Hackathons: Practical problem-solving for nurse educators


In looking for solutions to an organizational problem, the nursing education and professional development department at a large midwestern health care system used a novel approach-the hackathon. To align with Healthy People 2030 priorities and the health care system's strategic plan, the hackathon topics focused on community service opportunities relating to social determinants of health (SDOH). The goal of the hackathon was to find the most innovative strategy for SDOH education in a limited time frame. The teams of nurses that took part in the hackathon brainstormed, drafted, and rapidly refined a solution, then pitched their ideas to an expert panel. Each pitch was scored on feasibility, SDOH connection, creativity, sustainability, and potential nurse engagement. Three unique programming options emerged by the end of the event. The winning pitch was a peer-to-peer social media strategy engaging adolescents in health and wellness topics.

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