Elevating the Image of Nursing
Cleveland Clinic Nursing’s Image & Brand Council wants you to know that nurses aren’t just caring angels. They are leaders, researchers and educators, too. Council programs lift up the professionalism of nurses.
When people think about branding, the first thing that comes to mind is often familiar corporate symbols and slogans like the Nike swoosh and “Just Do It” catchphrase. Should nurses have an image, too? The answer is a resounding yes at Cleveland Clinic, where the Stanley Shalom Zielony Institute for Nursing Excellence created an Image & Branding Council in 2011 to define, strengthen and advance its image and brand to attract nursing excellence globally.
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“Nurses are at the top of the list of most trusted professions in the United States,” says Meredith Lahl, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC, PNP-BC, CPON, senior director of advanced practice nursing at Cleveland Clinic and chair of the Image & Branding Council. “But we have this reputation of just being caring angels. There is so much more to what we do.” The council’s goal is to make nurses – and the public – aware that Cleveland Clinic nurses are leaders in professional practice, nursing research and nursing education.
One of the first steps for the council was to conduct internal and external research on the visibility and perception of nursing at Cleveland Clinic. More than 2,000 nurses from main campus and the health system’s community hospitals completed the survey. When asked to name the top five words nurses use to describe themselves, lots of great answers popped up – advocate, courageous, creative, critical thinker, innovator, welcoming and more. But one glaring oversight occurred in the survey results: More than half of the nurses said the word they would least use to describe themselves is leader.
“Nurses do not view themselves as leaders unless they have a formal title,” says Lahl. To help Cleveland Clinic nurses realize they are, indeed, leaders and to promote the professionalism, clinical excellence and scholarly pursuits of its nurses, the Image & Branding Council has adopted several initiatives, including these four:
Cleveland Clinic’s Image & Branding Council has made great strides toward helping nurses in the health system realize the extent to which they influence care, increase engagement among nurses and enhance the overall image of Cleveland Clinic.