Over the past decade the rise of social media has revolutionized the way the world communicates. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus have created a virtual world that people from every profession and every walk of life have embraced. If you want to keep up with your family, friends, and professional peers you need to have at least one account on the top social media sites, and chances are you already have one. But, even having an account is not enough to get the most out of what these sites have to offer.
Our guide to social media is designed to help nursing and healthcare professionals navigate and connect with the best nursing related social media pages. We have listed the best Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus pages to follow and to network within. We also have tips on how to get the most out of your social media page. So take a look below and find the pages that peak your interests and make sure to favorite of connect with them.
Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg’s social media Juggernaut, and it first burst on the web in 2004. It was initially reserved for Harvard students use only. It then expanded to all college students, and eventually it became open to everyone on the planet. With near a billion users on the site Facebook is the most popular social media page on the internet, and a must have for any business or professional because of how many user the site has.
The chart below created by business2community.com illustrates the continued rise of Facebook’s user base, which makes the social media network the most useful for connecting with other nursing and healthcare professionals:
If you do not have a Facebook page, or you are looking to beef up the page you already have, here are a few tips to getting started:
- Be Mindful of Your Image: As a healthcare professional it is essential that you project a great professional image that instills a sense of trust. Future employers, patients, and others may view your page. Make sure your images and post are reflective of someone they would hire or feel comfortable nursing them. So take inventory of the content on your page and if there are any questionable post or pictures make sure you get rid of them so they do not come back to hurt you.
- Fill Out Your About Page: The key to networking is putting yourself out there. One way of putting yourself into the social media ring is to fill out your about me section on your Facebook. Many people leave lots of blank spots when it comes to their about page, and it is understandable that you may not want everyone in the world having access to your personal information. But the areas such as education, interest, sports and, music/movies can help give a sense of who you are and what your personality is. People often connect over common interest so it does not hurt to let people know what your hobbies are.
- Reach Out to Other Nurses and the Healthcare Industry: If you want to network on the web you have to follow the same principles as networking in person. Make sure you friend or follow nurses in your area and in your field. There are also many Facebook communities you can join and post to. By posting on pages you can show the world your medical expertise and you can get great feedback on your thoughts and philosophies. The key to getting ahead in social media is being active and engaged.
- Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses: The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses is a community of 10,000 plus medical-surgical nurses who are dedicated to patient care and professional development. They advocate medical-surgical nursing, and networking within the nursing community.
- Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association: ASTNA’s is dedicated to advancing the transport nursing field and the improvement of patient care. They offer a range of products, resources and publications relating to the transport nursing field.
- American Association of Nurse Life Care Planners: The American Association of Nurse Life Care Planners is a non-for-profit organization created by nurses to service their needs. They believe nurses should have an engaged role in education and in the certification process.
- American Association of Nurse Practitioners: The American Association of Nurse Practitioners is the largest, full-service national professional organization for nurse practitioners of all specialties. They encourage open dialogue and networking between those in the nurse practitioner field.
- Coalition for Patients’ Rights: The Coalition for Patients is a national coalition of 35 plus organizations, they represent more than three million licensed healthcare providers.
- “WebMD_Blogs”: One of the largest medical related pages on the net Web MD strives to provide accurate and important information to their visitors.
- The New England Journal of Medicine: The New England Journal of Medicine is the world’s foremost medical journal and they have one of the best online experiences in regards to medical literature.
- ANNA: ANNA is one of the biggest and most honored nursing associations in the country. They are a leader nephrology nursing practice, education, research, and advocacy. Their membership is counted at 12,000 plus nurses.
- American Journal of Nursing: American Journal of Nursing, AJN, is considered the leading voice for the nursing profession since 1900. Peer-reviewed and evidence-based, it’s where nurses go for answers.
- Health Magazine: American Journal of Nursing, AJN has been considered the leader in nursing literature since 1900. The journal is peer-reviewed and evidence-based, to ensure the highest quality in nursing research.
- Get Nursing Jobs: Get Nursing Jobs is a great online resource for nurses seeking employment. Their newsletters and job updates are sure to help both veteran and novice nurses alike.
- VUSchool of Medicine: VUSchool of Medicine is one of the nation’s top medical schools. They are dedicated to quality education and the advancement of the medical arts.
- Informed Publishing: Informed Publishing is one of the top app publishers in the medical industry. They have great apps that that fuse medical know how with technology.
- Great 100 Nurses Foundation: The Great 100 Nurses Foundation is focused on highlighting amazing nurses in Louisiana. They cover the positive stories so seldom told and give nurses the recognition they deserve.
- Infusion Nurses Society: The Infusion Nurses Society (INS) brings innovative resources to the diverse range healthcare professionals who are involved with the specialty practice of infusion therapy
- Pediatric Nursing: Pediatric Nursing is a nursing journal that specializes in child healthcare. They present medical literature that is both theoretically grounded and clinically relevant for the purpose of educating the novice, enrich the generalist, and advance the pediatric specialist.
- Student Nurse Journey: Student Nurse Journey is supported by the Royal College of Nursing. They are the top selling nursing journal in the United Kingdom. They have great peer-reviewed material for nurses looking to read up on the latest advancements in nursing.
- JNJ Nursing Notes: Nursing Notes is Johnson & Johnson’s campaign for nursing. The mission of the campaign is to engage the nursing community and provide relevant information to healthcare professionals across many fields.
- National Nurses United: The mission of the National Nurses United is to unite registered nurses throughout the nation so that they can collectively achieve and upheld the highest standards for patients and direct care RNs.
- Ausmed – Education for Nurses: Ausmed is an Australian-based organization that focuses on online education for nurses and midwives. They provide resources and conferences for nurses across Australia.
Founded in 2006, Twitter has fast become one of the go to social media sites for entertainers, everyday people, businesses, and professionals alike. Twitter has a unique format that restricts its users to writing a 140 character post. They have revolutionized the social media landscape by introducing the hash tag which allows users to create trending topics and also allows for the promotion of certain topics. Instead of having friends like Facebook users of Twitter have followers and follow others that they find interesting.
Even though Twitter is not as large as Facebook, it is still growing as evidenced by this chart from statista.com:
If you want to get the most out of your Twitter account, you need to take a similar but different approach to that of Facebook. Below we have outlined some great twitter strategies to get you more followers and a higher relevancy on the Twittersphere.
- Be Both a Follower and a Leader: One of the keys to getting the most out of twitter is knowing who to follow and getting people to follow you. When you are looking to find great accounts to follow you should search for organizations and people who support your interest. You should also follow accounts that have a large follower base so that you can expose yourself to as many people as possible. Also, you should follow accounts that are very active on Twitter so you have lots of content to retweet. If you want to get people to follow you retweet their content and give them a shout out. You should also tweet as often as you can and use popular hash tags and add your Twitter handle to all your other social media pages.
- Post Pictures/Links: The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been more relevant than on Twitter where they only allow 140 characters a post. One way to get around the character limit is to post great pictures to your profile. If you are using a new piece of medical equipment post a picture of it and use a hash tag to promote it. Did you buy some cool new scrubs? What better way to show them off than by posting a picture of you in them. You can also post links to articles and content that you think your followers will find interesting. This way you can say what is on your mind without having to post too many tweets about it.
- See Who is Talking About You: A great way to gauge your Twitter accounts success is to use the Twitter search engine Topsy. Topsy allows you to see who is talking about what on Twitter and you can see if what you are talking about is actually a popular line of discussion. Topsy has many graphs and tables so that you can take in all the data you want in real time. Being analytically can give you a real leg up when it comes to social media and you should invest some of our time in researching and planning your tweets.
- @GoHealio: Healio allows healthcare professionals to custom tailor news and education to fit your daily medical practice. They have great reporting and questions and answers columns that will be sure to peak your interest.
- @AmbCareNursing: The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing is an organization that specializes in content and resources for ambulatory nursing. They have forums that help create discussions relating to the practice of outpatient care.
- @AAN_Nursing: The American Academy of Nursing’s mission is to advance nursing policy for the good of the public and for nurses alike. They have over 2000 members and they have many interesting resources on nursing policy that important for any nurse looking to learn more about the subject.
- @WHO: The World Health organization is the medical wing of the United Nations. Their goal is to provide leadership and assistance to global health concerns as well as promoting norms and standards that nations can follow for positive health outcomes.
- @NursesDailyDose: NursesDailyDose.com is an online market place for nurses to buy, sell, and trade nursing supplies and gadgets. They also have an open forum for nurses to trade thoughts about a wide variety of topics
- @health: Health News Blog is a great site that covers a lot of health related topics. If you are looking to keep up on the hot topics in the healthcare field then you should be following @health to stay up to date.
- @nursingideas: Nursing Ideas was created to connect nurses and nursing students with innovators in the healthcare industry. They want to help improve healthcare worldwide and share their passion for patient care with as many healthcare professionals as possible.
- @WSJhealthblog: The Wall Street Journal Health Blog is the healthcare space for the world-renowned Wall Street Journal You can expect the same dedication to excellent reporting and news from the healthcare blog as you would expect from their everyday publication.
- @NursingTimes: The Nursing News is a strong voice on the behalf of the nursing community. The United Kingdom based organization provides news and best practices information. They help join the UK nursing community with their standard for excellence and desire to promote nursing worldwide.
Pinterest is a newcomer to the social media game and they have become one of the major players in the highly competitive social media space. Founded in 2010 Pinterest crafted a unique niche in social media with their creative and innovative approach to social sharing. Pinterest describes their service as a “visual discovery tool”. Users of the site create “boards” that they can use to “pin” content to. The content that can be pinned to boards can range from recipes, images, to travel planes all of which can be shared with others on the site. Users can save and organize their pins allowing them to share a revisit the content on their boards. You can also have a pin feed that allows users to view the pins of other users and keeping them in the loop.
Pinterest, being new and different from other forms of social media, creates a new but challenging way to connect with others. Below are some great tips for making a great board to share with other nurses and anyone else who might be interested in what you want to pin.
- Group Boards: One of the most social features on Pinterest is the group board. As a nurse you may have a lot of opinions on patient care and different approaches to your job. What better way to show off your medical knowledge than to pin to a board that other nurses are pinning to. You can bolster your profile on the site by making great contributions to a group board. Also, you can learn a lot from others who pin to the board as well. Two heads are always better than one and with a group board you can have hundreds of like minds sharing their expertise.
- Keep Organized: As any veteran nurse can tell you organization can help keep you sane in the crazy fast paced world of nursing. On Pinterest organization is also very important. Disorganized boards can confuse people browsing you content which will lead them not to refer to your page. To combat disorganization plan on what topics, images, and other content you want displayed on your board as well as which categories you want to fall under. Make sure that you do not have too many boards on your profile, if you feel you have too many delete the ones that you feel are redundant or that do not bring much value to your users. You may also want to alphabetize your boards so that users can quickly find the information that they are looking for.
- Pinwords/Follow Similar Users: You can use the Pinwords tool to create images from text and quotes you find interesting. This can save a lot of time when you are creating boards. You should also make sure that you find other nursing boards so that you can gauge what is trending on Pinterest in relation to the medical field. You can use these boards as a blueprint in creating your own amazing boards.
- Kent State University College of Nursing: Kent State University College of Nursing is a great nursing program that encourages academic and professional growth in all of their students. Their Pinterest page has many helpful tips and inspirational content that any nurse would find interesting.
- Nursing Together: Nursing Together is a great resource for nurses to find the empowerment and inspiration they need. Their Pinterest page has education information, available jobs, community content, and overall nursing lifestyle boards.
- Nurse Jamie: Nurse Jamie is a celebrity nurse who specializes in beauty and skin care. Although she has lighter content than other nursing social media pages she offers some great tips and a break from the stresses and headaches the average nurse face day in and day out.
- Association of periOperative Registered Nurses: The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to safety and the best outcomes for patients undergoing operations and invasive surgery. They offer support and educational resources for perioperative nurses.
- We Nurses: We Nurses is a United Kingdom based online community that connects nurses through community chats. They want to foster dialogue between healthcare professionals to spread the wealth of knowledge held by the each individual in the field.
- Nurse Buff: Nurse Buff is a more humorous and light-hearted online nursing community. They post many funny images and jokes about nursing along with vintage nursing pictures and app recommendations.
- DIY Nurse: Caroline Nolazaco is an OR nurse who is an avid do it yourself project enthusiast. Her page has countless projects and ideas for you to dig into during the weekend.
Great Google Pluses
The name Google has become synonymous with the internet itself. Over the past decade Google has transformed almost every corner of the internet. So it only makes sense that they have created their own social media platform dubbed Google Plus. Google Plus was launched in 2011 and they currently have over half a billion users. The social media space connects with a user’s Gmail and YouTube account making it easy to comment and connect with people all across the web. One of the main goals of Google plus is to create a one stop social hub for its users where they can have video “Hang Outs” with people in their circles, comment on trending topics, and post pictures and status updates to their page.
Google Plus is poised to overtake Facebook in total user numbers, if the trend shown in the following chart from Searchmetrics continues:
Google Plus is still relatively new and people familiar with other social media sites may not know the power of Google Plus and how to leverage it for increased personal and professional connections. We have listed some great ways to utilize Google Plus to your advantage:
- Use Google Plus as a Blogging Space: Google Plus allows lots of room for writing and you can use this to your advantage. You can write longer pieces of content on your Google Plus page along with pictures to enhance the written piece. This will give value to your profile because people will be more likely to visit a page that is far more than superficial short musings. You can also post links to your post on your other social media profiles to help boost your Google Plus presence.
- Become Easy to Find: Use keywords to your advantage. Your Google Plus page should have plenty of nursing and healthcare related keywords so that your page will pop up in searches easily. You should also research the most popular health related pages and see which keywords that they are using and piggy back on them.
- Post Good Content to Community Pages: If you have a favorite nursing community page make sure you post there regularly. You can make comments on other peoples post, and you can write up valuable content on the page as well. This will help increase your visibility in the nursing sphere and it can also establish you with more authority among users. Just like all other forums of social media you will always get the best results from being as active as you can.
- Duke School of Nursing: The Google Plus home of the Duke School of Nursing has tons of informative content posted on their page daily. From cutting edge research to educational opportunities this page caters to both the student and veteran nurse alike.
- Innovative Nurse: Innovative Nurse is a thriving Google Plus community with over 300 members. You can post on the page and share your thoughts and you can also browse some of the great post by others.
- NurseRx: Nurserx focuses on understanding the needs and concerns of traveling nurses. They have a job database for traveling nurses to access along with other resources that are sure to be useful.
- Scrubin Uniforms: Scrubin Uniforms is an online retailer of medical equipment and clothing. They offer discounts on a variety of healthcare related items. Every nurse needs their scrubs and they make it easy to get them.
- Student Nurse Resource: Created by Jennifer Parkinson Student Nurse Resource is a space for student development a growth. They provide private tutoring via live chat and preparation for the TEAS, NCLEX testing.
- HL7 Standards: HL7 Standards mission is to engage the healthcare technology discussion. They are designed to serve as a healthcare integration resource center for those connecting healthcare in a meaningful way.
- iStudentNurse: iStudentNurse provides lots of informative resources for nursing students, free of cost to the visitors, accompanied by a comprehensive selection of products for school on the online retailing space.
- My Stethoscope: MyStethoscope.com is the an online retailer of stethoscopes, including 3M Littmann, ADC, Ultrascope, Welch Allyn, Heine, MDF, W.A. Baum and many more brands.