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NMC guidance: dos and don'ts for social media

What the NMC says

Nurses and midwives will “put their registration at risk” if they:

  • Share confidential information online
  • Post inappropriate comments about colleagues or patients
  • Use sites to bully or intimidate colleagues
  • Pursue personal relationships with patients
  • Distribute sexually explicit material
  • Use social networking sites in any unlawful way

The NMC recommends nurses and midwives take the following precautions:

  • Separate your personal and professional life as far as possible. For example, use Facebook for close friends and family and LinkedIn for professional relationships
  • If you identify yourself as a nurse or midwife, you should “act responsibly at all times and uphold the reputation of your profession”
  • Protect your privacy by adjusting privacy settings
  • Do not build or pursue relationships with patients and service users, including former ones
  • Do not discuss work online; this includes conversations about patients and complaints about colleagues
  • Never post pictures of patients or service users, even if they ask you to do so
  • Social networking sites should not be used for raising and escalating concerns
  • Remember that everything online is public, even with the strictest privacy settings

The full NMC guidance on social networking sites is at

The 2009 Royal College of Nursing’s legal guidance is at

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