Tom Ullian
Co-Founder, RNsights
Posted February 13, 2012


School Nurses : The “DOs and DON’Ts” of Using Social Media


When it comes to healthcare professionals using social media, as the expression goes “the train has left the station” and there is no turning back. The benefits are just too great and those who don’t partake are missing out on a tremendous resource for their industry. For instance, by joining RNsights, school nurses now have the ability to be part of a free and brand new state of the art professional networking community connecting school nurses with over 1,000 of their peers across the country. With a click of the mouse, school nurses can share insights, collaborate with other school nurses and find support from their peers. Information can be shared real-time providing immediate education and sharing of evidence based solutions to help school nurses be more knowledgeable in their jobs, provide immediate help to their students, and be more effective working with school administration, teachers and parents.


The question no longer is whether social media is an effective resource in the healthcare profession but rather how to best use social media while taking all the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your patients. By following these simple guidelines of the “DOs and DON’Ts” of using social media, you too can safely and securely benefit from the latest technological advance sweeping the healthcare profession.



DON’T disclose in posts identifying information about yourself, your school, or your patients
DON’T choose a username on the website that easily identifies you (if you have, request to change it)
DON’T upload images of your patients
DON’T assume you know who is reading your posts and comments
DON’T engage in unprofessional conduct


DO use a site/community that helps protect the confidentiality of yourself, your school and your patients
DO choose a username that does not include your last name or school but is easy to remember
DO share evidence based solutions to help your peers
DO pose questions to experts and other nurses who had previous experience with an issue
DO share support and emotional encouragement with other nurses
DO maintain patient privacy and confidentiality at all times
DO think about how your post or comment might be interpreted by the reader
DO discuss industry concerns and news that can help other nurses


RNsights created its online community for school nurses with the importance of confidentiality at the core of its design. As a result, it added another level of protection that most social media sites can’t provide. In addition, even though members are “anonymous” to one another, RNsights has the ability to confirm a member’s RN license when necessary.


Before deciding to join any social media platform where you will be discussing sensitive information, make sure you have gone through the following checklist to protect yourself and your patients. If you can answer “Yes” to ALL the questions, go ahead and join the site to start reaping the benefits of being part of a professional networking community.






Able to choose an anonymous user name.


My personal information, such as real name and email address, will NOT be shared without my permission.


Away from basic user information, I am not required to provide additional personal information.


The website is NOT in business to collect personal data to be sold.


I have the ability to choose what level of email notification I receive so the website never becomes intrusive.



  1. Many thanks for the material, and your web page really looks outstanding. Exactly what wordpress design are you utilizing?

    • I have been in the hospital and sruegry too many times. Take a notepad and pen. When you think of questions, write them down. When the Drs. come in things get so rushed. It’s good to have it all written down.

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  4. An insightful blog post there mate . Thanks for that .

    • I agree with Diana. Be sure to ask questions if you’re unsrue or uncomfortable with something. Nurses are very caring, and often provide the reassurance when one needs it!As a patient, I’ve had many nurses come in and sit beside my bed, simply providing comfort and understanding. That is worth a million $!

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your
    efforts and I will be waiting for your next write ups
    thank you once again.

  6. I am a nurse. Worked in cardiothoracic surregy for several years1. I totally agree with the notepad and pens for questions. Docs come in for about 5 minutes out of the whole day. You will never remember all your questions.2. Many times, pain medications are written on an as needed basis meaning the nurse cannot legally just give you pain meds every 4 hours or whatever. It is up to YOU to ask for you pain medication when the the pain STARTS. You will have to rate your pain on a 1-10 scale. Ask for pain medicine when pain is a 3/10, not an 8/10. It is much harder to get pain under control when it gets higher.3. Bring some books or laptop. You will get bored4. WALK when they tell you too. It is for your health and so you don’t get pneumonia.5. Deep breathe and cough at least 10 times every hour right after surregy. Same pneumonia issue6. Trust the nurses we mean the best for you.7. If you get nauseas, try putting an alcohol swab under your nose I don’t know why it works, but it does sometimes8. Ask all kinds of questions at discharge so you don’t get home and get confused. We don’t mind9. Tell your friends and family that you WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE for the first 3-5 days. Major surregy needs rest. Unplug the phones in the room and ask people to call a designated family member or friend for updates. I see WAY too many patients become completely exhausted because they will not say no to visitors. If you are ready to see people earlier, you can call them.10. Stay calm. Anxiety will only make everything worse. If you find you are very anxious or have trouble sleeping, ask the doctors if they can prescribe you something just for the time you are in the hospital.Good luck!