School of Nursing Social Media Policy

Revised and Approved March 18, 2014 by School of Nursing Council


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. Some examples of social media include: texting, discussion forums, blogs, social networks, wikis, and podcasts.

Overall Policy

Social media behaviours of nursing students that pertain, but are not limited, to the above examples must be consistent at all times with 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. Images of clients or agencies require written permission and written consent.
  • Making disparaging comments about clinical sites, co-workers, instructors or students on social media sites, or posting audio or video recordings without express permission from the individual. This includes any comments that are threatening, harassing, profane, obscene, sexually explicit, racially derogatory, homophobic or otherwise offensiv
  • 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. In this situation, the student will discuss this need with the Clinical Course Director or preceptor prior to use, as applies.

Refer to the York University Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Student Professional Behaviour Policy on the York University website, or the current Undergraduate Supplemental Calendar for a further a description of behaviour that may result in withdrawal from the BScN Program, jurisdiction, procedures for review of whether a student has met the standard of professional behaviour, student professional behaviour review, and appeal processes. The failure of any student to conform to the York University Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Student Professional Behaviour Policy while using any social media site, may result in dismissal from the program. Unauthorized use of social media, cell phones, or the internet in the practicum setting may result in removal of the student from the clinical area.