Connecting Nurses: for nurses and patient empowerment

Connecting Nurses 5 years

Connecting Nurses is an international patient-centric initiative created by nurses for nurses and launched with support from Sanofi Patient Centricity. It provides a valuable community resource to help nurses share information and ideas that promote better quality patient-centered care.

Nurses are critical in Patient Adherence and behavior change, addressing patients unmet needs in chronic care such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease on a daily basis. This is why sanofi Patient Centricity is supporting the Patient Empowerment Call for Innovation for nurses to share their projects here.

The project’s website places a digital library of practical information alongside a showcase of innovative ideas and nurse-led projects that are succeeding in the community. For examples, videos on “Making Self-Injection easier” will facilitate active listening and nurses’ dialogue with anxious or unmotivated patients.


Patient centricity


To mark the fifth anniversary of the project, Sanofi Le Hub asked members of the project’s steering committee to share their memories and some of the milestones that showcase the work being done by nurses around the world.



“What I like about Connecting Nurses is that it does just that!”


Felicity Kelliher, France, former nurse training specialist at AFDET (Association Française pour le Développement de l’Education Thérapeutique).


Felicity Kelliher“I have met nurses from all over the world both in person and online. I have participated in events that help empower nurses and help them be heard as a major force in tackling 21st century healthcare challenges like chronic disease, maternal mortality and incorporating IT into care.”





Felicity’s memories of Connecting Nurses

“I was invited to present an award to Vjollca Kola, a nurse from a rural community. Everybody was there – patients, professionals, elected representatives, the general population and friends. There was a great feeling of, ‘We can get things done together’.”


Vjollca Kola launched the Diabetic Foot Care in Kosovo, a project that’s using education and intervention techniques to help people with diabetes manage and treat foot problems. Every 30 seconds, a lower limb is lost somewhere in the world as a result of diabetes, often following a diabetes-related foot ulcer. Improving foot care can therefore help to reduce amputation rates.


Connecting Nurses and the future

“I see a groundswell of nursing projects and initiatives in partnership with patients, so that patients’ needs form the foundation of care choices.”



“I like that Connecting Nurses highlights the transformative power of nurses in healthcare.” 


Rob Fraser, Canada, nurse and author of The Nurse’s Social Media Advantage. 


Rob Fraser“Connecting Nurses is not a recipe to be followed, rather it is a muse to inspire. There are millions of ways nurses can improve the lives and health of others. The challenge is to help them see they can make those concepts a reality and help spread them to others.”





Robert’s memories of Connecting Nurses

“One of my most rewarding memories was seeing the website go live and seeing all projects submitted and the comments of others. The digital aspect of Connecting Nurses is really effective. Every time I show a project video to other nurses, they are energized. They see the opportunity they have to make improvements in what they do every day to empower patients.” 


Connecting Nurses and the future

“I see Connecting Nurses sharing ideas as well as collaborating with patients to support the ideas of nurses. Nurses can help patients overcome barriers they face and help engage other healthcare professionals as advocates for patients.” 



“I love the fact that Connecting Nurses is global in scope and that it drives healthcare innovation.”


Phyllis Zimmer, USA, President of the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation.


Phyllis ZimmerConnecting Nurses “is given nursing wonderful international visibility and has highlighted nursing’s contributions to care in a meaningful way.”





Phyllis’s memories of Connecting Nurses

“One of my best memories is the launch of Care Challenge when each of our ‘winners’ was matched to a member of the Steering Committee, who was to act as a mentor. My winners were all so proud and so passionate about their projects. Care Challenge became a stepping stone in their careers – for some it led to their first professional presentation; for others it was recognition in their country for the contribution of nurses in healthcare. For each, it was validation of their value as nurses and they were so proud – and so was I!”


Care Challenge is the online sharing website set up by Connecting Nurses. It provides nurses with an outlet to share knowledge, ideas and experiences.


Connecting Nurses and the future

“I hope that by focusing on patient empowerment, Connecting Nurses will become a key resource for helping nurses move their patients to a more independent decision-making role. Nurses will be teachers, guides, and mentors, but the patients will be the decision-makers.”



“We like Connecting Nurses for the diversity and creativity provided by nurses’ projects from around the world.” 


Véronique Thouvenot, France, Director of WeObservatory and the Millennia2025 Foundation.


veronique-thouvenot“Nurses whose projects were selected for a one-year collaboration with the WeObservatory are enthusiastic and enjoy the benefits of increased international visibility at conferences and in publications.”






Véronique’s memories of Connecting Nurses

“Highlights for me include reaching patients in the complicated conditions in Peru and Philippines, and working with nurses such as Chinomnso Ibe, who is doing such great work with the Traffina Foundation and her Save Our Mothers project to address maternal and infant mortality rates in Nigeria. Other memories include helping to developing nursing telehealth research. And when nurses take the floor at international conferences, they are just wonderful!”


Connecting Nurses and the future

“I hope to see the increasing development of digital tools and solutions that are adapted to patients, plus tools that help facilitate the daily work of nurses all over the world.”



“Sanofi Connecting Nurses Project keeps the health professionals across the globe connected to provide the evidence based care to their patients.”


Sonia KAKAR, Canada, Consultant & Nutrition Advisor


Sonia Kakar-01“Sanofi Connecting Nurses Project keeps the health professionals across the globe connected to provide the evidence based care to their patients, based on their acquired knowledge through the advanced learnings from the Care Challenge and Shareapy success stories of others.

Let’s, keep the community that cares growing!”






Harnessing the strength of the nursing community.


Connecting Nurses has for the last five years worked to harness the collective strength of nursing professionals. Nurses from around the world have reached out to each other to share experiences, knowledge and innovation. Their efforts make an important difference enhancing the care experience and health outcomes of patients from those at risk for poor maternal and child health outcomes to those with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Connecting Nurses is now building on these first five years to help support and inspire a new generation of nursing professionals. We’ll report back in 2021 with even more memories and milestones.


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