Mischief and ConnectRN Urge Burned Out Nurses to ‘UnResign’

The multichannel campaign puts a spotlight on the silent suffering of the unsung heroes of health care

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Nurses are quitting … but they don’t want to.

That’s the simple-yet-complicated message of connectRN’s new campaign “unResignation Notice,” a call-to-action created by Adweek’s 2022 Midsized Agency of the Year, Mischief @ No Fixed Address.

The clinician-serving platform is hoping its new campaign breathes life into a nursing community that is teetering in critical condition and inspires health care leaders to scrub in and enact the necessary changes to keep the industry from coding.

“unResignation Notice”—scheduled to run through March—officially launched with a double page spread featuring an “unResignation letter” signed by “hundreds of nurses” (according to a statement by Mischief) in the Sunday edition of The New York Times on the eve of the nurse’s strike being held in New York. The letter, which notes that “over 60% of nurses would love to return to the profession,” can also be found on a dedicated website, where members of the community can add their own names and share it on social to garner further support.

The "unResignation Letter" spread in The New York Times
Mischief, connectRN

On Jan. 9, the first day of the strike, the campaign dropped an additional out-of-home component along with “Don’t Quit,” a 90-second video featuring scenes of nurses interacting with patients and their families as they work to apply lifesaving care and support while silently struggling with a lack of support, limited resources and the toll it takes on their own lives.

“The nursing profession is romanticized, so when nurses quit, it feels like the problem is on them,” Raphael Franzini, creative director at Mischief @ No Fixed Address, said in a statement. “Our goal is to show the realities forcing them to quit. It’s not in a nurse’s nature to quit. Something needs to change, and it’s not the nurses.”

Both the OOH and video will run in local markets, with additional amplification scheduled to run at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference being held in San Francisco Jan. 9-12.

(Captions for the video have not been made available to Adweek. We will update the video once captions have been provided.)Mischief, connectRN

From hero status to hemorrhaging staff

Health care workers—once heralded as heroes during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic—have seen their staff numbers decimated by Covid-19, compounded by a lack of work/life balance and inadequate compensation that has resulted in the few short years since its start. The latter issue, while not the core focus of the campaign, has only been exacerbated by reports of hospitals making record profits and executive compensation packages hovering between seven and eight figures.

That said, Jen Reddy, chief marketing officer for connectRN, told Adweek the campaign is not an act of retaliation, but instead an act of love for the profession and the people who keep its heart beating.

“The insight for this campaign came from understanding that nurses are not quitting to retaliate or rebel against ‘management,’” she said. “They are quitting because their own well-being is suffering—physically and mentally. They don’t want to be heroes; they want to be heard and have choices. Feel support. Flexibility is a major way they can stay in love with nursing. We need to listen to them.”

A close-up of the "unResignation Letter" spread in The New York Times.
Mischief, connectRN

Reddy clarified that it was also “not about threats or making demands,” but to amplify the urgency of taking action to improve conditions that benefit everyone.

“Our hope is this letter and campaign show you how difficult it is for nurses to feel like they can’t be their best: for themselves, for their patients, for their loved ones. Quitting is the last thing they want to do, and giving them the mic to share their experience means a lot. And hopefully, creates change.”