#AsaNurse Campaign Highlights the Nursing Experience
For the last 19 years, Americans have rated nurses as the most ethical and honest profession in the annual Gallup survey. Still, there is a disconnect between the reputation of nursing and the general public's reliance on nurses to provide credible, evidence-based information.
"I am fairly certain that the public has no idea the breadth and depth of experience, skill sets, and knowledge that nurses have and the roles that nurses are performing," says Marion Leary, director of innovation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Leary and Tim Raderstorf, chief innovation officer at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, collaborated to facilitate #AsaNurse. This social media campaign focuses on closing the gap between nurses and the general public by amplifying nurse voices, showing the versatility of the nursing profession, and increasing visibility of how valued nurses are to society.
"I think we are both believers that nurses are the linchpin to healthcare in our country and worldwide," Raderstorf says. "There's this gap between understanding what nurses do and what they provide for our communities and our communities' knowledge base within that."
#AsaNurse Came From Collaboration and Nursing Innovation
Raderstorf and Leary launched the #AsaNurse social media campaign on Twitter and LinkedIn, hoping nurses would interact with the hashtag. The campaign hopes to give nurses a platform to share their experiences and provide the general public an inside look at what nurses are doing every day.
Both Leary and Raderstorf attended nursing school, worked bedside, and now focus their efforts on nursing innovation. Both are members of the American Nurses Association Innovation Advisory Board and have been collaborating for three years. This was the birthplace of the #AsaNurse idea.
Today, @TimRaderstorf & I are launching the #AsANurse social media campaign to promote the many ways nurses impact their communities and to highlight all of the things one can do w/ a nursing degree. Please copy the graphic, use the hashtag, and share your impact #AsANurse (1/3)— Marion Leary MSN MPH RN (she/her) (@marionleary) October 18, 2021
While nurses are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, hailed as healthcare heroes since the start of the pandemic, the truth is, nurses feel disposable, unheard, and ultimately burnt out.
The #AsaNurse campaign provides a platform for nurses to share their experiences and be heard. It can also benefit a nurse's mental health to have a public voice. On this hashtag, nurses can share the many ways they've impacted their community and the avenues one can take with a nursing degree.
Nurses Share Gratitude, Pride, and Pain
As the campaign rounds its third week, themes within the #AsaNurse posts are evident. As you browse the hashtag, post after post boasts of gratitude for the nursing profession and the flexibility it can provide. It shows the pride nurses have for the nursing community.
Many posts highlight how nursing is a versatile career path. Many nurses are still working at the bedside and prioritizing patient education, but nurses are doing so many other things too. Nurses work in startup companies, create technologies, teach, research, and lead in policy and practice.
"I think we are part of one of the most grateful professions in any industry," Raderstorf says. "There's certainly a lot of pain in the profession right now, but I think the overwhelming emotion that we saw throughout these posts is gratitude."
Raderstorf hopes this gratitude will become a two-way street between the public and nurses.
Nurses Can Increase Authority With News Outlets and the General Public
Both Raderstorf and Leary encourage nurses to use social media to bridge the gap between the general public and nurses. Nurses need to use social media to put out relevant, important information as trusted health professionals. This helps to heighten public health messaging from nurses to the public.
"We need nurses on these platforms sharing the truth and science about health and healthcare," Leary says.
Beyond social media, Leary encourages nurses to engage with the media through:
- Writing op-eds
- Reaching out to local media agencies as a nursing and healthcare expert
News sources should be speaking directly to nurses when they have questions or news stories about health and healthcare. They should consult nurses when looking for nursing experiences or experts to support public service announcements about vaccines and patient education.
"Over the last 19 months, we've seen a total lapse in the voice of nursing when it comes to media coverage," Raderstorf says. "There aren't nearly enough nurses who are viewed as experts, and I think that's something we can leverage social media to continue to advance our profession."
This #AsaNurse campaign is just the beginning for Raderstorf, Leary, and the nursing community. However, Raderstorf makes it clear that he and Leary's intentions are only to facilitate this nurse-led social media campaign. They view this campaign as an open-access platform that anyone can use, take, and build upon.
"We are happy to be part of the leadership moving forward, but we really need our peers to take ownership," Raderstorf says. "This belongs to the nursing profession and for the nurses to use moving forward, and I hope they do."
Meet Our Contributors
Marion Leary, director of innovation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, works to amplify and educate nurses as leaders in healthcare. Leary is a member of the American Nurses Association's Innovation Advisory Committee and a founding member of the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Leaders. She is also a host of the UPenn School of Nursing podcast, "Amplify Nursing." In August 2019, she was named an Influencer of Healthcare winner in the category of Excellence in Innovation by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Tim Raderstorf is the chief innovation officer at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, head of academic entrepreneurship at the Erdős Institute, and the chief operating officer of the nonprofit NursesEverywhere. Raderstorf is also an assistant professor of clinical nursing in the Master of Healthcare Innovation program at Ohio State. From TED talks to textbooks, Raderstorf uses every platform he can find to empower those at the front lines to change healthcare.
Feature Image: SDI Productions / Getty Images
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