On September 21, 2023, a dynamic convergence of talents took place as seven distinguished UNC Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students joined forces with 16 counterparts from St. Luke’s University in Tokyo, Japan, for the highly anticipated 3rd annual International DNP Shark Tank event. This remarkable gathering showcased the innovative power of cross-cultural collaboration as four international teams, driven by a commitment to evidence-based solutions, crafted compelling pitches exploring the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence in shaping the future of healthcare delivery.
In an electrifying culmination, it was the vision of the winning international team, spearheaded by the accomplished UNC DNP student, Kelly Davis, that captured hearts and investment interest alike. Their pitch introduced an AI-enhanced self-scheduling system designed to revolutionize nursing workforce management, addressing a pressing need within the healthcare industry. The enthusiasm for this visionary idea extended beyond borders, with both American and Japanese investors vying for a stake in its realization.
The diverse array of Shark Tank pitches didn’t stop there, as each presentation brought forward innovative approaches to tackle contemporary healthcare challenges. Topics ranged from addressing post-Covid nursing shortages and grappling with the mental health crisis to navigating the complexities of super-aging populations. This event served as a testament to the unwavering dedication of these emerging healthcare leaders in reimagining the future of healthcare on a global scale.
One of the participants, Susan Frederick, a DNP student, reflected on the experience, saying, “I enjoyed the COIL experience and feel it really gave me a chance to listen and learn from other NPs around the world. Finding out their challenges and concerns were very similar to what we face in the US.” Their words emphasized the shared purpose among healthcare professionals worldwide, highlighting their common ground in the pursuit of enhanced healthcare solutions during the event.