Position Paper on the Nurse's Use of Social Media

 make public statements or social media posts describing details of their job or work day,

including patient specific events that happened within their unit, department, or


 refer to coworkers or supervisors in a negative, unprofessional, or derogatory manner

 post unauthorized content, speak on behalf of, or negatively comment about their

employer (NCSBN, 2018)

 allow the use of social media to interfere with work and professional responsibilities.

It is AP HON’s position that, for social media purposes, a patient and their family members are

no longer considered a patient once he or she is no longer seen in your clinic or institution more

than once per year. APHON does not endorse social networking with patients and family

members. Furthermore, APHON does not endorse social networking with minors (anyone less

than 18 years of age) at any time during or after treatment, regardless of frequency of visits.

APHON has provided a statement that may be used by nurses to explain to patients and their

families our position on social networking and our reasons for turning down any friend requests:

Thank you for the friend request. To maintain the integrity of our professional and

patient relationship, I must respectfully decline any friend requests on social

networking sites from any current patients. It is the position of the Association of

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses that one of our primary priorities is to

protect patient privacy and maintain professional boundaries. Please know that I

will always value the relationship that we do have and look forward to continuing

to be a part of your care. Thank you so much for your understanding.

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