1. Fitzpatrick, Melissa A. RN, MSN, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

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Did you catch the nursing advertisements that debuted on T.V. during February's Winter Olympics? I remember thinking, "Wow, what an awesome portrayal of our profession and of the vast contributions that nurses make to society's health and well-being."


These ads showcase diversity, intelligence, competence, and caring-the essence of nursing. They make me even more proud than usual to be a nurse and thrilled that our profession is getting prime airtime that millions of viewers worldwide see each day.


Fight for the future

We have Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to thank for its $20 million commitment over the next 2 years to this "Campaign for Nursing's Future," which aims to bring more people into nursing, develop a greater number of nurse educators, and retain the talent already at work in our profession. The campaign's initial thrust focuses on boosting interest in nursing, providing information to prospective recruits, and encouraging nurses to advocate for the profession.


J&J's campaign is the largest corporate contribution to date that exclusively promotes nursing as a positive career choice. And, it was a group effort: Leaders from national nursing organizations, nursing schools, hospitals, and other health care groups helped plan the campaign and set priorities for enhancing nursing's image.


The campaign salutes America's nurses through television and print ads. Phrases such as "Dare to care, dare to cry, dare to feel, dare to try;" "Nursing[horizontal ellipsis]building a better world;" and "Nursing[horizontal ellipsis]it's real" grab listeners' attention and, I hope, encourage them to take their first step toward a nursing career.


J&J's campaign also includes scholarships for candidates pursuing a nursing degree and for those aspiring to become nursing faculty. Interested individuals can obtain information about nursing and nursing organizations at the newly created Web site


In addition, J&J will distribute recruitment materials, including posters, brochures, and videos, to 20,000 high schools and 1,500 nursing schools and nursing organizations. The company also plans a multi-city fundraising campaign and initiatives to address retention during the nursing shortage.


Be ambassadors

J&J is doing so much to promote our profession. The rest is up to us. Every day, how we speak of nursing and whether we honor and advocate for it significantly affects our profession's image within our families, neighborhoods, and social circles. What words do you choose to describe your role and career path? What body language do you project when speaking to others about the work that you do?


Every nurse controls the image of nursing. Each of us has a choice to make-in every encounter, with every word. Although advertisements and scholarships go a long way to attracting nurses, it's up to us to do the rest. I is for image, but it's up to you.