Social Media Rules for Nurses and Healthcare Providers

Even if your employer is following patient privacy rules, staff can create big problems by irresponsibly taking photos of patients, and worse yet, sharing them on social media. That is just one reason why appropriate social media usage is an essential skill for nurses.

Earlier this year, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) released survey findings, indicating 48% of responding nursing boards (33 in total) faced social media challenges. In some cases, complaints related to images of wounds and procedures photographed on personal phones and then shared.

Think of the senselessness, not to mention the consequences of a case reported recently by USA Today. A New York nurse took photos of an unconscious patient’s penis, and the shared the photos with co-workers. The nurse initially faced a felony charge but agreed to give up her nursing license for a reduced sentence. Nursing homes are particularly ripe for similar types of abuses involving nakedness, as ProPublica has reported.

Education can:

  • Prevent violations of patient rights
  • Create a culture of vigilance within an organization
  • Save healthcare providers the cost of fines and settlements, often in 7 figures 
  • Prevent the loss of your license and employment
Questions? Check out our FAQs page and How Online IV Certification Works!


Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:
  1. Define Protected Health Information (PHI).
  2. Identify the kind of daily carelessness that threatens PHI.
  3. State the role of staff in protecting PHI.
  4. Recognize obvious risks that should be reported to appropriate supervisors.
  5. List 3 personal responsibilities that contribute to a culture of vigilance in protecting PHI.


Chapter 1: Privacy & Security Regulations and Internet Challenges

Chapter 2:  Big Enemies in Carelessness & Neglect

Chapter 3:  Put Safeguards in Place

Chapter 4: Protecting Patient Information

Chapter 5: Conclusion

Chapter 6: Sources

  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $10.00

Contact Hour: 1

Course Author

Diane Evans

Diane Evans is Publisher of, a news and information service that helps HIPAA-covered organizations understand their responsibilities. 

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