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Nursing Students’ Use of Electronic and Social Media

Law, Ethics, and E-Professionalism

Westrick, Susan J.

doi: 10.5480/14-1358

AIM This article discusses the promotion of professionalism in nursing students with regard to the use of electronic and social media.

BACKGROUND Misuse of social media can lead to disciplinary actions and program dismissal for students and to legal actions and lawsuits for nursing programs. Programs are concerned about breaches of patient confidentiality and release of private or inappropriate information that jeopardizes clinical placements and relationships.

METHOD The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics and National Council of State Boards of Nursing social media guidelines provide a foundation for promoting e-professionalism in students. Recent law cases involving students who were dismissed from nursing programs due to social media misuse are analyzed.

CONCLUSION Schools need policies that clearly establish expectations and the consequences of misuse of social media platforms. Lessons learned from the legal cases presented provide further guidance for both nursing students and nursing programs.

About the AuthorSusan J. Westrick, JD, MS, RN, CNE, is a professor, Nursing Department, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven. Write to her

© 2016 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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