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Nursing News: Nursing Shortage Eased Thanks to Johnson & Johnson

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, December 6th, 2012

Ten years ago a nursing shortage loomed in the United States. A shortfall of about 400,000 nurses by 2020 was projected and the proportion of RNs younger than 30 had dropped from 30% to 12%.

In response to this dire scenario, The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future emerged in 2002. It has highly ambitious goals, including improving the nursing profession’s image, recruiting new nurses and retaining nurses already in the field.

“When we started the campaign, the projections about the nursing shortage were pretty horrendous, and we felt we were in a unique position to work with key partners to alleviate the shortage,” said Andrea Higham, the campaign’s director.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the $50 million campaign, and new data suggests the campaign is one reason the supply of nurses has improved. The Campaign for Nursing’s Future contributed to a 62% increase in the number of young nurses (ages 23-26) entering the field between 2002 and 2009.

The campaign did something for nursing that nursing could not do for itself. Johnson & Johnson had access to the airwaves their ads captured the best parts of nursing and appealed to the public in ways they could understand.

We all owe Johnson & Johnson a debt of gratitude to truly helping to avert a nursing shortage of crisis proportion. They indeed helped us recruit the nurses we need and retain the nurses we have.

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