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Response from Johnson & Johnson

The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future

May 10, 2006 -- First let us start by saying how much we respect all of the wonderful work that has been done by the Center for Nursing Advocacy. This organization has done a great job with their mission to increase the public's understanding of the important role that nurses play in our healthcare community. In fact, the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future has supported the Center with a small donation.

We would also like to thank the Center for giving us this opportunity to talk about our Campaign and the impact it is having on the nursing profession. We would begin by respectfully disagreeing with the Center's opinions on our Campaign. All of us at Johnson & Johnson feel strongly that our Campaign is having a positive impact on the nursing community - mainly thanks to the many key nursing partner organizations that we have worked with since our launch in February of 2002.

The Campaign is a very diverse and multi-faceted initiative that includes everything from TV commercials, a website (, educational tools, children's outreach information, inspirational videos, recruitment materials, regional fundraising events and more. We have received thousands of letters and emails from nurses and perspective [sic] nurses, telling us how much this Campaign means to them and how much they like all of the various different components.

In addition to all of that positive feedback, Johnson & Johnson has been honored and recognized by some very prestigious organizations for our work on the Campaign for Nursing's Future. Some of the organizations that honored the Campaign are:

  • American Academy of Nursing
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • American Nurses Association
  • National Association of Health Care Recruiters
  • National League for Nursing
  • National Student Nurses Association
  • Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek magazine
  • Sigma Theta Tau International

The Campaign would like to thank all of our partners for their help and support. Now in our 5th year, we remain solidly committed to the work we are doing in the nursing community. The Campaign objectives are the same: to help enhance the image of the profession, to recruit more nurses and more nurse educators, and to retain more nurses and more nurse educators. The fact is we have a very large shortage of nurses across our country and it is predicted to get alarmingly worse in the years to come. The Campaign team will continue to work with our colleagues and friends in the nursing community to help alleviate this shortage.

If you have any questions or comments, or you would like to submit your profile to the Campaign, please feel free to contact us

The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future Team

Since 2002, Johnson & Johnson has supported an independent evaluation of Campaign activities by researchers at The Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. Survey design and questionnaire development, analysis and reporting of data, and preparation of manuscripts submitted for publication have been conducted independently. A summary of research findings prepared by the Principal Investigator at each institution follows:

See a summary of research findings J&J provided with its response. J&J told the Center that the attached paper by Principal Investigators Peter Buerhaus, RN, PhD, FAAN, and Karen Donelan, ScD., had been "re-written specifically for this project"--that is, to counter the Center's analysis.

The Center for Nursing Advocacy replies

May 10, 2006 -- Johnson & Johnson (J&J) stresses that many nurses support its overall campaign. And it relies on J&J-funded research suggesting that its recruitment materials may increase interest in nursing careers. However, even if true, those points do nothing to rebut what the Center actually said about the messages conveyed in the J&J materials we analyzed. We praised the "Nurse Scientists" video and the J&J web site. But we explained why the most powerful elements of the image campaign--the TV commercials--rely heavily on the same kind of emotional, maternal and "angel" imagery that has long been a factor in nursing not getting the resources and real respect it needs. We agree that nurses must be caring and compassionate. It's also no surprise that most people like being portrayed as noble, nor that career seekers in a tight job market will respond to big-budget ads promoting a profession that offers many relatively well-paying jobs. But that does not mean that it is in nurses' best interest to be seen primarily as kind hand-holders. We believe that only aggressive efforts to tell the public what it does not know about nursing--that nurses save lives and improve patient outcomes--are likely to attract the resources the profession needs to recruit, educate and retain the best candidates over the long term, and to avert the global nursing crisis.




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