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Image Is More Than a Uniform: The Promise of Assurance

Wocial, Lucia D. PhD, RN; Sego, Kelly BS; Rager, Carrie BS, MA; Laubersheimer, Shellee; Everett, Linda Q. PhD, RN, FAAN, NEA-BC

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: May 2014 - Volume 44 - Issue 5 - p 298–302
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000070

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the meaning of the phrase “image of the nurse” in the context of the desired brand experience of assurance.

BACKGROUND: A brand is a promise that lives in the minds of consumers. Nurses play a key role in delivering on the brand promise of a hospital.

METHODS: Using focus groups, the authors applied a deductive approach to generate data. Discussion transcripts were analyzed by establishing codes and identifying themes.

RESULTS: The most frequent comment from participants was that for nurses to communicate assurance, they must 1st be clean, well groomed, and understated in overall appearance. Nurse behaviors that reassure patients include being present with patients, helping patients know what to expect, and demonstrating a consistent team approach.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall appearance and behaviors define the image of nurses and contribute significantly to the brand of assurance.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

Author Affiliations: Nurse Ethicist (Dr Wocial), Nursing Senior Marketing Coordinator (Ms Sego), Director of Market Research (Ms Rager), Nursing Project Coordinator (Ms Laubersheimer), Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive (Dr Everett), Indiana University Health, Indianapolis.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Wocial, Indiana University Health, 340 W 10th St, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

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