natural innovators, and this course is a resource to get you started! We created this curriculum so that nurses, no matter their experience, setting, or location, could join us in designing a healthier future.

Why take the course?

This course will provide you with a new framework to think strategically about how to design meaningful change in health and healthcare. It will expand your knowledge and help you think bigger.

How The Course Works

Here are a few tips to help you navigate through the content.

What’s included?

The course has five modules: Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. Each module represents a stage in the Design Thinking process. For each module, there is material for you to watch, listen, read and do, with activities to help bring it all to life.

Go in Order (sort of)

We highly recommend you review the course modules in order, but we encourage you to explore all other content on the platform, such as our case studies and podcasts, at any time.

Take your Time

This course is designed to fit your lifestyle and schedule. You can review material at anytime and at any pace. The content will always be here for you to view. All modules have a recommended time associated with them so you know how long each section will take to complete.

Have Fun!

Have fun with the course and let it inspire you to get creative. We know everyone learns differently so we made sure to include multiple modalities, such as video, text, and audio to keep you engaged.


Design Thinking is about having a bias toward action and learning by doing. We encourage you to take what you’ve learned and go out there and DO!

Who is this course for?

No matter your background or experience, this course is for you. We welcome clinical nurses, nurse researchers, students, administrators, policymakers, and more!



Use these modules to help bring your idea out from the bedside. Share it with your colleagues in the hospital, the community or wherever you practice!



Use the entire course or pull from different modules to teach the next generation of nurse innovators how design thinking can create innovative solutions!

Additional Resources

Finished with the modules? Here are some links to wonderful resources online!

The Art of Innovation
Guy Kawasaki
Creative Confidence
Tom Kelley and David Kelley

Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the “creative types.” But two of the leading experts in innovation, design, and creativity on the planet show us that each and every one of us is creative.


A guide to the world’s best design practices, featuring 3 immersive books, the DesignBetter.Co Podcast, workshop opportunities, & countless real-world examples, exercises, audio interviews, and more.

Design Thinking Bootleg
Stanford University

Some of dschool’s most-used tools in a convenient deck, developed by designers from around the world. (Creative Commons 4.0 CC-BY-NC-SA International)