EP 86: Professionalism as a Nurse: Balancing Work and Social Media

Professionalism as a Nurse: Balancing Work and Social Media

Balancing work and social media is possible. As the age of social media grows, the borderline between Professionalism and social life is drawing nearer. How much can we show on social media, or what can we offer? Social life used to be our private life, but in this generation, we have everything but privacy.

Nursing is a field where professionalism needs to be expressed daily. Nursing revolves around critical thinking and life-saving measures with minimal room for mistakes. How much of your life should you be revealing on social media? 

Are you developing Professionalism in the workplace? 

In nursing, there are always new and changing areas to improve. Nurses should self-reflect on their actions in the workplace and integrate new, experience-based knowledge into their daily practices. Here are six skills that contribute to professionalism.

Conflict Resolution in Balancing Work and Social Media

Are you able to de-escalate a problem professionally? For example, for an alcohol detox patient that is agitated, how can you safely communicate solutions concerning your patient? Resolving conflict may require the nurse to consider the needs of everyone involved in the situation.

Ethical Thinking 

This means we should never lose sight of our positive purpose. This enables the nurse to make a value-based judgment that aligns with professional standards and moral conduct. Nurses are advocates for patients and must find a balance while delivering patient care. Ethics has four main principles: autonomy, beneficence, justice, and non-maleficence.


This demonstrates the capacity to combine new information with education, experience, and professional guidelines to re-evaluate a situation and make changes that lead to more effective outcomes.

One example is being on committees and solving issues in the hospital setting. Sometimes it can be on a micro-level, like changing things on the unit to increase productivity and workflow. 


Leadership is founded on excellent communication skills, attention to detail, respect, and resourcefulness. Professionals often build leadership skills as they move on to more managerial roles.

Leadership doesn’t always have to be gained from advancing in positions. You can be a great leader working as a bedside nurse. Can you inspire others to work together to pursue common goals, such as enhanced patient care? An effective leader has distinctive personal qualities: integrity, courage, initiative, and the ability to handle stress.


This is key to Professionalism. Working with others and being able to communicate and cooperate is crucial to developing an efficient work environment that places patient needs at the forefront. As nurses, we collaborate with doctors, patients, and their families in shared-decision making.

Positive Attitude

Far too often in nursing, we are burnt out and tend to complain more about our shift than having anything positive to say. A worried patient’s last need is a negative nursing team supporting them. 

As nurses, you are the face of the profession and thus must work to maintain a positive environment and communication in all areas and at all times. It is an excellent practice to be able to identify negative thoughts and address them before they begin to harm your nursing team. 

Privacy Issues with nurses and social media

According to HIPAA, “Patients hold the rights over their health information, and it establishes rules and limits as to who can receive it.” A patient’s information is considered protected health information, and it is anything transmitted or maintained in electronic media or any other form of media.

The NCSBN only allows medical information to be shared under three circumstances:

  1. The patient has provided informed consent
  2. In situations in which it’s legally required
  3. When failure to disclose the information could result in significant harm

4 Ways You Can Breach Patient Confidentiality

  1. Videos or photos of patients, even if they cannot be identified
  2. Photos or videos that reveal room numbers or patient records
  3. Descriptions of patients, their medical conditions, and/or treatments
  4. Referring to patients in a degrading or demeaning manner

What not to do with your social media

You can do many things and post on social media, but as nurses, we have more responsibility than others. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Complain about work or your patients
    • You might have had a bad shift and a horrible night, but social media shouldn’t be the place you express your thoughts on the last night shift. Specifically, you shouldn’t mention anything regarding your patient or unit. You may not think you are breaking HIPAA, but the word can get around. Do not use any patient identifiers. Your employer and patients can be looking at your socials.
  2. Post pictures
    1. There have been many nurses that got fired for posting something we might view as no big deal. Nurses have been fired for posting a messy room after a code. Keep that in the hospital. 
  3. Use offensive language and comments.
    1. Our patients come from different backgrounds, and we must view them all as equals. Social media is not the place for you to bash patients’ viewpoints or beliefs. 

How Balancing Work and Social Media Helps Nurses

As a nurse, you can use social media and your degree to their full potential. As a nurse, you are regarded as someone that cares for the health and well-being of others. You are a fountain of knowledge, and many people will look to learn from you. Use your skills and knowledge to your advantage. 

As a nurse, you should be spreading what you know. Many nurses are into health and fitness; sharing that on socials or promoting a fitness brand or a vlog is all ok. Spreading education and discussions allows people to learn from you.

There is nothing wrong with talking about case studies and different disease processes. Nurses have used their knowledge and experience to bounce from nursing to entrepreneurship through social media by pursuing multiple passions.

Remember that your current and future employers will likely see your social media. Use that to your advantage by being professional. Remember to express yourself professionally and honestly. 

To watch more on this episode, click here 👇👇👇


00:00 – Intro
00:45 – Topic introduction
01:06 – Nurses and HIPPA guidelines
03:15 – A Moral Compass
04:25– Developing a professional personality
04:38 – Conflict Resolution
08:44 – Ethical Thinking
12:00 – Adaptability
15:18 – Leadership
17:44 – Collaboration
29:44 – Privacy Issues with Nurses and Social Media
32:29 – Four Ways to Breach Patient Confidentiality
35:05 – Don’t complain about your patients on social media
39:55 – Provide value with what you share
41:03 – Nursing and Fitness
42:55 – Communication is the bottom line
48:48 – Wrapping up the show
49:03 – End of show

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