News & Events

10 Professional Recommendations for Electronic Communication

  1. Do not access or post on social networking sites while working. This includes use of your personal devices.
  2. Never post patient information on a social networking site even if names or workplace are not identified.
  3. Do not “friend” your manager or workplace administrator on your social networking site.
  4. Never post pictures of yourself consuming alcohol or taking drugs on your networking site.
  5. Never use language or display pictures of a vulgar or intimate nature on your networking site.
  6. Always take advantage of privacy settings, but be aware that these settings may be accessed.
  7. Be aware that others may be posting information about you on their social networking sites.
  8. Never email or text patients or family members unless it is part of your job description.
  9. Know that information on a social media site exists forever in cyberspace.
  10. Think before you post.

In response to the dramatic increase in the number of RNs who are disciplined for issues involving posts on social networking sites, the MNA’s Board of Directors recently approved its “10 Professional Recommendations for Electronic Communication.” The list was originally developed by the MNA’s Congress on Nursing Practice and is based on best-in-class research that is available on the issue—as well as the firsthand experiences of many MNA nurses and the labor staff who represent them.

  • “ANA’s Principles for Social networking and the nurse” The American Nurses Association, Inc., 2012
  • Coe, Shantelle, RN,BSN, MITM, Nurses and social networking: think twice about what you write” Nurse Together
  • Klein, Jeffrey S., Pappas, Nicholas J., Pruzansky, Jason S., “When social networking and the workplace collide,” Human Resourse Executive Online, June 2010
  • Ryan, Ginny, RN, BS, “Social Networking Sites: How Something you do for fun can be so bad.” Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter, April 2011.
  • Nursing Times.Net, “How to use social networks safely” February, 2009
  • Schulman, Mariam, “Little brother is watching you,” Santa Clara University, Markula Center for Applied Ethics 2010
  • Stokowski, Laura A. “Social media and nurses: promising or perilous” Medscape nurses 2011

Developed by the MNA Congress on Nursing Practice 2012
Linda C. Barton, BS, RN
Margaret Taylor Careau, MS, MEd, RN
Marianne Chisholm, BS,RN
Mary Doyle Keohane, RN
Maureen F. Mogan, MS, RN
Elizabeth Sparks, RN
LeAnn B. Tibets, BS, RN
Staff: Dorothy Upson McCabe, MS, MEd, RN