September 20, 2011 - Given the pervasiveness of social media, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has released its Principles for Social Networking and the Nurse: Guidance for the Registered Nurse, a resource to guide nurses and nursing students in how they maintain professional standards in new media environments.
"The principles are informed by professional foundational documents including the Code of Ethics for Nurses and standards of practice. Nurses and nursing students have an obligation to understand the nature, benefits, and potential consequences of participating in social networking," said ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN. "These principles provide guidelines for nurses, who have a responsibility to maintain professional standards in a world in which communication is ever-changing."
The number of individuals using social networking is growing at an astounding rate. Facebook reports that there are 150 million accounts in the United States while Twitter manages more than 140 million ‘tweets’ daily. Nurses face risks when they use social media inappropriately, including disciplinary action by the state board of nursing, loss of employment and legal consequences.
ANA’s e-publication, ANA’s Principles for Social Networking and the Nurse provides guidance to registered nurses on using social networking media in a way that protects patients’ privacy and confidentiality. The publication also provides guidance to registered nurses on how to maintain, when using social networking media, the nine provisions of the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements; the standards found in Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice; and nurses’ responsibility to society as defined in Nursing’s Social Policy Statement: The Essence of the Profession.
This publication is available as a downloadable, searchable PDF, which is compatible with most e-readers. It is free to ANA members on the Members-Only Section of www.nursingworld.org. Non-members may order the publication at www.nursesbooks.org.ISBN-13: 978-1-55810-426-6 Non-members $3.95 Members: Free
In addition to the principles, ANA has developed a downloadable tip card as well as several opportunities for nurses to discuss issues related to social media including a day-long Facebook discussion on Sept. 16, and a Twitter chat Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. EDT, (#anachat). ANA is also conducting a social media webinar scheduled for Oct. 25 featuring Nancy Specter, PhD, RN, director of Regulatory Innovations for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and Jennifer Mensik, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, ANA board member and administrator for Nursing and Patient Care Services at St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, ID. Additional details and sign up information about the webinar will be available on ANA’s social networking page.