Creating a Brand Image for Public Health Nursing

Authors

  • Kathleen A. Baldwin,

    1. Ph.D., R.N., is Director, Peoria Regional Nursing Program, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Peoria, Illinois
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Roberta L. Lyons,

    1. M.P.H., is Advancing Public Health Nursing Education, Project Coordinator, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Peoria, Illinois
    Search for more papers by this author
  • L. Michele Issel

    1. Ph.D., R.N., is Clinical Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
    Search for more papers by this author


Kathleen A. Baldwin, Peoria Regional Nursing Program, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, One Illini Drive, PO Box 1649, Peoria, IL 61656-1649. E-mail: kbaldwin@uic.edu

Abstract

ABSTRACT Public health nurses (PHNs) have declined as a proportion of both the nursing and the public health workforces in the past 2 decades. This decline comes as 30 states report public health nursing as the sector most affected in the overall public health shortage. Taken together, these data point to a need for renewed recruitment efforts. However, the current public images of nurses are primarily those of professionals employed in hospital settings. Therefore, this paper describes the development of a marketable image aimed at increasing the visibility and public awareness of PHNs and their work. Such a brand image was seen as a precursor to increasing applications for PHN positions. A multimethod qualitative sequential approach guided the branding endeavor. From the thoughts of public health nursing students, faculty, and practitioners came artists' renditions of four award-winning posters. These posters portray public health nursing—incorporating its image, location of practice, and levels of protection afforded the community. Since their initial unveiling, these posters have been distributed by request throughout the United States and Canada. The overwhelming response serves to underline the previous void of current professional images of public health nursing and the need for brand images to aid with recruitment.

Ancillary