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How Medical Device Companies Build Loyalty Among Nurses

Nurse Speaking To A Mother And Child

For medical device companies, building loyalty among nurses is a key element in driving growth. In this post, we’ll look at four loyalty builders for the nursing population. These loyalty builders are designed to engage and drive relationships among this critical stakeholder group.

Nursing is the most trusted profession in the U.S. In fact, 78% of people report that nurses have “high or very high levels of honesty and ethical standards,” according to a 2024 poll. Now, while we tip our hat to all the nurses out there, this incredible statistic doesn’t come as a huge surprise. It’s no secret that nurses form unique connections with their patients, creating an environment built on skill, empathy, and passionate patient care.

Why are nurses so trusted? Well, whole books can be written on the subject. But instead I’ll give a few examples from several years of research with nursing populations.

Nurses are easier to talk to

As part of my research for a women’s health medical device, I heard story after story about how nurses, not doctors, were the first people that patients disclosed a set of symptoms that they described as “embarrassing”. They reported feeling more at ease, having more time to connect, and believing that the nurse would take their concerns seriously. Obviously, patient experiences vary, but this largely female population of interviewees felt they could be honest and receive empathy and care in return.

Nurses can be easier to see

Nurses are often easier to get appointments with quickly when problems or questions arise. That kind of quick, just-in-time support gives patients the feeling of always having someone in their corner. I’ve spoken to many patients who consider their nurse practitioner the first stop for issues that need quick attention. Of course, that quick attention is nothing without our next trust driver…

Nurses know their stuff

Think of the last time you needed a quick answer on a child’s symptoms, wondered if you needed to hit the ER or urgent care center, or asked a question about your prescription. Your first call was likely to the office, where a nurse walked you through a series of questions that resulted in just the needed information. We’ll talk more about those “first calls” below. But suffice it to say that patients know that when they need answers, nurses have them.

Trust isn’t built in a day. But over time, activities like these will support meaningful relationships between your organization and nurses. Let’s examine how medical device organizations can build this same kind of trust and loyalty among nursing populations.

Medical Device Loyalty Builder #1: Make communications with nurses personal

Nurses are certainly in a league of their own. So if you are creating generic communications aimed at all clinical populations, you’re missing opportunities to connect with nurses on their specific needs, experiences, and questions.

If you have a nurse on staff, use them as you develop editorial calendars, nurture campaigns, and website material. It is critical to ensure that you are providing meaningful information that nurses can immediately act on. This will make it clear that your med device organization knows its stuff, not only about your products but also about your audience.

If you don’t know where to start in creating personal communications, might I interest you in a persona and journey map?

Medical Device Loyalty Builder #2: Arm nurses with education

Nurses work hard to build relationships. and they wear these as a badge of honor. A nurse recently told me, “Oh, whenever our patients have a question, they call me!” We joked about having time to take these calls during her very busy days, but it was clear from the conversation that she was proud that her patients made her their first call.

“I know that patients will call me, so trust me, I want to know every ‘Beep,’ ‘Bop,’ and ‘Boop’ the device makes.” I loved this comment because it spoke to the depth of understanding she wants in a device prescribed or recommended to her patients. She knows that the deeper her knowledge, the better she can confidently support her patients through setup, normal usage, and troubleshooting.

As you look at your current website content, are you helping nurses understand your product to the level they want? Is it presented in a way that they can quickly find information and translate that easily to patient populations? Are you making it easy to contact your own support team to answer additional questions that may arise? Do you have handouts, online walkthroughs, or other patient-facing materials that nurses can provide to their patients? If not, this is a great opportunity to work with nurses to understand your educational gaps and create engaging content to fill them.

Medical Device Loyalty Builder #3: Seek feedback from nurses

We hit on the idea of working with nurses. And if you aren’t already capturing feedback from this population, now is the time to start. These folks are on the front lines and can give you valuable feedback on patients’ needs, their needs, doctors’ needs, office/system needs, and more.

So how do you connect? You can create annual surveys, start social conversations, complete a series of one-on-one interviews, start a nurses network designed to offer a deeper level of support and community around your product, and more.

Many medical device organizations have nurses on staff. Leveraging these professionals’ experience is a great way to create a deeper understanding of this population organization-wide. Perficient’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practices include nurses and other clinical roles. I’ve seen how this firsthand knowledge supports audience understanding and helps make our communications sharper and more meaningful for our audiences.

Medical Device Loyalty Builder #4: Empower nurses to advocate  

I interviewed a nurse not long ago about a medical device. I asked how it came to be in use at her facility. She said, ”Oh, I love this product—I found out about it at my last job. When I moved here and found out it wasn’t in use, I reached out to the rep and got an in-service setup.”

This nurse’s advocacy of a product she saw benefit from is more powerful than just about any marketing, advertising, or sales activity you can imagine. This nurse is not only trusted by her patients but by her colleagues as well. And her advocacy of this product brought a new client to a medical device company.

So that raises the question — how are you helping nurses advocate for your products? Are you providing them with materials they can share? Are you monitoring social media, sharing content from nurses, and creating your own shareable content that your fans can run with? Do you have easily shareable content on your website that nurses can send on to their peers?

While we’re thinking about sharing, how are you celebrating National Nurses Day (and the other observances in May)? How are you leveraging nurses who are in the field using your product and willing to talk about their experiences? How are you showing that you understand this audience and are a partner in helping them help their patients?

If you haven’t already, now is the time to think about how you can support the trust, loyalty, and advocacy that nurses can bring to your business. Medical device companies can implement these strategies to embrace this critical audience as part of their main outreach strategies going forward.

Our Digital Healthcare Strategy team helps medical device organizations understand their audiences, drive connection, build loyalty, and support conversions among their stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem. Contact us today for more information.

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Marlana Voerster

Marlana Voerster is a Senior Healthcare Strategist at Perficient, where she works with providers and MedTech, pharma, and digital health organizations to build brand loyalty and enhance the patient experience through customer-centric digital experiences.

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