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Notable Nurses

These nurses are shattering nursing stereotypes in their spheres of practice

We recognize them as Nurses On Purpose!

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Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
Founder and Executive Director of The Truth About Nursing

Changing How the World Thinks About Nursing

Sandy Summers is Executive Director of The Truth About Nursing. Since 2001 she has led the effort to change how the world views nursing by challenging damaging media depictions of nurses.

Ms. Summers is the co-author of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk

Ms. Summers has Masters Degrees in Nursing and Public Health from Johns Hopkins University (2002). She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southern Connecticut State University in 1984. Prior to her graduate work, Ms. Summers practiced nursing in the emergency departments and intensive care units of some of America's major trauma centers, including San Francisco General Hospital, Charity Hospital at New Orleans, Washington Hospital Center (D.C.), Georgetown Hospital, and D.C. General Hospital. From 1994-97, Ms. Summers lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where among other jobs, she taught nursing teachers at the Central Nursing School, and undertook nursing research for the International Research Development Centre and Redd Barna (Norwegian Save the Children). She also lived and worked for a year each in New Zealand and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

Sandy Summers has worked in cooperation with major corporations in creating accurate images of nursing. Her work has won Media Awards from the American Academy of Nursing in 2004 and 2005. The 2005 AAN award was for the Skechers/Christina Aguilera campaign, in which more than 3000 supporters sent letters to the Skechers shoe company about a prominent naughty nurse ad. The company pulled the ad worldwide.

Ms. Summers' work has been covered widely in the lay media on television programs, such as CNN and 20/20, as a guest on myriad radio shows, and in many hundreds of articles in the print media from the Associated Press to United Press International and from the New York Times to the Times of India.

Learn more about Ms. Summers' work & accomplishments

Well Done, Nurse On Purpose!!!

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Antonette Montalvo MSN, BSN, RN, PNP-BC

Author & Owner-

Helping Nurses Be Truly Visionary

Antonette Montalvo is a wife and mother, a board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and co-founder of Montalvo International Community Health Initiative - a community-focused project committed to addressing the health disparities seen in vulnerable communities. As a Community Health Consultant, she carries out her desire to create effective and sustainable change in the lives of children and their families, by impacting the health of the community as a whole and leveraging available resources through strategic collaboration.

She completed her first degree in Education with a minor in Spanish from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She later completed her 2nd Bachelor's degree in Nursing and Master's degree in Pediatric Primary Care with a minor in Global Health Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing in Philadelphia, PA

Antonette is also a Life Coach & Mentor for Nurses, with the mission to be a figure-head for nurse professionals and students on vision and leadership. "By mentoring, coaching, and advising nurse professionals and students on being truly visionary, we are able to understand how to develop as a leader, stay motivated, and leave a legacy that will impact health in a sustainable way. Simply put - I am committed to seeing you become a "visionary leader," live out your own dreams, and transform the landscape of your community or sphere of influence. And, I am passionately dedicated to helping you live a life with purpose and influence.

Antonette has written a brand new e-book titled "Visionary Nurse - 90 days of Inspirational Musings on Being Influentially Visionary!" 

You may visit her website and sign up to receive your free download and more information about her work and strides! You may also read one of her interviews here

Well Done, Nurse On Purpose!!!

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Rebecca Love, RN, MSN, ANP

Director of Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University

Committed to Nurse Innovation

Rebecca Love, RN, MSN, ANP is the Global Community Officer for Ryalto International and was the first Director of Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the United States at Northeastern School of Nursing, Chicago, IL – the first initiative in the country designed to empower nurses as innovators and entrepreneurs, which has led to transformational change in the Nursing Profession.

She is an experienced Nurse Entrepreneur, founding in 2013 which was acquired in 2018. Rebecca is dedicated to creating communities to help nurses innovate, create and collaborate to start businesses that can transform healthcare.

Thought Leader on Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship, International keynote speaker, the First Director of Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the US, and creator of the the first Nurse Hackathon, Rebecca is passionate about empowering nurses to be at the forefront of healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship

Rebecca holds an M.S. in Nursing from Northeastern University; B.A. in International Relations/Spanish from Boston University, and is currently Faculty at Norwich University, sits on the board of NextGen Ventures & the Host Committee for the Massachusetts ACLU. She resides in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her husband and 3 children

Rebecca recently presented at a Tedx event- click on the link to watch her speech titled: Nurse Innovation: Saving the Future of Healthcare 

Well Done, Nurse On Purpose!!!

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Alice Benjamin, RN, MSN, CNS
Critical Care / E.R. Nurse & Clinical Nurse Specialist

'America's Favorite Nurse'

Alice Benjamin (Nurse Alice) is a community health activist and involved member of several professional and health organizations. Most notably, she is a national spokesperson for American Heart Association and health advisor for AARP. Prior to that she was an AARP Affordable Care Act Advisor and past chairwoman for the American Heart Association’s Western States Multicultural Health Equity Task Force, overseeing 10 states with programs that impact nearly 65 million people.

On her website, she proudly states that while she is a self-care advocate, she is also an unabashed ice-cream lover. She teaches the importance of a balanced, happy life. 'It’s not just treating yourself to a day at the spa or trying a fad diet, it’s making healthy choices daily to counter the effects of emotional and physical stressors.' Nurse Alice challenges her followers to start making lifestyle changes today for a better, healthier tomorrow.

Some of her television appearances include Dr. Oz, The Doctors,
Dr. Drew, Fox and Friends, CNN, HLN, NBC 4 News, Roland Martin News One Now, and KTLA 5 Morning News. She’s also been on FoxNews affiliate radio stations, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, WENO 760 AM, and Los Angeles stations KJLH 102.3 FM, KDAY 93.5 FM and KFI-AM 640. She has rightfully earned the title 'America's Favorite Nurse'

Well Done, Nurse On Purpose!!!

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Shawna Butler, RN, MBA
Nurse Economist | Tech Enthusiast | EntrepreNURSE

Curious, Caring and in Relentless Pursuit of What's Next

Combining clinical acumen, health economics, and technology to catalyze cross-sector collaboration that democratizes and delivers better health, experiences, and outcomes, she brings sharp wit, (un)common sense, and empathy-driven design to projects worth doing. Her talent is scanning the horizon for game-changing patterns and identifying + connecting the clever optimists provoking them.

She is the network builder of the global EntrepreNURSE movement​, encouraging nurses to hone their uniqueness, voices and scientific knowledge to sit at the forefront of healthcare innovation

"Nurses are the discovery engines, change agents, and hackers of health. They have an impressive track record of surfacing unmet needs and solving problems traditional resources can’t even begin to respond to. Faster than a device company and closer to the patient than an engineer, nurses have timelines, turnaround, and feedback loops with patients, products and services that are unmatched in or outside a healthcare system.

Yet, they are significantly under-represented in boardrooms, product design & innovation initiatives despite working with nearly every healthcare device, process, or pharmaceutical.

As the EntrepreNURSE-in-Residence, I actively connect the clinical, practical, and human sensibilities of nurses with early-stage ventures and large-scale enterprises in designing and adopting technology and systems to deliver better health, experiences, outcomes, and (human) value."

Well Done, Nurse On Purpose!!!

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Dr. Paule Valery Joseph, PhD, RN

Director of Mentorship & Career Development | African Research Academies for Women Inc.

Assistant Clinical Investigator | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH Distinguished Scholar | Researcher and Educator

Dr. Joseph is an Assistant Clinical Investigator and Chief of the Sensory Science and Metabolism Unit (SenSMet) in the NINR Division of Intramural Research. The SenSMet supports research into the fundamental mechanisms associated with chemosensory symptoms and metabolic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and related comorbidities.

Dr. Joseph’s clinical chemosensory research aims to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and management of chemosensory disorders and symptoms. This research will enhance the understanding of molecular, cellular, neural, and behavioral mechanisms underlying symptoms to identify new targets for treatment and improve symptom management strategies.

As the Director of Mentorship for The African Research Academies for Women, she is dedicated to fostering a passion for inquiry and research in the STEM fields. By the year 2020, The African Research Academies for Women Inc. seeks to expand researchand mentorship opportunities to more than 100 young undergraduate women scientists and 500 high school girls in Ghana, Nigeria and beyond.

Her clinical specialties include: Rehabilitation, Medical Surgical, Gastroenterology and Family Health

For more detail visit:

Dr. Joseph is a truly visionary nurse and is breaking the stereotypical mold and definition of a nurse

Well Done, Nurse On Purpose!!!

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Sangeeta Agarawal, RN, Engineer, CEO @ Helpsy

Oncology Nurse | Integrative Medicine & Holisitic Scientist

Sangeeta Agarawal is an Oncology Nurse with a background in Computer/Software  Engineering. Founder of the company Helpsy, she is passionate about empowering people to live life to the fullest by making integrative medicine accessible to people where they are. She started her career as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, working for companies including IBM, Motorola/Google. She then developed the world's first mobile video technology at a startup which was later acquired by Skype. This invention continues to impact the world today.

After much introspection into the course of her journey and desiring to impact lives through healthcare, she decided to add to her career integrative medicine by studying, practicing and conducting research in both eastern and western medicine. She spent the next decade as a researcher, oncology nurse and integrative medicine practitioner at institutions including the Mayo Clinic, Stanford Cancer Center, and UCSF Cancer Center. Her groundbreaking research work on development of algorithms for clinical impact of integrative medicine was recognized by UCSF and NSF, and she received support from them to start Helpsy, a tool to empower people to live life to the fullest by providing on-demand access to solutions to enable the whole person, whole health approach to healthcare.

Helpsy has built the world's first AI (Artificial Intelligence) nurse for Symptom Management and Navigation (San) that can automatically anticipate, empathize, engage, educate and escalate care for each person she cares for. San can automatically create a personalized care plan and provide dynamic support to patients through integrative technologies, empowering patients and clinicians alike. Helpsy has served tens of thousands of patients from all over the world and the data generated provides insights that have never been captured or understood before.

Ms. Agarawal is passionate about empowering people in health care to understand and be at the forefront of technology revolution. She is a nationally recognized speaker and author and was selected by the U.S. state department to represent at GES as the most inspiring entrepreneur and several time winner of the entrepreneurship award. She has led innovation initiatives at both the Society of Interventional Oncology (SIO) and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), and serves on the board of the National Cancer Institute - Physician Data Query for integrative medicine.

In addition, Ms. Agarwal serves on the board of innovation centers and health care startups around the nation and has a number of articles, publications and presentations to her credit. She firmly believes nurses deserve an equal place at the healthcare leadership & innovation table and she’s involved in several initiatives to move the needle.

Well Done, Nurse On Purpose!!!

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Dr. Bonnie Clipper DNP, MBA, MA, RN
Vice president of Innovation at the American Nurses Association (ANA)

Passionate about Nurse-Led Innovation

Nurse On Purpose had the pleasure of interview correspondence with Dr. Bonnie Clipper, Vice President of the ANA, discussing the future of nursing, for our Notable Nurses feature!

''You are passionate about nurse-led innovation, what do you believe will be the impact of nurse-led innovation on the future of nursing?''  


Dr Clipper: Our innovation framework at the American Nurses Association (ANA) focuses on cultivating and inspiring future nurse innovators and igniting, highlighting and celebrating nursing innovation. Nurses’ undisputed agility and skillsets providing care in almost every health care is unmatched. We are seeing more nurses get involved with innovation in amazing ways by obtaining more training and education, mentoring at incubators and developing their own new models of care or product development.

As nurses, we will claim our role in innovation and take the lead on difficult challenges. As the U.S. population becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, nurses will play a critical role in addressing health and health care disparities. Nurses will also become more influential in planning committees around models to transform health care delivery. As a profession, we will become comfortable “leaning in” to conversations where innovation occurs, and it will be the norm to have nurses’ voice at the table at instead of the exception.

A superpower that all nurses possess is the ability to use our lived experiences and storytelling to educate and influence the changes we are working to achieve within our organizations and the communities we serve. Often, new health care technologies are developed and are designed without the input of nurses. These solutions can be ineffective or simply don’t work because clinicians, especially nurses, were not involved.  In fact, it is not unheard of that the “solution” doesn’t have a real problem to solve.  

We are seeing more nurses emerge with amazing care models and technologies such as; artificial intelligence powered cognitive patient assist devices, patient safety devices, collaborative platforms for scheduling, new ways to train and educate nurses, APRN-led clinics that promote equity in care, the design of clinics through a human-centered design approach, and on and on. It’s an exciting time for the nursing profession. 

''What is your vision for nursing?  Where would you ultimately like to see us as a profession?''  

Dr. Clipper: I am a nurse, so of course I am biased.  I see the nurse as a key part of the advancing health care.  However, it can’t be “nurse-only”. It has to be collaborative and “nurse-led”. There are times certain specialties or disciplines will take the lead.  Transforming health care so that every person can live their best life will take all of us working together as partners.  

Having said that, what nurses bring to the conversation is unique in that they have robust experience and knowledge of the workflows associated with all aspects of care from entry to exit across the continuum as well as prevention.  Most importantly, patients trust nurses. In fact, for 17 consecutive years, the American public has ranked nurses the professionals with the highest honesty and ethical standards. This underscores the sense of integrity nurses display as the most consistent part of the health equation, in that they spend more time with patients and their support systems than any other clinician.  That means that involving nurses early in the design and development of emerging health care models and technologies only makes sense.

''What steps can nurses take to challenge media stereotypes of nursing and push for better representation?''

Dr. Clipper: Nurses are intelligent and talented professionals that are increasingly practicing nursing in non-traditional ways and in new roles such as; data science/informatics, architecture, design, technology/device companies, government and elected offices, CEO, innovators in residence and more. This is often a surprise to non-nurses who sometimes have an antiquated perception of nurses perpetuated by the media that we should all be wearing scrubs with a stethoscope around our necks. In addition to misrepresentation, a recent study indicated that nurses are underrepresented in health news media which is why we must get  more nurses interviewed by journalists, providing testimony or public comment. Another way to shift perceptions and increase nurses’ presence is by encouraging more participation on corporate boards or advisory boards.

When it comes to nurses seeing themselves as innovators, we have some work to do because they don’t consider their vast contributions to health care as innovative. In fact, when asked if they are innovators, nurses often say “no”. If pressed as to whether they have ever had to work through roadblocks and address system failures to care for patients, nurses begin to raise their hands. And that is innovation.  Nurse-led innovation will prove to be vital to address the complexities of an ever-changing health care landscape. 

Well Done, Nurse On Purpose!!!

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Marion Leary, Phd Candidate, MSN, MPH, BSN

A Proudly Geeky Nurse!

Marion Leary is the Director of Innovation and an Instructor at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing. Ms. Leary has focused her research and education over the past twelve years on cardiac arrest and CPR quality with the current goal of developing innovative strategies to improve bystander response and CPR training. Ms. Leary has established herself as a nursing leader in the field of resuscitation science, as well as nursing innovation. As the incoming Director of Innovation at Penn Nursing she creates curriculums focused on nursing innovation and the foundation of design thinking. Ms. Leary is also a recent member of the American Nurses Association’s Innovation Advisory Committee and a Founding member of the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Leaders (SONSIEL).

Ms. Leary is an international Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) and has participated in the 2010 and 2015 resuscitation guidelines. She also coordinates the social media campaign for the AHA’s Resuscitation Science Symposium. Ms. Leary is on the program committee for the Citizen CPR Foundation’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Updates conference focusing on social media outreach and engagement. 

Ms. Leary is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at Penn. Ms. Leary completed her Master's degree in Nursing at Penn (The University of Pennsylvania), in health leadership and a Master's degree in Public Health also at Penn. In 2018, she began a doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Previously, Ms. Leary was an Instructor in the Penn Master of Public Health program where she taught methods implementation and public health communication. Ms. Leary was a contributor to the Huffington Post and was the host of STEAMrollrs, a segment of the STEM Everyday Podcast featuring women who are paving the way in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Additionally, she was an organizer for the 2017 and 2018 March for Science Philadelphia.

Ms. Leary founded the Penn UPstart companies ImmERge, LLC and Resuscor, LLC. Immerge Labs focused on using virtual reality and augmented reality to reimagine how the world prepares for emergencies. Resuscor, LLC focused on using digital strategies to improve post-cardiac arrest training and education. Ms. Leary was also the founder of Sink or Swim Philadelphia (2011-2015), a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission was to assist people who were uninsured or underinsured raise funds to pay for medical expenses using social media and medical crowdfunding. 

Her website: features leaders in healthcare innovation and sciences. She is a true leader in her field!

Well Done, Nurse On Purpose!!!

If you or someone you know would like to be recognized as a Nurse On Purpose, for your efforts in elevating the field of nursing and challenging media stereotypes, send us an email of your profile. If selected, you will be featured on our page!

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