Commentary: Nursing and healthcare marketing go hand in hand

2 min read


As a nurse and freelance content marketer, learning new skills, techniques, and advancements in the industry is something that I'm always tasked with. I had the opportunity to participate in the Certificate in Healthcare Marketing co-developed by OpusVi and the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. During the onset of COVID-19 and while working as an infection preventionist for a 120+ bed facility, the program's pace and flexibility were precisely what I needed to achieve the personal goals for my business. Here are three reasons why nurses should consider the Certificate in Healthcare Marketing.

Understanding of the business of healthcare

Nursing is as much a business as any other aspect of healthcare. The skills that I've learned as a nurse are invaluable:

  • Customer service
  • Time management
  • Creating solutions to problems 
  • Innovation 

You need all of these skills in the business world. As more nurses step away from the bedside, into the boardroom — and even entrepreneurship — marketing is an essential aspect of this transition. The Certificate in Healthcare Marketing taught me the concepts and theories behind healthcare marketing, but it also gave insight on how to identify problems. As an entrepreneur, I can take what I've learned and apply it to my client's businesses. If you're a nurse entrepreneur, stepping outside of that nursing mind frame and identifying your clients' problems and developing solutions through the eyes of a marketer is beneficial for business growth and scaling. But what if entrepreneurship is not your cup of tea? No problem! Take what you've learned, apply it to systems and processes, and watch it positively impact patients' outcomes. 

Nursing and healthcare marketing go hand in hand

The service that healthcare facilities offer is patient care. Nurses are the primary providers of this day-to-day service. This means that frequently, we are the very first impression that a patient receives in a healthcare facility. This can promote a good or bad environment for the patient. We unintentionally find ourselves in a marketing role when we:

  • Communicate with patients, family members, colleagues, and vendors
  • Provide nursing care in a competent and compassionate manner
  • Address grievances and concerns
  • Handle emergencies and crises 
  • Identify a concern and create an innovative solution to address it

Nurses set the tone for how patients perceive their care for the duration of their stay. Healthcare is forever evolving, and you need to shift with it. Marketing departments in healthcare facilities influence the attraction, retention, and satisfaction of patients. These outcomes have a significant impact on the policies and procedures of nursing departments. (‘Patient satisfaction surveys’ ring a bell?) It's helpful to understand the why behind these new changes. 

Nurses are the heartbeats of the healthcare system. Whether you're at the bedside or in the boardroom, understanding your role in healthcare marketing is a valuable tool. We are trained to see the big picture and to think holistically, and having a clear understanding of healthcare marketing gives you a competitive edge.

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Portia Wofford


Portia Wofford


Portia Wofford

Portia Wofford LPN, NHIP is a writer and an award-winning nurse with over a decade of experience in patient education, quality assurance, infection control and prevention, and staff development. After spending most of her nursing career creating content and solutions for her employers that affected patient outcomes, she pivoted into writing content for health-related brands. These days, Portia manages a team of nurse writers who create consumer-friendly, health-related content for brands and businesses and offer communication training for health practices to grow their communities. Portia regularly speaks on healthcare content marketing and blogging throughout the United States, and her work has appeared on popular nursing and health platforms.