Tuesday September 1st 2015

Uniting on social media guidelines

The American Nurses Association (ANA) and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN®) have mutually endorsed each organization’s guidelines for upholding professional boundaries in a social networking environment.

The use of social media and other electronic communication is expanding exponentially; the latest statistics indicate that there are 150 million U.S. Facebook accounts, and Twitter processes more than 250 million tweets worldwide on a daily basis.

Social networking can be a positive tool that fosters professional connections, enriches a nurse’s knowledge base, and promotes timely communication with patients and family members. ANA and NCSBN caution nurses that they need to be aware of the potential consequences of disclosing patient-related information via social media and mindful of employer policies, relevant state and federal laws, and professional standards regarding patient privacy and confidentiality.

“Nurses must recognize that it is paramount that they maintain patient privacy and confidentiality at all times, regardless of the mechanism that is being used to transmit the message, be it social networking or a simple conversation. As licensed professionals they are legally bound to maintain the appropriate boundaries and treat patients with dignity and respect,” said NCSBN Board of Directors President Myra A. Broadway, JD, MS, RN, executive director, Maine State Board of Nursing.

“Social media can be a powerful tool, one with the potential to enhance or undermine not only the individual nurse’s career, but also the nursing profession,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN. “ANA hopes these principles provide a framework for all nurses to maintain professional standards in a world where communication is ever changing.”

ANA’s e-publication, “ANA’s Principles for Social Networking and the Nurse,” provides guidance to RNs on using social networking media in a way that protects patients’ privacy, confidentiality, and inherent dignity. It is available as a downloadable, searchable PDF, which is compatible with most e-readers. It is free to ANA members on Nursingworld.org; non-members may purchase the publication at www.nursesbooks.org. ANA also provides additional resources at its Social Networking Principles Toolkit page at www.nursingworld.org/socialnetworkingtoolkit.

NCSBN’s white paper, “A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media,” can be downloaded free of charge at www.ncsbn.org. NCSBN is also developing electronic and hard copy versions of a brochure for nurses and nursing students that details professional standards regarding patient privacy and confidentiality in social networking. And a YouTube video on social media is being produced. Both products were expected to be available in November 2011 and will be accessible via www.ncsbn.org free of charge.

More from category

A change in the air?
A change in the air?

Nurses discuss value of a concept-based approach to education For decades, nurse educators and students have been [Read More]

80 percent by 2020
80 percent by 2020

Supporting rural and other nurses to advance their education Five years ago the Institute of Medicine’s report, The [Read More]

A student of humanity, a leader of the nursing profession
A student of humanity, a leader of the nursing profession

Editor’s note: In this column, we continue our series highlighting the 2014 American Nurses Association National [Read More]

Demystifying delirium
Demystifying delirium

If you have ever worked in a clinical setting, you have probably cared for a patient who, from a cognitive and [Read More]

To eat or not to eat?
To eat or not to eat?

Nurses offer healthy advice to colleagues and their patients Proposed federal dietary guidelines are calling for [Read More]

Insider

Archives