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Nursing Students & Social Media Usage Policy

Social Media may be defined as web-based and mobile platforms for user-generated content that create interactive and highly accessible, and often public, dialogues. Student nurses have a responsibility to be cognizant of the benefits and consequences of participating in social media.

Student nurses all carry the responsibility of adhering to privacy and confidentiality standards and should be familiar with the Health Care Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), including, but not limited to, the HIPPA Privacy Rule. HIPPA regulations protect patient privacy by establishing how individually identifiable information may be used, including any information relating to the physical or mental health of an individual, or any information that may be used to identify an individual.

The following guidelines, adapted from the National Student Nurses' Association, Inc. (NSNA – 2012) are intended to minimize the risks of using social media.

Student Nurses:

  • Have an ethical and legal obligation to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality at all times, therefore, should not share, post, or otherwise disseminate any information that can identify a patient, or in any way violate a patient’s rights or privacy. Limiting access through privacy setting is not sufficient to ensure privacy of patients.
  • Should not make threatening, harassing, sexually explicit, or derogatory statements regarding any person’s race, ethnicity, gender, age, citizenship, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, religious beliefs, political views, or educational choices.
  • Should not make disparaging remarks about any college, university, or school of nursing, including the students, faculty members and staff.
  • Should not post content or otherwise speak on behalf of any college, university, school of nursing unless authorized to do so.
  • Have a responsibility to promptly report an identified breach of confidentiality or privacy to a school authority—including, but not limited to, an instructor, staff person, or dean.

CCCC Nursing Students agree to abide by the above guidelines both professionally while in the classroom, campus laboratory, clinical settings, and in their personal lives.

Excerpted and adapted from:

  • Recommendations For: Social Media Usage and Maintaining Privacy, Confidentiality and Professionalism, NSNA, 2012
  • White Paper: A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media, NCSBN, 2011