Virtual Communities of Practice (vCoP)

Physical isolation need not be the end of partaking in shared human endeavour. Technology platforms, including social media can provide learning and sharing in a social process through online communities of practice, also known as vCoP’s. This socio-cultural perspective of learning moves online with the same working method and purpose of shared interest through . Wenger’s (1999) conceptual framework of understanding learning systems, part of being human is the willingness or desire to form communities of practice (CoP).

In nursing the continued skepticism and meeting regulatory standards regarding social media make this a difficult process in separating social and professional life as the lines can blur very easily. The call for more nurse leaders to engage in vCoP and asking where are the nurse leaders? This could help nursing take a lead in the digital environment where telehealth, artificial intelligence and genomics will likely become increasing healthcare services. The e-nurse will need technological skills as well as the traditional skill set of the clinical nurse (Ross & Cross, 2019).

Platforms for Creating vCoP’s: There is an array of technology to facilitate online learning and build vCoP’s. More evidence required, take a look at social media & healthcare literature list.


Nursing Education Network. (2016). Social Media: Where are the nurse leaders?

Nursing Education Network. (2017). The Conversation Prism.

Nursing Education Network. (2017) Social Media & Healthcare: the literature.

Nursing Education Network. (2020. Moving from face to face to an online education approach.

Ross, P., & Cross, R. (2019). Rise of the e-Nurse: the power of social media in nursing. Contemporary Nurse55(2-3), 211-220.

Yarris, L.M., Chan, T.M., Gottlieb, M., and A.M. Juve (2019). Finding Your People in the Digital Age: Virtual Communities of Practice to Promote Education Scholarship. Journal of Graduate Medical Education. Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 1-5.