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Thousands of nurses tune in to learn about Twitter

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Nurses appear to be increasingly turning to social networks like Twitter and Facebook as a means of linking up with other members of the profession.

It has previously been suggested that nursing as a group was perhaps less ‘savvy’ with the web than other, more desk-based professions. But evidence from the RCN suggests that nurses are increasingly adopting both the web and the social networking opportunities that go with it.

According to the RCN more than 50,000 people have tuned in to watch its social networks video since it went live just two weeks ago.

The short video, launched in July, details how nurses can interact on nursing issues via Twitter, as well as reading a blog from RCN Chief executive Peter Carter’s and listening to monthly podcasts.

Dr Carter said: ‘It is important that organisations like the RCN embrace new ways of interacting with nurses to ensure that we are moving with the times. The response so far is evidence that members welcome these new initiatives.’

Additionally, as previously reported by Nursing Times, nurses are using Facebook and other social networking methods to set up specialist networks to share practice ideas and also support groups for their patients.  

Nursing Times has its own Facebook and Twitter pages to help nurses keep up to date on news and practice developments.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Some of the comments we have had so far: "There needs to be a recognition of the problem presented by social networking sites such as "facebook" or "msn"..."

    "… Students must be mindful of what they "declare" on these sites as they are in the public domain. There is a very real risk of breach of confidentiality and also a risk of students being drawn into unprofessional relationships with patients and carers."

    "Elaborate on the things you don't expect us to do as nursing students - be more specific"

    The other day, on my lunch break I was told someone had been removed from our nursing course because of photos being printed off a social networking site and shown to a course leader.

    I am all for moving forward with technology but members should be made aware of the full risks of social networking sites - especially the pitfalls of using such sites at work and so forth...

    It is unfair to jump on the bandwagon and encourage memebrs to use such sites and then wash your hands of problems at later dates. Members need specific guidance and to be shown fully the risks that might be run using such sites.

    It cannot be assumed one members understanding is the same as that of another in relation to what content can be placed, discussed or infered to on social networking sites.

    It is upsetting to think it is possible a Nurse may loose their livelihood through misunderstanding.

    However, it also stands true nurses must not shy away from technology.

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