Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

Medical Innovations That were Created by Nurses

By Shreya PatroSeptember 12, 2022
share icon

Incredible Innovations in the Medical Field by Incredible Nursessh

Nurses, whether female or male are often underestimated in their job. Since they don’t play a role in providing diagnoses for ailments or offering treatments, they aren’t as valued in society as doctors or physicians. However, no one can actually deny the significance that they have in the medical industry. Nurses draw our blood, check our pulses and promptly care for us when we are sick. But beyond that, the responsibility of nurses is much more. They help in saving our lives and apparently, they have created innovations that have made our lives much easier to live.

Important Medical innovations in Nursing That Changes Our Healthcare System

A Woman Nursing an ill Man

With time, nurses all over the world have assumed more and more responsibility for patient health and care. An article that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in the year 2011 stated that there were different primary healthcare devices which can be effectively administered by nurse practitioners just like doctors. So, having nurses to support healthcare increases the satisfaction of patients and makes them more trusting of the medical system.

5 Medical Innovations That were Created by Nurses 

The roles these nurses play allow them to actually go through different medical procedures and practices in various ways. Thus, it has resulted in the creation of some amazing and innovative inventions for the healthcare industry. Without the efforts made by nurses, we would actually have some of the most important creations that are widely being used in hospitals and healthcare centres these days. Here we are mentioning 5 medical innovations that were created by nurses.

  • Feeding Tube for Paralyzed Veterans 

Inventor: Bessie Blount Griffin 

Period: 1940s 

Many soldiers that returned from World War II struggled a lot in adjusting to their normal lives due to being amputees and hence needed some assistance in performing even the most basic tasks. This is when Bessie Blount Griffin, an African American physical therapist and nurse made a significant discovery that could be of help to these veterans who needed some extra help. Her work in the assistive technology section was remarkable as she managed to invent a tube that would deliver bites of food at a certain pace. All the veterans had to do was a bit on the tube in order to make the morsel reach the mouthpiece.

After successfully patenting her invention, she also appeared in the TV show during that time known as ‘The Big Idea’. But that is not all as she further expanded her work into forensic science and soon became the first African American woman to work along with England’s prime investigative association Scotland Yard. 

  • Neonatal Phototherapy 

Inventor: Sister Jean Ward 

Period: 1950s 

The process of phototherapy uses visible light for properly treating jaundice. It is probably one of the most common therapies that are applied to the newborn population. The person who is credited for this innovation is Sister Jean Ward. She was once a nurse in a unit for premature babies. She believed that there was power in sunlight and fresh air. Hence, she would often carry the infants outside for walks and then return them before the doctors began their rounds.

With this practice, it was seen that the babies who suffered from jaundice showed significant improvement in their skin. This actually led the physicians and biochemists in the hospital to demonstrate that the levels of bilirubin in infants are significantly lowered due to prolonged exposure to sunlight. Hence, this paved the way for the creation of Phototherapy for the treatment of more than 150 million babies and infants.

  • Crash Cart 

Inventor: Anita Dorr

Period: 1960s

Carrying a wide variety of instruments from one room to another in the hospital might take a lot of time. This is exactly the reason we need to thank Sister Anita Dorr. She was the one credited with the invention of the Crash Cart. Working in the ED, she realized how long it took the staff to properly round up all the equipment for treating the critically ill patients. So, seeing the need to help the staff, she created a wood prototype cart and painted it red in her basement.

Now she arranged all the equipment on the cart and that too anatomically. From medications to clipboards and from scalpels to other complicated tools, everything was laid down efficiently. This cart was called the Emergency Nursing Crisis Cart, a name given by Anita herself. Pretty soon every hospital in the world started to use what we know today as Crash Carts. 

  • Neo-Slip

Inventor” Neomi Bennett

Period: 2010s

Neomi Bennett was a community nurse, serving in the UK. She noticed that most of her patients would avoid wearing compression socks. These socks were instrumental in preventing the blood clot condition called deep vein thrombosis or DVT. However, the patients had difficulty putting the socks on. Hence, she designed the Neo-Slip, a swift pouch that would prevent any kind of friction in the compression socks and make them easy to wear.

Created in the year 2013, the Neo Slip is now available in all pharmacies and is an integral part of the NHS Supply system. Not to mention that it is now being used by thousands of patients all over the world, thus preventing the deaths caused by DVT.

  • Colour-Coded IV Lines

Inventor: Teri Barton-Salinas & Gail Barton-Hay 

Period: 2000s

Speed and accuracy along with error-free procedures are the backbone of any hospital, especially in the case of ICUs and NICUs. In these departments, even the slightest mistake or error in the use of medical devices can have fatal consequences. Hence, nurses are required to be even more careful during the delivery of medicine via the IV ports, pumps, and catheters.

Two women in 2003 realized the importance of reducing medical errors by making changes in these IV lines. Teri Barton-Salinas & Gail Barton-Hay created the colour-coded IV that would help in the proper administration of the medication, without any error.


Nurses throughout history, as well as today, are bringing proper innovation to healthcare that is profoundly changing human health in the best way. We should agree to the fact that these cases of innovation in nursing are the main reasons why we have been able to have an improved system of healthcare. So, it is important for us to not only recognize the work that they do but the efforts that they have made for patient care and treatment.