Insta - Inspiration by Everett Moss II
Social media is a force for good , according to the five nurses profiled here ( and so many others ) who inspire nurses everywhere by sharing professional and personal moments from their nursing journeys .
More than one billion people worldwide use social media ; 62 % of these are aged 18-34 ( Statista , 2021 ), and more than 500 million Instagram ( IG ) Stories are posted daily ( Statista , 2021 ). According to Social Media Use in 2021 ( Pew Research Center , 2021 ), 71 % of American adults under 30 use Instagram , making it a powerful platform for the nursing profession .
A World of Opportunities For nursing students and new nurses in particular , Instagram offers the opportunity to grow and create nursing communities and perhaps meet that one mentor , that one best friend forever ( BFF ), you otherwise would not have encountered . Instagram opens us up to arenas that we may not know about or understand . It can be a place to meet nurses who have moved in directions we never thought of and provided care that might make a difference in the patients we touch . It can be a place to learn and grow and find your true passion in nursing .
Some of the best content on Instagram for new nurses , and any nurse selecting a specialty , are the “ day in the life ” posts . These posts and videos offer insight to inform expectations and present a sense of the expectations in that specialty .
Instagram can also be a place to help you face the things we face as nurses . I think most nurses would agree that it is hard to have a conversation about a hard day with a person who is not a nurse because they just do not understand some of the things we go through , some of the emotions we feel , some of the stressors we have . Having that nursing community as an outlet creates a safe space to express your nursing frustrations without seeming harsh or non-empathetic . Nurses get that and they can offer advice that someone who is not a nurse may not be able to offer .
A Look at the Literature on Nursing and Social Media While social media use is common among nurses , data and studies on nurses ’ social media perceptions and practices is limited .
• Nurses can use social media to “ unite nurses across the globe ” and “ connect with a vast array of professional development resources and find up-to-date information on nursing trends ” ( Reinbeck and Antonacci , 2019 ).
• Among nurses at a large U . S . academic medical center , 87 % reported using a general social media account , with frequency of use inversely related to age ( Lefebvre et al , 2020 ).
• In a study of the social media use and online professionalism of Chinese registered nurses , 85 % believed that social media had positively influenced their clinical practice ( Wang et al , 2019 ).
• A study of nurses who have attained microcelebrity ( influencer ) status on IG revealed five themes of IG posts : engaging IG users , educational opportunities and insights , nursing-related humor , emotions experienced by nurses , and media narratives including patient details and work context ( Kerr et al , 2020 ). While affirming that the use of social media by nurses may provide benefits for both nurses and patients , the risk of unintentionally crossing professional boundaries “ is a contemporary reality for all nurses .”
As Kerr et al ( 2020 ) suggest , researchers widely agree that nursing policies and guidelines must continue to be updated to adequately prepare nurses to navigate social media .
22 NSNA IMPRINT • JANUARY 2022 • www . nsna . org