Will social media help nursing appeal to the next generation?

Will social media help nursing appeal to the next generation?


Last week, we wrote about the £multi-million NHS England campaign to attract more young people into nursing. In short, we didn’t think the actual advert quite delivered (you can read more about it here if you missed it).

Whilst we felt mildly bad about putting a dampener on the NHS 70th birthday celebrations (by not being bowled over by their new TV campaign), we have to write it as we see it.

And so, when we saw that the HEE had also invested in a new campaign aimed at 16-18-year olds we thought we’d better take a look at this and see how theirs fared.

Granted, this is targeting a slightly older audience, but its over-arching objective is the same – to talk to the early talent market; to challenge perceptions and to give them a reason to commit to a future in nursing and study for a degree in nursing and the allied health professions (AHP).

The timing of this campaign is critical, as it aims to increase applications through Clearing 2018 and ahead of the UCAS applications deadline in January 2019 – largely through a social media and digital campaign (so nowhere nearly on as grand a scale as the NHS campaign).

As opposed to the more cinematographic NHS campaign, this campaign is case study based and the videos are of real people talking about why they came into the profession. They’re short. They’re direct. And the question they ask of their audience is for them ‘to make sure they know about nursing’, so that they can make an informed choice.

Each video concentrates on the benefits of studying to become a nurse, which include:

  • a social purpose – the chance to make a difference to people’s lives;
  • high graduate employment – 94% of graduate nurses find employment in a nursing job within six months of finishing their degree;
  • the opportunity to work anywhere in the country; and
  • career development opportunities such as teaching, research and team leadership

Unlike the NHS campaign, it’s straight-talking, informative and gives the audience reason to commit to a future in nursing. For there are still lots of great reasons to be a nurse and we hope, for all our sakes, this generates the interest it needs.

Ian Cumming, Chief Executive Health Education England said, “We want more young people leaving sixth form or college to consider a career in nursing and the allied health professions. These are highly valued and rewarding careers that we want young people to consider. These are roles that whilst challenging, offer a chance to make a real difference to people’s lives. These degrees offer some of the best rates of employability and a guaranteed job for life.

 “We are committed to delivering the workforce of the future so it is right that we do everything we can to inspire young people at this pivotal time in their lives when they’re deciding what career path they want to take.”

Yvonne Hawkins, Director of Teaching Excellence and Student Experience at the Office for Students, said, "Ensuring prospective students have access to information advice and guidance to inform their study choices is a priority for the OfS. We are delighted to be working with Health Education England and others to raise awareness about the nursing, midwifery and allied health courses which can lead to professional roles in the NHS and the wider health economy. These courses offer a route into fulfilling careers with a social purpose and excellent employment opportunities."

As for one of the campaign ambassadors, Mental Health Nurse, Cherie Lawrence said, “I’m really proud to have been chosen as an ambassador for this exciting new campaign. It’s vital that we inspire more young people who are choosing their future career paths to study these degrees and educate them on the huge range of opportunities that careers in nursing offer. Not only does studying nursing make you highly employable, in fact I was offered a job before I’d even finished my degree, but it’s hugely rewarding – as a mental health nurse I get to make a real difference to people’s lives every day.”

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

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