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Nursing directors told to become social media 'role models'


Senior nurses have been called on to act as “role models” for the nursing profession in the use of social media.

Anne Cooper, national clinical lead for nursing at the Department of Health’s informatics directorate, last week encouraged all directors of nursing to adopt an online presence by either blogging or using Facebook or Twitter.

Speaking at the chief nursing officer’s annual conference in Manchester, Ms Cooper said there was an opportunity for nurses to become “digital professionals”, who used social media to engage with patients and each other.

She highlighted the “fantastic opportunity” that social media presented for connecting with children and young people, groups of patients with long term conditions and their own staff.

But she told delegates she thought at present many nurse leaders did not use social media because they viewed it negatively as something they were either unable to control or that was linked with inappropriate behaviour.

“[We are] starting to get into this cycle where we see social media through misdemeanors and our response is to regulate and punish and tell people not to do it. This is a real shame because I think the answer to some of this is digital professionalism.”

Ms Cooper told delegates: “You need to combine your professional skills with a digital experience ….we all need to become professional and digital experts.”

She said: “[You] should all find your own way of having a digital, online presence that fits your role and your responsibility.

“That might be a blog, it might be tweeting but I think we need to role model those behaviours so that the generations that are coming behind us understand what ‘good’ looks like. They’ve got the digital experience but you’ve got the professional experience to model for them.”

She added: “Rather than thinking about how we punish those people who are doing stupid things on Facebook, actually say we can show you a better way. We’ll show you how it can be done positively.”


Readers' comments (2)

  • tinkerbell

    How about this for a strategy and a 'vision for the future'.

    1. Nursing directors start commenting on this site and answer some questions.

    2. From the top down, yes that CE's too have to complete a compulsory time on the wards as part of the team, with hands on. This could be for 2 or 3 months of the year where they work an early or late shift. They cannot be signed off unless they have reached a competency level by the NIC of the ward and they cannot register with NMC if they fall below the standard required.Use it or lose it.

    I would feel much better about their input and flights of fancy if they were actually leading by example and putting their wealth of wisdom into practice.

    They may bleat that they've had their time in the trenches but it can't have been for that long otherwise they wouldn't have risen to such dizzy heights would they?

    The first thing i would ask you to do when you pitch up for a shift on my ward where i use to work is to put your mobile phone away as you won't have time to be fiddling with that until your 20 minute break if you get one. You're gonna hit the ground running. Let's see you do more with less.

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  • tinkerbell

    oh and if they say they can't be spared then myself or another colleague will go and cover your post for the 2 or 3 months you're away on a tour of duty. When we get back we can swap stories of how it went. How was it for you?

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