Social Media: Where are the nurse leaders?

“Unfortunately, many nurse leaders, with years of experience in this multifaceted profession, have yet to join the conversation on social media. Therefore, the conversation is often led by novices in the field, simply because leaders are absent” (Carroll & Bruno, 2016).

As social media continues to change the face of healthcare, the necessity to understand and engage will become increasingly important to connect with colleagues, patients and other health systems. The flattening of healthcare hierarchies opens up the need to connect.

Evidence to persuade the doubters:

  • The creators of #WeNurses (Moorley & Chinn, 2014).
  • Evidence of using a hashtag at a conference and potential benefits, increased advertising, awareness for university and self-promotion (Wilson, Ranse, Cashin & McNamara, 2013).
  • Symplur: provides the analytics to provide quantitative analysis. Healthcare hashtags project on tweet chats, conferences that is a free open platform that connects to relevant conversations and communities.


• The development of social networks.
• The student/staff experience through improved student/staff partnerships.
• Utilisation of analytic tools to engage students and stimulate learning.
• Development of academic staff usage of social media.

Some Players

Just to counteract the above points, the following provide some great higher level healthcare insights.

Keywords: Social media, community of practice, collaboration, network, communication, evidence based practice, professional development, global citizen.


Moorley, C., & Chinn, T. (2014). Using social media for continuous professional development. Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Moorley, C. R., & Chinn, T. (2014). Nursing and Twitter: Creating an online community using hashtags. Collegian, 21(2), 103-109.

Carroll, C. L., & Bruno, K. (2016). Social Media and Free Open Access Medical Education: The Future of Medical and Nursing Education. American Journal of Critical Care, 25(1), 93-96.

Sinclair, W., McLoughlin, M., & Warne, T. (2015). To Twitter to Woo: Harnessing the power of social media (SoMe) in nurse education to enhance the student’s experience. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(6), 507-511.

Wilson, R., Ranse, J., Cashin, A., & McNamara, P. (2013). Nurses and Twitter: The good, the bad, and the reluctant. Collegian. Chicago [abstract].

Symplur. (2015) Doing research in healthcare social media.