RNs get the star treatment

The Ontario Nurses' Association has turned its members into celebrities in an effort to prevent job losses.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) has launched an ad campaign that features its members as superstars, even if they aren’t typically treated with the reverence reserved for pro athletes or famous musicians.

The ads, which started running this week and will continue through December, turn RNs into icons, and the hope is employers and the government will treat them as such, Linda Haslam-Stroud, president, ONA, tells MiC.

‘We’re really trying to get the public’s attention with something a bit different,’ Haslam-Stroud says. ‘The story of the challenges of health care are well known to the public, so this is just a humorous way of saying, ‘movie stars and pro athletes are all paid a very high price; don’t forget the value that RNs across Ontario have.”

Toronto-based Doug & Serge handled the creative and the media buy for the campaign, which features radio ads and OOH playing on the theme of nurses as sports stars.

The radio ads feature Toronto Maple Leafs commentator Joe Bowen treating nurses like NHL hockey players, describing a shift as an RN like he would a shift by a star player, and, in another radio spot, conducting a ‘post-game’ interview.

One OOH transit shelter ad shows an RN trading card encased in protective plastic and another shows a framed set of scrubs.

With the fiscal year nearing its end and organizations struggling to make ends meet, the ONA is hoping the ads will encourage the public to put pressure on the government to save nursing jobs across the province.

‘In times when there are reductions and budget cutting being done in the hospital sector, we’re finding the quickest and easiest thing for the employers to look at is cutting the RNs,’ says Haslam-Stroud. ‘Our message is, ‘RNs are a great value to the health care system…and don’t forget that when you’re balancing your budget.”