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Nurses Share Insights into Social Media

Posted Apr 15 2012 2:47pm

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Illinois Nurses Association Highlights Social Media

The Illinois Nurse, the official publication of the Illinois Nurses Association highlights social media for nurses and offers continuing education credits in the March 2012 edition, Volume 8, No. 1.

Social media has changed the landscape in health care and it is a powerful and phenomenal platform to help educate consumers, raise awareness of health issues and connect with consumers and colleagues.

Social media gives a voice to patients and consumers and it allows the conversation to get started.  Nurses have the opportunity to engage with consumers and colleagues.

“Can Nurses and Social Media Coexist?  A Cautionary Tale…”
by Chris Martin is an informative article that provides information on how nurses can successfully use social media in the workplace and avoid the professional pitfalls.

Nurses share their insights on social media

Donna Petko, BSN, RN, a clinical coordinator at Nightingale Home Healthcare in suburban Chicago, “has taken up the challenge of using social media in a nursing context,” writes Martin.  “Petko and her colleague Nancy Onyett, FNP-C, recently started a Twitter chat specifically designed for advanced practice nurses called #APRNchat.”  “Petko says that engaging in social media has helped her maintain professionalism and stay current on a range of health care topics,” writes Martin.

Karen A. Daley, PHM, RN, RAAN, and president, American Nurses Association (ANA) is quoted as saying, “Social media can be a powerful tool, one with the potential to enhance or undermine not only the individual nurse’s career, but also the nursing profession.”

I’m delighted to have been interviewed for this continuing education article on social media for nurses.  Martin writes:  “According to Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA a pioneer among nurses using social media…nurses can easily incorporate social media into their practice but it’s vital they remain professional.”  I’m further quoted as saying, “I do believe that nurses can and should share their knowledge and expertise on a broad scale by deeply connecting and engaging in social networking.” “Nurses have the opportunity to share trusted and accurate health information and to empower patients to be proactive in their health.”  “Through social media, nurses can be agents of change,” Ficarra said.  “They can help promote health and wellness issues.  Nurses have the opportunity to educate patients and consumers, raise awareness of health issues and social media offers a forum to collaborate and connect.”

Thanks to the Illinois Nurses Association, The Illinois Nurse and Chris Martin for addressing and highlighting the topic of social media for nurses.

Your turn

We would love you to share your insightful thoughts in the comment section below.

Are you a nurse, doctor or other health care professional who engages in social media?  How do you use social media?

Health consumers, do you engage with health care professionals in social networking sites?

As always thank you for your valuable time and for sharing your valuable insights.

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