Marketing nursing as a profession: Integrated marketing strategies to address the nursing shortage

Mark John Somers, Linda Finch, Dee Birnbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The nursing shortage in the United States is at a crisis level characterized by critical shortages of highly trained nurses and of nursing faculty. Key issues in addressing these shortages include awareness and image-building, along with enhanced outreach programs. Although these issues are related to marketing theory, most studies in this area are based on a vocational choice model. This study was grounded in marketing theory and the results offer a new perspective for addressing the nursing shortage. In-depth interviews conducted with 31 first-year nursing students indicated that there were two distinct segments among nursing students: traditionals and instrumentals. Traditionals were attracted to nursing as a helping profession while instrumentals were interested in career-related rewards such as variety, mobility, and compensation. These findings were discussed in terms of building awareness and marketing programs for nursing students that are integrated across schools of nursing, private foundations and public agencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-306
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Marketing Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Health Professions
  • Marketing


  • Integrated marketing
  • Marketing theory
  • Nursing image
  • Nursing shortage


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