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J&J celebrates nurses with a new campaign in wake of burnout plaguing the profession

Nurses deserve more than just a “thank you” for all they contribute to the medical profession and the patients they care for, but Johnson & Johnson knows that appreciation is a good place to start.

Continuing the company’s 120-year commitment to the nursing profession, J&J launched a new digital and print campaign “Nurses Rise to the Challenge Every Day” to celebrate nurses and the work they’ve done during the pandemic and beyond. There is also a nurses-themed episode of “The Drew Barrymore Show” planned for Dec. 22.

The effort comes at a time when burnout, anxiety and stress are running at 70% in the field, with over 20% of nurses leaving the profession on a year-to-year basis.

Lynda Benton, J&J’s senior director of global community impact, said she started seeing these disturbing trends playing out in the headlines and after speaking with leaders at some of the top nursing organizations. After taking notes about what they were saying, she went back to J&J to make a plan.

“I said to my colleagues internally, we need to do something, I’ve talked to four people in the last several weeks who are reinforcing to me how important this issue is and we could be in real trouble, because our care will not work without nurses.”

The digital and print is aimed directly at nurses to give them a boost, letting them know the work they do is seen and appreciated, while the “The Drew Barrymore Show” is more about letting the general public really get a firsthand understanding of all that nurses have been doing during and before the pandemic.

Even though the campaign, which will run through December, just launched, the response has been swift and positive. J&J sent the video out to its nurses database. As Benton was the one to sign the letter, the responses poured in to her.

“The personal emails that I got back were really quite overwhelming and humbling,” she said.

The company also posted on Facebook, and, when the print ad launched on Sunday in the 51 markets hardest hit by the pandemic, Benton took a photo of the ad in “The New York Times” and posted it on her LinkedIn page. Once again, she was astounded by the response.

Backing up the feel-good campaign is real-world help with the company’s $50 million commitment on top of $250 million in support to front-line health workers.

Benton emphasized the ongoing support the company has always had for the nursing profession.

“This campaign is icing on the cake. We have a huge investment in the nursing profession as a whole—between hackathons, Quickfire challenges, nurse fellowships, we have leadership training, clinical skill development, health equity, bringing more than nurses into the profession through diverse scholarships, mental health and resilience resources as well.”