As nurses we are used to putting on our 'professional hats' every time we step into practice, care for a patient or communicate with relatives and other healthcare professionals. But are we as adept at transferring this behaviour into our social media spaces? According to Cooper and Craig1: 'The challenge of making sure we have a positive professional profile in social networks, in order to reap the benefits, is more than just playing by the rules. It's about learning to apply professionalism in a new digital cultural medium.' So how do we apply the professionalism we display in our everyday working lives to social media? And what are the important do's and don'ts?
A starting point for any discussion about nursing and professionalism is the NMC's advice on social networking sites . The NMC stresses that 'conduct online and conduct in the real world should be judged in the same way, and should be at a similarly high standard.'2
The NMC also states that nurses could put their registration at risk if they: