I believe that social media tools have the capacity to play an instrumental role in clinical practice…ranging from being inspired by nurse leaders to finding a community of practice in which to develop ideas. My own experience via platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn have been professionally challenging and personally satisfying. I continue to be amazed daily by the great connections I make.
Sobande (2013) identifies that nurses often worry about how to interact in such a public space while operating within their professional boundaries. Fortunately, with the emergence of many nurse leaders modeling how effective the Twitter platform is, the benefits of engaging in social media for professional reasons are now becoming evident on a broader scale.
Nurses are reporting a re-invigoration, an increased sense of pride and a feeling of empowerment by simply connecting with each other. They are sharing stories, observations and having credible debate.
Let’s explore the 5 C’s of Social Media success for today’s nurse:
Social media tools can be used to improve clinical practice. This might be through the sharing of effective practice or applying new guidelines. We might even just feel more inspired to be better at what we do by hearing about the innovative care being delivered by colleagues.
For ourselves… and others using social media. We can lead by example using empathy, respect and dignity in all interactions. I have certainly sensed and felt a great sense of pride in nursing through using Twitter as a social media platform.
Take the time to move from watcher to curator. Be sure of facts before sharing/re-tweeting. Developing a curious and questioning attitude matches the evidence-based practice employed in clinical practice.
Strive to be authentic. Nurses are the most trusted profession. (Gallup 2015). Let’s aspire to share information that’s meaningful, and use social platforms to build networks, develop relationships and share ideas.
Have the confidence to be seen and to support others. Step out of the comfort zone to share and spread innovation, and develop curiosity while embracing technology.
Sobande M (2013) Connecting and driving school nursing through social media. British Journal of School Nursing 8(4):186–9 [Abstract]