ANA’s Principles for Social Networking
1. Nurses must not transmit or place online individually identifiable patient information.
2. Nurses must observe ethically prescribed professional patient — nurse boundaries.
3. Nurses should understand that patients, colleagues, institutions, and employers
may view postings.
4. Nurses should take advantage of privacy settings and seek to separate personal
and professional information online.
5. Nurses should bring content that could harm a patient’s privacy, rights, or welfare to
the attention of appropriate authorities.
6. Nurses should participate in developing institutional policies governing online conduct.
6 Tips to Avoid Problems
1. Remember that standards of professionalism are the same online as in any other
2. Do not share or post information or photos gained through the nurse-patient
3. Maintain professional boundaries in the use of electronic media. Online contact
with patients blurs this boundary.
4. Do not make disparaging remarks about patients, employers or co-workers, even
if they are not identified.
5. Do not take photos or videos of patients on personal devices, including cell phones.
6. Promptly report a breach of confidentiality or privacy.