MakerNurse Launches New Online Community and Tools to Support Health Makers

    • June 18, 2014

Washington, D.C.—At today’s White House Maker Faire, MakerNurse announced the launch of a new online community that will elevate and accelerate the ingenuity of nurses working across the United States. Additionally, MakerNurse will release a series of robust tools and resources to empower nurses to make and innovate at the bedside, improving patient care and health.

Over the past nine months, MakerNurse, an initiative of the Little Devices Lab at MIT that is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has collected stories from nurses across the country to discover what they are making every day at the bedside to improve patient care. As a result, MakerNurse is generating insights about the tools and resources needed to bring nurse making to the forefront of health care innovation. Over time, MakerNurse has encountered hundreds of nurses who are reinventing their tools and materials, including maker nurse Roxana Reyna, RN of Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“Theses nurses see opportunity—not in things that work, but in things that don’t work. When they see a problem, they figure out how to solve it, using the materials they have on hand,” said Lori Melichar, director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “As we all work to build a Culture of Health in this country, we must celebrate and nurture the ingenuity of maker nurses and other makers so we can all benefit from their innovations to improve health.”

Throughout the United States, maker nurses are improving upon and creating new tools and devices that lead to better ways of caring for patients. Yet their innovations rarely spread beyond the units in which they work and too often remain a sketch on the back of a napkin.

Through a set of tools and resources, and the cultivation of a supportive community, MakerNurse hopes to maximize the ability of nurses to bring their ideas to life and spread them throughout the health care system.

“There are 3.1 million Registered Nurses out there, all of whom have the potential to be maker nurses,” said Jose Gomez-Marquez. “These tools will help bring health and wellness technologies out of the black box so that every nurse, every patient and every caregiver can be health makers.”

To join the MakerNurse community, visit and share your story. The first set of tools, to be released mid-summer, will share step-by-step instructions on how to make a variety of health-related tools.


About Little Devices Lab

The Little Devices Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explores the design, invention, and policy spaces for DIY health technologies around the world. The lab is a pioneer in the fields of user-generated medical technology and construction set design theory. The award winning group’s research portfolio includes medical device construction sets, crowdsourced diagnostics, paper microfluidics, reconfigurable rapid tests, and surgical accessories for extreme environments. For more information visit

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937

Pioneering Ideas Podcast Series

In Episode 4 of the series, we hear from nurses Kelly Reilly, Roxana Reyna, and Mary Beth Dwyer on how they hack supplies from their hospitals’ closets to improve patient care. 

Listen now