Understanding the benefits and risks of nursing students engaging with online social media

Linda McGrath, Amelia Swift, Maria Clark, Caroline Bradbury-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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E-professionalism is defined as the competence and values expected of professionals when engaged in online communication, and is a rapidly expanding area of nursing practice. The use of online social media is popular among nursing students, some of whom have created online platforms for peer support and influence. There are significant benefits of using social media for nursing students, such as developing professional networks, engaging in the nursing community, accessing and providing support, and enhancing their knowledge. However, nursing students must be made aware of the potential risks in relation to how they share information and communicate online. These risks include misconduct investigations and could result in exclusion from their studies, resulting in them being unable to join the professional register. Nursing students and educators should be supported to use digital technologies in a way that capitalises on their benefits, while minimising their risks. This article aims to enhance nursing students’ and nurses’ understanding of e-professionalism so that they can use social media effectively for peer support and to enhance patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-49
Number of pages5
JournalNursing Standard
Issue number10
Early online date27 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019


  • careet pathways
  • communication
  • fitness to practise
  • information technology
  • professional issues
  • professional regulation
  • social media
  • students
  • technology


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