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Marketing when Nurses are the Audience


Today Jenny welcomes Deb Nevins, EVP of Customer Strategy at Point of Care Network (POCN). POCN is a platform whose goal is to help NPs and PAs practice at the top of their medical license. They help connect them to education, mentoring, and career opportunities. 

This episode discusses: 

  • How NPs and PAs now make up almost one-third of all prescribing clinicians in the U.S.
  • Preferences of communication and education for NP/PAs, compared to MDs and why it matters
  • Tips to recruit NP/PAs, including what matters to many of them right now (tip – it’s not hiring bonuses!)

Watch their discussion below or listen to the podcast, We Are Marketing Happy – A Healthcare Marketing Podcast.

Other Links and Resources

Connect with Deb on LinkedIn:

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn:


Full Transcript:

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi, I’m Jenny Bristow and I’m the CEO and founder of Hedy & Hopp, a healthcare marketing agency based in the Midwest. We started the We Are, Marketing Happy podcast because of our passion for improving patients’ access to care. And understanding the innovations and shifts in the healthcare industry are key to making that happen.

Please follow, share, and let us know what topics you’d like for us to cover next.  Enjoy!

Hi friends. Welcome to this week’s episode of We Are, Marketing Happy. I’m super excited that this week we are joined by Deb Nevins. She is EVP of customer strategy for POCN. 

So Deb, first of all, thank you so much for joining us today and I’d love to get started. If you could just tell our listeners a little bit about POCN and the organization’s background. 

DEB: Okay, great. Hi Jenny. Thanks for having me here. So POCN is Point Of Care Network and it’s a platform focused on helping [00:01:00] NPs and PAs practice at the top of their medical license. So we were started back in 2014 really to support the NPs and PAs, and we’ve done a lot of things over the last eight years that really help them accomplish the goals that they need to accomplish.

So we have educational opportunities available to them, mentoring career opportunities. We partner with the AANP and the APA. During covid, we had content on our sites from the CDC. So we’ve really done a lot to try to help NPs and PAs practice at the top of their license. And we also host America’s Top NP in America’s Top PA for five years running now.

So that’s a really great opportunity for them to showcase each other and how they’re doing in their profession. 

Jenny: So I poked around a little bit on the website and there’s a lot of content, the continuing education credits. There’s a lot of value given there to this audience. Let’s talk about it though, through the lens of a marketer, because that’s, you know, how we’re approaching this [00:02:00] conversation today.

What value is there to marketers in the healthcare space, specifically in life sciences, to really be thinking about targeting NPs and PAs? 

DEB: That’s a great question. And so, you know, one side of our business is all about supporting the NPs and PAs and in doing that, we’ve been able to create the other side of our business, which is really supporting life sciences as they try to engage with the NPs and PAs.

And so over the course of the last, it’s been going on for a long time, but the last eight years, specifically as we’ve been gathering this data, you know, NPs and PAs are taking a, a much larger role in care of patient. They account for a third of all prescribing clinicians in America. Right now, there’s over 513,000 of them, and they all have NPI numbers and they’re all able to write in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

So they are writing scripts, and our data actually shows that greater than 30% in some cases of the MBX and TRX are coming from [00:03:00] NPs and PAs. So, you know, really an important audience across all therapeutic areas to be considering if you’re not already. 

Jenny: Absolutely. So if you’re a marketer and you’re doing some HCP marketing, how would your messaging or targeting change if you’re wanting to loop in this audience?

DEB: There’s a couple things you can do. I mean, one, obviously they’re engaged across multiple platforms, right? But what we would say, or what I would say is you need to be intentional in how you think about engaging with your NPs and PAs, right? They, they want the same clinical message that you’re giving to the MDs, right?

But then they want it a little bit more holistically. They think different about their patients. They get to know their patients, they know their families, they know their lives. They’re thinking about, you know, how is this medicine gonna impact my patient? What are the cost implications that I have to be concerned about?

And these are things that we would say to marketers, Make sure you include that, right? You don’t have to necessarily [00:04:00] change that scientific clinical message, right? They want that education too, but you’re gonna have to broaden it a little bit to make it so that they know not only the the why about the medicine, why their patients should be on it, but then how it’s gonna impact them.

Jenny: Yeah, absolutely. That’s an excellent point. Let’s shift topics a little bit. I wanna talk a little bit about NP and PA recruitment because we do tons of marketing for healthcare organizations across the country and I feel like it’s a pendulum. We’re either helping them with patient acquisition campaigns or we’re helping them recruit difficult to fill positions and nursing positions throughout their career in different tenure levels.

These are some of the most difficult to fill positions for all organizations across the country. What advice would you give to organizations that are trying to recruit NPs and PAs today? 

DEB: So I would say there, there’s lots of places you can go to look for them, right? And they’re very eager to learn. And, and most NPs and PAs don’t come out of school [00:05:00] with some specialty.

Right. And, and they do move around, but they don’t move around at crazy rates. What they’re doing is they’re finding something they like and then they’re moving from one institution to another. They might be in an academic setting and then they decide they wanna go to a community setting for a little while or vice versa, right?

So an academic setting is gonna be much more regimented. A community setting is gonna be a little bit more opportunity to be autonomous. And so I would say there’s platforms out there like ours, we have career opportunities that we post on our site. But there’s platforms out there where they can find specific NPs and PAs right?

They can also go to the ANP or the AAP every year. They have their annual meetings. They’re always doing recruiting at those meetings. So there’s lots of ways that you can engage them, but remember, they are on a mission to continuously learn. Not only do they have to have those continuing education [00:06:00] credits but they also are eager to learn. And the ones that I’ve talked to, they’re excited to have the opportunity to continue to evolve themselves. 

So I think that’s really good way that, just to think about where am I looking for them? What type of employee am I looking for? Do I want somebody I can put in an academic setting that’s been in community for a while or vice versa?

They’ve been in academic, I wanna give ’em an opportunity in community. 

Jenny: That’s a really great point. We had a client, it was about a year ago. They were trying to bring in hundreds of nurses. It was a really large healthcare system, lots of locations across the country. And we pushed back because a lot of their messaging was around hiring bonuses.

And so we pushed back and said, Is that really what they care about? And so we actually went and we did a lot of research looking at what all the competitors in each of the geographies were promoting. We made a list of all of the key call to actions. Made a list of everything that this employer could offer and then we tested and some of the most effective called actions had nothing to do [00:07:00] with compensation.

It was like you’re saying much more around opportunity to grow, opportunity to be, you know, within a certain specialty area or within a certain sort of culture for their organization. So I think really peeling that level back and not making assumption that it’s all about compensation is a really good.

DEB: I think it’s more about quality of life and also being noticed. And, I can tell you, you know, one of the things that we’ve heard over and over and, and we recommend colleague to colleague or peer to peer type of engagements, right? Where you have an NP speaking to an NP group, whether it’s a dinner meeting or webinar or anything like that, because they wanna have the opportunities to stand up and, and speak up and, and they want to be in front of their peers and they actually, when they get those opportunities, they share those things. So it’s a much more community type feeling. I don’t feel like they’re as much of a eog eat dog kind of thing, right? They’re more of like, how do we lift each other up? 

Jenny: Yep. I completely agree.

It’s a really wonderful thing about the [00:08:00] healthcare sector overall. Well, Deb, thank you so much for being on the episode today. I am going to link to not only, but also your LinkedIn profile, so if anybody’s interested in reaching out to you and learning more, they can reach out. So thank you again for being on.

DEB: Thanks, Jenny. Appreciate it.



About the Author

Jenny Bristow is the CEO and Founder of Hedy & Hopp. Prior to starting Hedy & Hopp, Jenny launched, grew and sold a digital agency in Seattle and worked at Amazon. She was named one of St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 under 30, won a Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018 and speaks regularly at healthcare marketing industry events.

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