Doctor of nursing practice students Colleen Seeber-Combs and Deepali Mathur have been accepted into the Graduate Nursing Student Academy’s Digital Innovators Program for 2023. Participants in the program, a collaboration between GNSA and Apple, receive training in developing digital tools such as tablet-based apps for the future of nursing education.
Seeber-Combs already has spent decades bringing nursing education into the information age, applying her training and experience in nursing in the electronic publishing field. She first graduated from a nursing program in 1986, received a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, then worked as a coordinator for the heart transplant team at Temple University Hospital. In 1996, she was intrigued by an opportunity at Mosby, a publisher of nursing materials.
“They were looking for a nurse who was clinically competent and also could write and review some of their content,” she says. “I always wanted to be a writer so kind of found my way back to it. I immediately fell in love with it.”
Since then, Seeber-Combs has worked for publishers including Elsevier and EBSCO, where she is now an editorial director. She works on strategy and new product ideas, “trying to figure out different ways of delivering the content to nurses who are at the bedside,” she says. “Back in the '80s when I was practicing, we had a policy and procedure manual that was usually collecting dust at the nurse's station underneath a pile of other papers. These days we bring those same policies and procedures into electronic format, so nurses can access information on their phones, their iPad, wherever they need it.”
A nurse practitioner in Temple’s Student Health Services, Mathur knows that the students she sees as patients are digital natives and expect much of their healthcare experience to involve connected technology. She also assists in teaching two undergraduate nursing classes at Temple.
“I’m eager to see how we can use this technology to help patients,” she says. “And I want to go into education. I want to teach nursing students.”
Fifteen student pairs from universities nationwide have been selected for the Digital Innovators program. Through twice-monthly virtual classes, they will learn about information technology such as apps, videos, podcasts, interactive templates and augmented reality, as well as storytelling techniques, as they build their own projects. The teams will present their projects at the GNSA Conference in August in Washington, DC.