Access Nurses, a company dedicated to providing staffing solutions to a nursing industry facing ever-increasing shortages via the placement of traveling nurses, sought a unique means to position themselves as the most recognized and respected name in the nurse staffing industry. In addition to improving the Access Nurses brand and its success as a top vendor to hospitals across the nation, Access sought also to increase their candidate base and that of the nursing community as a whole by promoting the exciting and rewarding lifestyle of traveling nurses.
RAW Productions worked closely with Access Nurses to conceptualize and design “13 Weeks,” the first corporate-branded reality show. In following the compelling story of six traveling nurses “13 Weeks” would function as a dramatic incentive to entice candidates to the short-staffed healthcare field, and more specifically to Access Nurses as an agent of placement. RAW began the “13 Weeks” project by producing a buzz-generating casting call comprising stylized animation, music and voiceover that was subsequently aired on Access Nurses’ NurseTV.com as well as four other sites owned by the company. Following an immediate and overwhelming response to the promo, RAW worked with Access to select a cast based not only on staffing criteria but on character dynamics that would ensure an exciting show. With the cast in place, RAW put its production team to work in managing locations (including a $10 million Newport Beach mansion where the cast was to live), scripting activities, and developing productive working relationships with the hospitals in which much of the show would be shot. Owing to RAW’s meticulous pre-production planning and organization, as well as its industrious relationship with Access Nurses, the filming of “13 Weeks” and the show’s airing on NurseTV.com went off with unmitigated success. RAW’s production team effectively captured the drama and thrills of the nurses’ everyday lives, intimately showcasing adventures both on and off the job, and portraying the challenges and commitment of the cast.
Amidst rising public awareness of the national nursing crisis, the unique approach to recruitment and marketing devised by RAW and Access Nurses was soon covered by nearly every major media outlet. “13 Weeks” was profiled on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, in the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post, and on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation, among many others. The media response was so overwhelming that Access was forced to turn down many media requests. Due directly to the feature and front page media coverage of “13 Weeks,” Access realized an unprecedented return on investment. “Since the web show has debuted applications have gone up about 20%” says Alan Braynin, Access Nurses CEO. In addition to the recruitment and marketing returns that Access reaped from the show, “13 Weeks” developed into a valuable commodity in and of itself. Merging compelling elements of reality television, medical intrigue, a dedicated cast of health professionals, and the glamour of exclusive Southern California living, the show evolved beyond a mere marketing tool into a gripping biopic of adventure, trial and self-discovery.