Gator Nurses Take Plunge in First-Ever Research ‘Shark Tank’

Gator Nurses swam with the sharks in an all-new experience that put their health care innovation skills to the test.

The College of Nursing recently held its first ever research “Shark Tank” to give Gator Nurses a chance to design and present their own inventions that could be used to improve patient care in the hospital setting.  Five ‘sharks,’ representing nursing faculty from various disciplines, weighed in on each research proposal, offering students their suggestions on how each innovation could be translated to the clinical setting.

College of Nursing ‘Sharks’

Three teams representing each section of the college’s junior-level Care Lead and Inspire 2 class rose to the challenge. Using research collected over the course of the semester, the teams presented research proposals of their findings, which included screening techniques for supporting mothers during their post-partum period and a toy bear that could be used to keep parents informed and strengthen the parent-child bond while their baby is cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The winning team inspired the judges to ‘shark attack’ sepsis. By combining existing scales used in the hospital to assess a patient’s risk of developing the condition into an automated, AI-run assessment tool, the group hopes to simplify sepsis prevention and improve workflow for nurses at the bedside.

 “Everything we’ve been learning this semester came together,” said BSN junior Katherine Maloney, a member of “Jumbo Shrimpies,” the challenge’s first-place team. “We were able to problem-solve on our feet and hearing feedback from faculty who are real-life research experts in their field was especially rewarding.”

Congratulations to all of our student participants:

Team Nurse Boy and Lava Girls: Kylie Davison, Kolby Mullaney, Blake Palmer, Julia Taquechel

Support during post-partum period; development of “K-card” to screen individuals prior to discharge for common PP concerns (depression, anxiety, etc).

(Winners) Team Jumbo Shrimpies: Bethany Booth, Morgan Smith, Katherine Maloney, Anastacia van Gent, Jessica Pernas 

Sepsis screening tool and prevention and treatment of sepsis during hospital stay

Team Lifesavers: Chloe McKinnon, Emma Kate Joiner, Megan Blankenship, Jessica Ty

Parental bond with premature babies in NICU on childhood development and “Bravery Bears”