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​​​​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.

What will I learn?​​

  • What to consider before using social media, both personally and professionally.
  • The consequenc​es 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.

​​Protect privacy and maintain boundaries​

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.​

Maintain professional integrity and public trust​

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:

  • Shares confidential information online.
  • Posts comments or blogs about clients, coworkers, or colleagues (for example, identifying a client by name, diagnosis, or room number).
  • Pursues personal relationships with current or former clients.
  • Uses social media sites to bully and/or intimidate clients, colleagues, or co-workers.
  • Distributes sexually explicit material.
  • Uses hateful, racist, homophobic, or other language that could be seen to threaten equal access to nursing care.
  • Engages in behaviour interpreted as a breach of the standards of practice.

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 considerations​​​

Social media presents opportunities to extend and enhance n​​ursing practice. Yet, as the number of social networking options increase, so does the chance of making a mistake. Keep reading»

Complaints to the college​

BCCNM receives complaints about nurses' use of social media related to boun​​daries, privacy and confidentiality, professional integrity, and public trust. Keep reading» 

Case studies​​​


Related BC​CNM public notices​

Review the follo​wing consent agreements to see how not meeting BCCNM standards of practice can impact your nursing practice.

​​Need help or support?​

For further guidance on understanding and applying the standards of practice, contact our team by completing the Standards Support intake form.​

900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1S4

​Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only) ​

We acknowledge the rights and title of the First Nations on whose collective unceded territories encompass the land base colonially known as British Columbia. We give specific thanks to the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking Peoples the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), on whose unceded territories BCCNM’s office is located. We also give thanks for the medicines of these territories and recognize that laws, governance, and health systems tied to these lands and waters have existed here for over 9000 years.

We also acknowledge the unique and distinct rights, including rights to health and wellness, of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples from elsewhere in Canada who now live in British Columbia. As leaders in the settler health system, we acknowledge our responsibilities to these rights under international, national, and provincial law.​