Using Social Media for Professional Development

As the volume of clinical information increases, it becomes more and more challenging for nurses to keep up with new studies, policy changes, and evidence-based practices. Social media offers a quick and easy way to cut through some of the “noise” and find out what other nurses are reading, discussing, and recommending.

Before you jump into social media for professional purposes, check to see if your employer has a code of professional conduct for social networking.

Even when you’re short on time, you can sit down with a laptop or tablet and browse a few carefully chosen social media sites to see the news of the day, or even to enjoy some light-hearted humor. Of course, there’s always a question of which Facebook pages to like and which Twitter users to follow – here are a few recommendations for the most popular social media sites.

Twitter

SafetyNurse is highly recommended for anyone actively working to improve patient safety. This is the Twitter account of Barbara Olson, who describes herself as a “nurse with an engineer’s mind.” Obviously an avid reader in the area of patient safety, she posts links to articles and studies that you might otherwise miss.

AllNurses is primarily a networking site geared toward nursing students and seasoned professionals alike. It provides a platform for sharing advice – recent topics include charting disruptive patient behaviors and getting to work in a snowstorm.

Facebook

RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing. This page was set up to support the recommendations and research agenda outlined in the 2010 IOM report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. It was designed to be interactive, and the page administrator encourages comments and the sharing of ideas.

American Nurses Association has over 100,000 page likes for good reason! It is a lively community, where nearly every post has a long thread of comments, reflecting a wide variety of nursing perspectives.

Nurses Rock is a page maintained by leading networking site AllNurses.com. It’s meant to be a fun, light-hearted place for nurses to gather and share stories, links, graphics and more.

Pinterest

R.N. is the best Pinterest board we’ve come across for nurses. The visual nature of Pinterest makes it a great place to share ideas for creative projects, but less useful for sharing nursing-related information. This board, however, ingeniously gathers together dozens of infographics, sprinkled liberally with inspirational quotes. It is highly recommended, and a great site to browse. [incl-event tag=”open”]

LinkedIn Groups

American Sentinel University Health Care is group for future and current health care and nursing professionals interested in networking, sharing opportunities, and discussing best practices. Group membership is open to prospective students, current students, alumni, and staff of American Sentinel University.

Health Care Opportunities is a particularly active open group, with over 20,000 members. It is focused on career advice, job leads, and industry employment trends. This group is especially useful for nurses looking to choose a specialty, or to find a job away from the bedside.

Before you jump into social media for professional purposes, check to see if your employer has a code of professional conduct for social networking. Use common sense and discretion, and be particularly mindful of patient privacy when you post.

American Sentinel University is an innovative, accredited provider of online nursing degrees,  including RN-to BSN and programs that prepare nurses for a specialty in case management, infection control, and executive leadership.

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