Slide board invention


How are nurses influencing research at the bedside and beyond?

Nurses & Engineers Slide Into Success


Nurses are natural researchers. They are frequently called upon to solve problems in innovative ways, including leveraging every tool at their fingertips to design devices that make patients’ lives better.

Registered nurses Daniela Ene and Maricela Ontiveros had an innovative idea that stemmed from their extensive experience in caring for patients at the bedside. They envisioned a better slide board that would make it easier for patients to accomplish even the most difficult transfers. Slide boards are typically used by patients with limited lower-body strength; they use their arms to support their weight as they sit on the board and slide from one  surface to another. This technique can be especially challenging when moving from a lower surface to a higher one, such as from a wheelchair to a bed.

With funding from the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Catalyst Grant Program, Maricela and Daniela teamed up with our engineers to create a unique slide board that assists patients and caregivers with safe transfers. They hope to make this modified slide board affordable and accessible to all patients for use at our hospital, at home and in the community. Daniela and Maricela exemplify the significant impact of partnering clinicians and engineers in solving clinical problems.

Meet the Researchers:


Daniela Ene, DNP, FNP-C, MSN, BSN, RN, and Maricela Ontiveros, RN, CRRN, are Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurses with a combined total of nearly 50 years’ experience in caring for patients. Maricela joined the organization in 1999 as a PCT, and ever since completing her nursing degree in 2002, she has been a Registered Nurse on our Pediatric floor. In 2007, when Daniela began working in our hospital as a Flex Staff nurse, she and Maricela bonded over their passion for problem-solving. Both are known for their creativity in modifying and inventing tools, and for always trying to improve the patient experience.

Chandler Clark, MS, is a mechanical engineer part of the Mechatronics team in the Center for Bionic Medicine. She focuses on creating innovative physical therapy equipment that fits seamlessly into the clinical environment.

Frank Ursetta, MS, is a senior Mechanical Engineer in The Regenstein Foundation Center for Bionic Medicine. His main focus is to use his engineering experience to develop rehabilitative technology that is both innovative and practical. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MS in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

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