The Ultimate Guide to Not Getting Fired From Your Day Job While Being TikTok Famous

Nurses getting fired because of social media posts is common these days. Is it fair and necessary, or are employers taking it too far? In this article, you'll learn how to post responsibly to be TikTok famous and keep your day job! Nurses Career Support Article

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The Ultimate Guide to Not Getting Fired From Your Day Job While Being TikTok Famous

"Nurse fired over social media post" seems to be a daily headline these days. Whether it's TikTok, Instagram, or another platform, posting some images and videos while on the job could have you in hot water. Not only might your job be in jeopardy, but your peers, patients, or others could be angry with you in ways you never imagined if your actions were unprofessional or unethical. 

You might be asking what can happen to you if you post at work and how you can protect yourself. First, we'll look at a few recent cases and then discuss ways you can be "TikTok famous" without losing your day job. 

Nurses in the Spotlight

Many nurses have large followings on one or more social media platforms. Anything from dancing to lip-syncing videos to educating peers and patients seems to go these days. However, there is a point of no return. Check out the cases of three nurses terminated for their actions on social media. 

Alyssa Jones

Alyssa Jones (@alyssajones), a travel nurse, was terminated in October of last year when she posted videos on hospital property with her ID badge showing. She claims she recorded the videos during a break. However, the hospital stated recording videos at any time on their property violated their social media policy. She publicly announced her termination on her TikTok account.

In one of the videos in question by the hospital, Jones reviewed travel agencies she worked with on assignments. Days after she announced her termination, the agency she named the top one she worked with informed her they would no longer give her contracts because of the hospital's decision. 

Sierra Samuels

According to the NY Post, Florida nurse Sierra Samuels was terminated after posting a picture of a NICU admission. The baby was born with gastroschisis. Her image included the caption, "My night was going great then boom!” Another photo had a caption stating that the intestines are to be on the inside when you're born. 

Hospital administrators discovered the photo and placed Samuels on administrative leave. An investigation ruled she violated hospital policy. They terminated her shortly after the ruling. 

Olivia Tyler

Earlier this year, NBC News covered a story about Olivia Tyler (oliviatyler33), a nurse who posted a video reacting to the recent death of a patient. The video shows Tyler appearing distraught with her hands on her forehead while Sia's "Unstoppable" plays in the background. TikTok removed the video, which was later shared on Twitter and now has more than 15 million views. Other nurse influencers discussed the video on their accounts and criticized Tyler.  Alex Kim (@nurse.alexrn) shared his thoughts that Tyler was wrong for either taking the time to set up her camera right after a patient died or reenacting this scene while at work.  

How to "Fire-Proof" Your Videos

These examples might have you wondering if having a nurse-focused social media account is worth it. Or if it's best just to keep your thoughts, humor, and dancing videos private. We don't think there is any shame in loving TikTok or wanting to be a nurse influencer. In fact, it's a great gig if you can make it work. However, you must know how to protect yourself from getting written up or worse from your day job. 

1- Do Your Research

The first thing you want to do if you post to social media about your nursing job or you're thinking about becoming an influencer is read your employer's social media policy. Now, reading it is only half the battle. First, you need to understand all associated policies and then follow them.

If a policy states you can't record videos at work, even on your breaks, don't be tempted to film just to get a good background. Instead, be creative when you're at home by building sets or using costumes and other props to make it look like you're in a facility. And, remember, social media is for fun, so you don't have to be "on location" to get a great video.

2- Be Professional

Nursing is the most trusted profession. You know details about people even their closest friends and family might not know. You see patients at their worst and sometimes witness things that most people have only heard about. But, the trust instilled in you solely because of the letters written behind your name means something to society at large. Patients believe you won't say things about them outside of work. Their family members think you won't make fun of their loved one just because they wander at 2 am every night. 

Be sure to put professionalism first in every video you record. A few things you can do to be professional and protect your employer and patients include:

  • Refrain from using patient names or details that could be identifiable
  • Create a fake badge with your name and credentials so the name of your employer is protected
  • Ask a friend to review your videos before you post them if you are concerned anyone could take the content the wrong way 

3- Follow HIPAA Guidelines

If you can get in trouble for talking about a patient in the elevator around a few hospital visitors, it might seem like a no-brainer that posting online can get you fired too. Brush up on your employer's HIPAA policy, and check all videos and images you take at work closely before you post. Look for things that can identify the employer, such as a sign with the facility name, charts or other items with patient names, and any patients or guests in the background. 

Now, Get Famous

So, what are you waiting for? You know a few worst-case scenarios and what not to do. So, now you just need a phone, a ring light, and some amazing content!

Did we miss any tips for posting to social media that you use? Have you been fired or heard of others who were fired for what they posted?

Share your stories and thoughts in the comment.


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I'm Melissa and I'm a skilled writer, editor, and content manager and I would love to help you with your next project. I specialize in healthcare and women's content.

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Specializes in Critical Care, Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele,.

Great article! My facility has a social media policy that states you can’t say anything on social media that might paint the facility in a bad light. So, I post nothing negative, at all. I never mention my hospital unless I’m sharing union information- because of the protection it provides. 

I’ve observed that even when the nurse doesn’t mention the facility, some nurses have been reported for their social media posts even when they don’t mention their facility, but someone else goes through all their pics to figure out where that person works.


347 Posts

I don’t have any plans of becoming a nurse influencer any time soon, but I have often thought about making a beauty, fashion, or lifestyle account just for fun. On my personal social media, I don’t mention work. I only have a couple select coworkers that I trust on there and that’s it. I don’t mention anything work related, and unless you know me personally or Google my LinkedIn, you will not know where I work. I don’t talk a word about work or anything. Like I will never say “I am stressed at work” I also barely touch on politics and religion. I have a fake Instagram (finsta) without any information at all where I follow “controversial” pages so that they aren’t easily linked to my name. The controversial pages are just influencers that lead alternative lifestyles and they range from super liberal to super conservative, I just am curious to see what they say and do. I try to block everyone I know from my finsta LOL. 

Specializes in BSN, RN, CVRN-BC.

Posted a picture of a patient and posting it on-line?  That's dumber than a bag of hammers.  Violating HIPAA can end with one facing criminal charges.  Posted a video with one wearing your hospital identification?  Likewise.  As long as you are wearing that badge you represent that facility.

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I absolutely love the tips! The examples given definitely seemed fair. It seems like nursing is a popular internet famous profession, however social media has lead to termination in other lines of work as well. It is always important to remember that you also represent yourself and your employer and I think it is great that employers have "social media guidelines" now. 

subee, MSN, CRNA

5,177 Posts

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.
22 hours ago, Robmoo said:

Posted a picture of a patient and posting it on-line?  That's dumber than a bag of hammers.  Violating HIPAA can end with one facing criminal charges.  Posted a video with one wearing your hospital identification?  Likewise.  As long as you are wearing that badge you represent that facility.

In my idea of the perfect world, all nurses would be adults who wouldn't be immature enough to aspire to becoming an "influencer" as a nurse.  


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

Social media and work just don't mix. I don't mention my work on FB or other social media sites, period. Those who do are risking losing their jobs. It's up to the employer what is acceptable and what is today, will likely not be, tomorrow. Be smart. The world has enough so-called "influencers". Ego isn't worth it.

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