Copy of Social Networking and Social Media

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.


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