Campaign Seeks to Recruit Future Nurses
for a Healthier Tomorrow, a coalition of 32 leading nursing and
health care organizations addressing the nursing shortage, is
launching a national advertising campaign to recruit young people
into the nursing profession and encourage existing nurses to remain.
The coalition developed the campaign title “Nursing. It’s Real.
It’s Life” to boost the attractiveness of nursing as a profession.
The campaign targets students and current nurses who may be considering
leaving the profession. Honorary campaign co-chairs are Luci Baines
Johnson and Elizabeth Dole. The campaign consists of print advertisements
and a television spot featuring nurses in different capacities
and plans to add a radio spot, brochures and other materials.
The past decade has seen a decrease in enrollment in nursing programs
for several reasons. Newspapers paint a picture of a nursing shortage
born of increased patient loads and escalating pressure to treat
more people more quickly for less money. In addition, complaints
about managed care have led many guidance counselors to advise
students not to enter the profession. Consider these nursing education
trends: Entry-level enrollment fell 2.1 percent in 2000, dropping
for the sixth year in a row, according to the American Association
of Colleges of Nursing. Enrollment has declined 27 percent since
1996. Less than two percent of college freshmen indicate nursing
as a likely major.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average age of new
RN graduates is 31, which leaves fewer working years before retirement.
Just as the legion of baby boomers is about to swell the need
for quality health care, America’s nursing population is aging
and more nurses are moving into primary care settings. The result:
America’s hospitals and other institutions need more nurses, especially
those who deliver specialized care.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for RNs will
grow 23 percent by 2008, faster than the average for all other
As a result of increasing competition among health care companies,
the average full-time RN salary rose to $46,782 in 2000, compared
to $42,071 in 1996, according to a survey by the Bureau of Health
Professions. Hospitals also have had to increase employment benefits
to keep current staff, while attracting new nurses. The most popular
incentives are tuition reimbursement, flexible hours and bonus
All of Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow’s communications materials,
including the print and broadcast advertising campaign, attempt
to send the message to young people that nursing is an exciting
career that demands real brainpower and is necessary for sustaining
life. The coalition’s Web site, www.nursesource.org includes
career profiles of nurses and links to educational programs.
Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel:
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