HCC launches Nurses’ Health Study website on 40th anniversary

Homepage of new Nurses' Health Studies website that HCC developed

(March 2016) Marking its 40th anniversary, HCC developed a new logo for the Nurses' Health Study and launched its first dedicated website. The September issue of the American Journal of Public Health was devoted to honoring the contributions of the Nurses' Health Studies. All articles are open access. In an introductory article, AJPH's editor in chief writes, "Nurses rallying around their study explain its success. It provided a model for many other cohort studies launched on other continents. This is indeed a very noteworthy public health anniversary."

A rich, continuing history

The Nurses’ Health Studies are among the largest investigations into the risk factors for major chronic diseases in women. Starting with the original Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) in 1976, the studies are now in their third generation with Nurses’ Health Study 3 (which is still enrolling male and female nurses) and count more than 275,000 participants. The studies’ regular follow-up of study participants since 1976 and repeated assessment of health and lifestyle factors have played an instrumental role in shaping public health recommendations.

Site strategy

The Health Communication Core (HCC) worked with NHS leadership to develop a communication strategy that identified the website’s goals and audiences, key messages, and audience-appropriate approaches to its content and graphic design.


The study’s new logo and site design were developed to convey two key messages: The dedication and commitment of the participating nurses to improving public health, and the link between the studies’ rich past and its ongoing cutting-edge scientific research on chronic disease.

From content to launch

HCC edited site content for maximum online readability and organized it to enhance site usability.

The NHS site was developed in Drupal, HCC’s platform of choice, which is open source and free. Drupal’s user-friendly content management system makes it easy for clients to keep their sites up-to-date after they are launched. (Download our Drupal guide.)

Lastly, HCC coordinated redirection of the study’s original, long-standing URL to the new site, added keywords for search engine optimization, programmed Google Analytics (a free website traffic tracking program that HCC includes in all sites that we build), and trained NHS staff in the content management system so they can easily and independently keep the site up to date.

Mobile usage trends: Access and visibility

Visitors accessing the new NHS website with their mobile devices (phones and tablets) represent more than 20% of its traffic, according to site traffic data from Google Analytics.

Mobile sites are also favored in Google’s search algorithm and appear higher in search result rankings. Older websites that do not display responsively based on the user’s device are becoming rapidly obsolete. HCC has developed a streamlined, cost-effective process for rebuilding outdated sites so they are as cutting-edge as their research focus. Contact us for a free consultation on how we can help you develop a new, strategic, technologically updated online presence.