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Nursing issues
Nurses need to be aware of their professional responsibilities when engaging with social media
  1. David Barrett
  1. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull, Hull, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Barrett, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK; D.I.Barrett{at}

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Commentary on: De Gagne JC, Hall K, Conklin JL, et al. Uncovering cyberincivility among nurses and nursing students on Twitter: a data mining study. Int J Nurs Stud 2019;89:24–31.

Implications for practice and research

  • Though social media offers great opportunities to promote nursing and disseminate best practice, users need to be aware of the risk of breaching standards of professional behaviour.

  • Research is required to identify the most effective methods of promoting professional behaviour on social media.


In the past decade, social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become ubiquitous. Worldwide, it is estimated that approximately one-third of the population- over 2.5 billion people - are users of social media.1 Though it can offer opportunities for education and dissemination of best practice, nurses’ social media activity may demonstrate behaviour that breaches professional standards. This study by De Gagne and colleagues2 sought to learn more about the prevalence and characteristic of ‘uncivil’ tweets from nurses.


A data-mining, cross-sectional …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests The author is an Associate Editor of Evidence-Based Nursing journal.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.