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The "thank you" campaign.

The university public relations department was enlisted to assist with publicity. We identified target audiences and developed a series of specific strategies for each. The Vision Team, a committee responsible for communication, research, and marketing for the department, developed and led the campaign.

We began our campaign by writing an editorial for the local newspaper with the theme, "It Takes a Community to Educate a Nurse." We pointed out that nurses everywhere are essential for meeting today's health care needs and that everyone, at some point in time, will need the services of a nurse. The editorial was directed toward patients, students, nurses, physicians, and health care executives. We expressed our hope that community groups would realize the positive impact that nursing students could make in their organization and encouraged readers to ask whether their health care providers helped educate nursing students.

After the editorial appeared, we took out an advertisement in the local newspaper thanking our clinical agencies, listing all of them alphabetically. To ensure that staff at all the agencies would see the ad, we sent a thank-you letter to each agency and included a photocopy of the ad.

Noting the popularity of stickers and buttons and that stickers are given to voters and blood donors ("I voted today"/"I gave blood today"), we held a student competition to design a logo about helping in the education of nurses. The winning entry, selected by the Vision Team, was submitted by a senior-level nursing student. It is a multicolored design, representing diversity, that gives thanks for "guiding my hands and molding my heart."

We then visited with our larger medical centers to ensure that this logo, on buttons or stickers, would be appropriate in terms of the dress code for specific settings. Once we received approval, we had the design printed on buttons for faculty and students and created stickers for nurses and others who work with students on a daily basis. These read, "I helped educate a nurse today." Lastly, we placed the design on certificates that are distributed at the end of each clinical rotation to everyone who works with our students.

A press release about this portion of the Thank You campaign was picked up by all area newspapers, a radio company with stations throughout the region, and a local television station. Members of the media visited several clinical sites to photograph nurses and others who help educate students. We again wrote a thank-you letter to all agencies and included a copy of a newspaper article about the campaign.
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Title Annotation:Education News
Publication:Nursing Education Perspectives
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:423
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