Nurses understand their professional, ethical, and legal obligations to protect the public and act in a way that reflects trustworthiness and integrity when using social media.
The consequences of using social media in an unprofessional way.
Nurses, like everyone else, use social media and networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. There are benefits and risks to social media and technology use and you are expected to be aware of and manage risks, especially as technology evolves.
Clients are often vulnerable in the nurse–client relationship due to the power imbalance. Access to private client information, care needs, and the nurse's professional position contribute to the imbalance. Clear boundaries help manage the power imbalance and meet the client's needs in a safe interaction.
Nurses set and maintain appropriate boundaries. Breaches of privacy and confidentiality and/or boundary violations can damage the professional relationship, the client's trust, and the client.
Nurses recognize when a professional relationship slips into the nonprofessional realm and take action to resolve it.
Review the professional standards, the Privacy and Confidentiality practice standard, and Boundaries in the Nurse–Client Relationship practice standard. These standards apply at all times—whether in person or online, on or off shift.
While workplaces may not have policies specifically addressing social media use outside of work, nurses are expected to act professionally at all times.
BCCNM investigates reports of conduct occurring outside of work if the alleged behaviour breaches BCCNM standards or undermines the public's confidence in the profession. For example, when a registrant:
It's important to act to safeguard the confidence of your clients and the public. Always consider the risks of using social media and social networking sites and the potential impact this may have on your clients and the public.
Social media presents opportunities to extend and enhance nursing practice. Yet, as the number of social networking options increase, so does the chance of making a mistake. Keep reading»
BCCNM receives complaints about nurses' use of social media related to boundaries, privacy and confidentiality, professional integrity, and public trust. Keep reading»
A Facebook vent
A Nurse's Guide to the Use of Social Media | NCSBN
Review the following consent agreements to see how not meeting BCCNM standards of practice can impact your nursing practice.
Posting disrespectful comments online, consent agreement
For further guidance on understanding and applying the standards of
practice, contact our team by completing the Standards Support intake form.