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Nurses and social media: 3 tips to navigate wisely

Social media has become an important part of our daily lives. Various platforms from Facebook and Twitter allow us to keep up with loved ones on a regular basis, whether living near or far. Still other platforms like LinkedIn can help us network within our professions. The benefits to these tools are many, but they do come with some risks. A misstep while online could put a nurse’s job, and potentially their professional license, at risk.

The following tips can help nurses to navigate social media wisely:

  • Know the rules. Each employer may have a different social media policy. Review this policy and make sure to follow the employer’s expectations.
  • Use social media on your own time. Do not make posts while at work. It is also a good idea to set up social media accounts using your own email and avoid using these accounts while on your employer’s internet provider.
  • Think before you post. Even though you may have your own personal accounts, used on your own time, it is important to think before you post. An employer could use a Tweet, FB post or Instagram message against you and, depending on the post, you could be accused of a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violation.

Unfortunately, even those who follow these tips may find themselves accused of wrongdoing. Nurses who face such accusations may be wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in the unique area of nurse licensing issues can review the allegations and build a defense to help better ensure a favorable outcome.