The American Nurses Association provides guidelines for social networking and social media
Our principles for social networking:
- Nurses must not transmit or place online individually identifiable patient information.
- Nurses must observe ethically prescribed professional patient-nurse boundaries.
- Nurses should understand that patients, colleagues, organizations, and employers may view postings.
- Nurses should take advantage of privacy settings and seek to separate personal and professional information online.
- Nurses should bring content that could harm a patient’s privacy, rights, or welfare to the attention of appropriate authorities.
- Nurses should participate in developing organizational policies governing online conduct.
Social media tips
- Remember that standards of professionalism are the same online as in any other circumstance.
- Do not share or post information or photos gained through the nurse-patient relationship.
- Maintain professional boundaries in the use of electronic media. Online contact with patients blurs this boundary.
- Do not make disparaging remarks about patients, employers, or co-workers, even if they are not identified.
- Do not take photos or videos of patients on personal devices, including cell phones.
- Promptly report a breach of confidentiality or privacy.