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In January 2004 we launched a campaign to boost the image of nursing and midwifery in the UK: 'Nursing the Future'.
Our aims were:
We appointed a team of nursing ambassadors to be the face of the campaign and inspire all nurses to be ambassadors for the profession. From the beginning our campaign met an enthusiastic response from our readers across the UK - many saying they were delighted to 'talk up' nursing at last!
As well as working with the RCN to take the campaign across the UK, our ambassadors took it to MPs to encourage greater recognition of the complex and demanding work that nurses do.
In the years following the launch of Nursing the Future, Nursing Standard has been contacted by many international nursing organisations who have used our campaign as a model to re-brand nursing overseas.
We asked a team of marketing experts what they thought of nursing as a brand - what did nursing mean to the public and how could this be enhanced? After carrying out focus-group research with nurses they came up with a 're-branding strategy for nursing'. This document was industry standard - ready to inform any media company charged with creating adverts for nursing. We made it available free so that any government or nursing organisation wanting to fund an advertising campaign could simply use this document.
We asked award-winning film-maker Nick Shipley to make this film 'Quiet Power'. It features eight real nurses talking about their work - its challenges and rewards. We sent it out to all our readers so they could use it during Nurses' Day or when invited to give careers talks in schools, to inspire young people to think differently about the profession.
This article describes how marketing consultants drew up the re-branding strategy for the profession.