Behind every great advertisement, there is great research that supports the predominant message, otherwise known as the "call to action." So if you are asked to write an eye-catching ad for a nursing job, prepare to conduct some due diligence on two fronts: the nurses who already work at your hospital or health- care center and the outlet or outlets in which you have chosen to place your ad. Only when equipped vital information gathered from these sources can you craft an ad that is guaranteed to resonate with – and generate interest from – exactly the type of nurses you wish to employ.

Seek input from nursing supervisor and others

Approach the head nurse or nursing supervisor at your center. In the spirit of cooperation – after explaining your goal is to recruit the very best nurses you can find – ask her to list the features that make your facility an attractive place to work. Then ask her to rank those features in descending order. Obtain her permission to speak with other nurses at the center so that you can solicit their opinions, too.

Create a “talking points” list that contains the best features of your center. Ask as many nurses as you can to review the list, make additions and point to the single most appealing attribute of your center. In essence, get to the heart of what they like best about where they work. By now, the "call to action" for your ad should be taking shape in your mind.

Review the demographics of your advertising outlets. Let’s say that you have selected the job placement offices of regional nursing schools and two nursing magazines. In this case, you can safely assume that the readers are educated and can read at a higher level than most newspaper readers. Try to discern whether the audience includes males – a discovery that should deter you from using gender-specific language in your ad.

Write an eye-catching headline for your ad that also serves as an emotional appeal, based on your research. You may wish to phrase this "call to action" in the form of a question. For example, let’s say that the nurses at your surgical center are universally proud of its infinitesimal infection rate, especially when compared with area hospitals. Without “going negative” about hospitals, your eye-catching headline might say, “Our nurses are simply the best – and have achieved the record to prove it. Care to join our proud team?”

Include other eye-catching features and benefits of working at your center. Summarize these features in bullet-point form in descending order. Such features might include competitive salary and benefits, flexible hours and opportunities for advancement. Nearby, place the logo of your center's accrediting agency for added credibility.

Include pictures of your center in the ad as well as contact information so that applicants can easily respond. Arrange these elements so that the headline and ancillary benefits are the predominant focal points for a truly eye-catching ad.


You may wish to show a draft of your ad to the nurses who helped you with your research. But don’t be surprised if you encounter some criticism along the way because writing and graphic design is somewhat subjective.