Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

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Bloomberg Nursing Social Media Guidelines

Bloomberg Nursing Social Media Guidelines

Social media is a powerful tool used to engage the public on a variety of important issues and topics and is a great resource for sharing and promoting your own research and events while also taking part in important advocacy work. It can also be used to highlight exciting opportunities, developments, and breaking news.

When using social media as a health care professional, or researcher, it is good to refer to a set of “best practice” guidelines, that will help you protect your personal and professional reputation and effectively manage your social media presence.

Here are a few guidelines you may want to consider if you currently run or are thinking about running a social media channel of your own:

Be Respectful

Note: For students you may also refer to additional guidelines under our Ethical and Professional Conduct page for students


  • Ensure that the content you are posting is accurate, properly sourced, and free of typos and spelling errors.
  • Verify your post first instead of retracting or correcting it later. If you do make an error, try to correct it quickly and visibly.
  • For health care professionals it is important to know the difference between offering suggestions and offering health care related advice which could be a liability.


  • Ensuring you are making your content as accessible as possible is a best practice in the social media realm.
  • Alt-text for images, which allows you provide a description for an image, is now an option across most social media platforms.
  • Photos and videos should have captions whenever possible
  • Make sure language you use is inclusive and text is accessible (try not to use alternate fonts)
  • A good guideline to review on all areas of accessibility is available from Hootsuite. View Hootsuite’s Tips for Making Social Channels Accessible

Copyright and Confidentiality

  • Before posting, make sure you are not breaking copyright law or sharing confidential information.
  • This can include sharing embargoed materials, content and publications, or using a copyrighted image.
  • Support others by giving credit where it is due, tag other departments or organizations if you are sharing their articles or stories.
  • Do not share your personal information online, including email addresses, phone numbers or anything else you would not want a wider public audience to see.
  • Consider adding a disclaimer to your bio (although this does not guarantee legal protections of your posts), for example “RT are not endorsements. Opinions are my own.”
  • Never post patient identifying information, including any details or photos in interesting cases that could allow the patient to identify themselves.

Teaching with Social Media

  • The University of Toronto does not provide technical support for social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It is also discouraged to use social media applications as a primary learning environment.
  • If Faculty would like to utilize social media to enhance their teaching, please review guidelines available from the Centre for Teaching and Innovation titled Tools beyond Quercus.
  • The use of class or program specific hashtags to encourage discussions on social media is permitted, but keep in mind that all such discussions are in a public forum and not all students will be comfortable sharing information in this format.
  • Closed forum discussion groups via social platforms like LinkedIn are another option.

Be Social, Timely and Active

  • To grow your own social media following post and share content regularly that is current and of interest to your audience.
  • Like, retweet, and share your colleagues and other department’s or organization’s posts. This builds a sense of community and helps to make you a valued social media community member.


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