A Nurse's Guide to Social Media

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A Nurse's Guide to Social Media

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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Social Media and Nurses: A new survey tells the story

Although some nurses are suspicious of the phenomenon, more than two-thirds use the most popular social media platform, Facebook. Of the 1,107 respondents to the Springer Publishing 2011 Nursing eBook and Smartphone Survey:

• 68 percent use Facebook
• 44 percent use YouTube
• 37 percent have joined LinkedIn
• 11 percent follow on Twitter
• 10 percent use no social media at all

A paltry 27 percent have downloaded no-cost nursing or medical applications, in contrast with the 46 percent who have not. The vast majority, 68 percent, have not downloaded any nursing or medical eBooks, while 31 percent have done so at least once. Of the respondents, 42 percent own an eBook reader, usually a Kindle. Smartphones and tablet computers are more popular, with 76 percent of the surveyed owning at least one.   


Did you know? The fastest-growing demographic on Facebook is women over 55.
         — InsideFacebook.com


What was the most popular application downloaded by the respondants? Epocrates, which offers free apps for drug information and deluxe premium resources for broader use.


A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media Guidelines from the NCSBN

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has developed new resources to help nurses educate themselves about boundaries in the social network environment. A video and a pamphlet based on the NCSBN’s paper “A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media” can be found at: www.ncsbn.org/2930.htm

The new guidelines are critical for protecting private and confidential patient information, while at the same time enabling nurses to take full advantage of all that technology has to offer. The NCSBN is especially concerned that nurses who use blogs, online chat rooms, and other social media be aware of employer policies, state and federal laws, and professional standards that protect patients’ rights.

A concern of the consortium is that the nature of the medium allows for instantaneous posting with little time for reflection and has the added burden that anything posted to the Internet is discoverable by law, even long after it has been deleted.

The video offers scenarios of inappropriate use of social media in professional situations. It is entitled “Social Media Guidelines for Nurses” and is available at www.ncsbn.org/2930.htm or by searching YouTube. Free copies of the brochure are also available by emailing: communications@NCSBN.org.

NCSBN comprises the boards of nursing of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories. It has endorsed the American Nurses Association’s principles for the use of social media, and the ANA has in turn endorsed the NCSBN’s guidelines.

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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