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School of Nursing Policy on Social Media

School of Nursing Policy on Social Media

Topic: Academic Honesty and Student Appeals
Approval Authority: Senate


The Canadian Nurses’ Association (CNA) defines the term social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Google+, MySpace, YouTube and blogs) as:

“a group of Internet based applications and technologies that allow users to have the same kind of real-time conversation that they might have with friends or neighbours with virtual friends from around the globe. Social media technologies allow users to interact and collaborate with each other online in the creation and sharing of information, ideas, and opinions(CNA, 2012).

Social media includes: text, images, audio, video, and technology conversations with a few or many people. For the purpose of this policy, types of social media behaviour include but are not limited to:

  • texting
  • discussion forums
  • blogs
  • social networks
  • wikis
  • podcasts


Social media behaviour of nursing students must be consistent at all times with the standards of conduct as articulated in the following College of Nurses of Ontario documents:

While enrolled in the BScN program, students are prohibited from:

  • Posting any private or confidential content about clients, including client health information and images on any social media site (i.e., private or public Facebook pages), even if the client identifiers are removed. Posting images of clients or agencies require written permission and written consent from the subjects of the images to be used in social media.
  • Making disparaging comments about clinical sites, clients, co-workers, instructors or students on social media sites, or posting audio or video recordings without express permission from the individual or from the site management. This includes any comments that are threatening, harassing, profane, obscene, sexually explicit, racially derogatory, homophobic or otherwise offensive.
  • Using the York University logo on a non-university social media site.
  • Using social media for non-academic purposes during any practicum experience.
  • Accessing agency computers for the purpose of social networking.
  • Using cell phone functions during direct practicum hours, unless required for an emergency purpose, and when there is no other means of contact available.

Students must discuss their need for appropriate cell phone/device use with the Clinical Course Director or preceptor prior to use, as applies.

A breach of this Policy may constitute a breach of professional standard of behavior for the purpose of the York University Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Student Professional Behaviour Policy.


Legislative History: Approved by Senate September 25, 2015