A brand that becomes a rallying cry

The Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO) came to Parcel with a problem. The association representing 14,000+ practical nurses was doing great work in terms of advocating for better recognition within the health ecosystem and giving members access to value-added services like training, employment opportunities, and benefits. But they were often confused with the union – and a competing nurses association representing Registered Nurses, called RNAO. 

RPNAO wanted to change its name, but its executive team and Directors didn’t want to manage the bureaucracy that comes with a legal name change. So they challenged Parcel to come up with a solution that allowed them to keep Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario as their legal entity but establish a new brand that wouldn’t get confused with RNAO.

After in-depth exploration into the nursing sector and RPNAO community, including interviews with members, stakeholder groups, and partners – we learned that, for generations, practical nurses viewed themselves as the underdog of the nursing system. Considered “lesser than” RNs, they were continually under pressure to validate their worth within the health system. They felt unappreciated and lacked pride in their profession.

RPNAO had made significant inroads as an organization to change that perception politically – but many members still felt that sense of inequality in their day-to-day roles. 

We came up with the name WeRPN to transform the brand into a rallying cry that celebrates the many things Practical Nurses deliver to the healthcare system. Creating this nickname gave the membership a natural replacement for the acronym – which they’ve quickly adopted. 

When we presented the name change to the membership at their AGM last fall, several members became emotional about how they finally felt a sense of pride in their profession – and no longer a “sub-par” nurse.  The name and the subsequent campaign and communication materials have reignited their passion for being a practical nurse and, as a result, boosted both new memberships and accelerated member renewals for the association.



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