It goes without saying that healthcare marketers’ primary focus is targeting physicians and other healthcare prescribers, yet nurses are too often overlooked.

These important healthcare providers compose a strong and influential demographic holding significant sway over associated interventions and purchasing decisions. Nurses provide critical patient care services, and should be considered an essential aspect of your healthcare marketing strategy.

Essential to the Healthcare Industry

Nursing represents not only the largest healthcare profession—with more than 3.8 million registered nurses (RNs) nationwide—but one of the single most important occupations in the field of medicine. 

Most healthcare services involve nursing on some level, and RNs are nearly always in high demand, from private practices and public health agencies to healthcare education and research organizations. In fact, the federal government projects an additional 200,000 new registered nurse positions will be created each year from 2016-2026.

Their importance notwithstanding, nurses have often taken a backseat in many marketing efforts. This may be based on the false assumption that non-prescribing clinicians hold little sway over the decision-making process of industry products. As much of the pharmaceutical market has migrated online, however, the nursing community is emerging as an invaluable resource in helping shape prescribing behavior and treatment decisions.

Influence With Patients & Physicians 

By the very nature of their job, nurses wield tremendous influence regarding patient decisions and day-to-day hospital operations. According to the National Library of Medicine, hospital patients on average spend about 86 percent of their time with nursing staff, compared to 13 percent with physicians. 

Nurse influence is not isolated to the time spent with patients, though. According to a study by the International Nursing Review, while only two percent of nurses had the ability to prescribe medications or treatments themselves, 79 percent reported recommending treatments to the prescribing doctor, as well as providing advice to patients about over-the-counter medications. Another 77 percent participated in the development of guidelines or policies that included the use of medications, and all the nurses who took part in the study reported influencing the prescription of medicines in one way or another.

They consistently also rank highest among trusted professions in the United States, with 85 percent of Americans saying nurses' honesty and ethical standards are "very high" or "high" for the 18th year in a row, according to a 2020 Gallup poll. 

No other profession enjoys such universally high regard, both within the medical community, and among the general public. So whether marketing a new pharmaceutical drug, biotechnical equipment, or some other medical products, they are perfectly positioned with direct access to physicians and patients. 

More Accessible & Digitally Savvy

Nurses are typically easier to reach than physicians—the former numbering nearly 4 million and latter just above 1 million, according to a 2020 report by market and consumer data platform Statista. They are ubiquitous throughout virtually all therapeutic specialties, which coupled with their online and social media habits, can make them more easily accessible than their physician counterparts. 

Additionally, a 2010 study titled Taking the Pulse of Nurses by healthcare analytics provider Manhattan Research finds nurses as digitally advanced as physicians, more active in social media, and more likely to engage with patients and influence their treatment decisions online— making them a prime target for your HCP marketing strategy. 

The analysis also reveals that despite nearly 90 percent of online nurses visiting a pharmaceutical, biotech, or device corporate or product website in the past year, few pharma companies provide nursing-focused content on their sites. 

It’s long past time pharma marketers acknowledged the nursing community as a valuable segment of the HCP market well worth investing in. 

The best way to market to nurses is by enlisting the right HCP partner, and PDQ Communications has just what you need to ensure your campaigns reach the optimal audience and achieve the most success. Contact us today to get started! 


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