Cancer nurses must embrace the power of the #

Nikki Morris on the benefits social media can bring to the nursing community

The RCN's Nikki Morris discusses the benefits social media can bring to the nursing community

Picture shows various social media options. Social media can benefit the nursing community if used appropraitely
Picture: iStock

I may not have been able to attend the recent European Oncology Nursing Society conference in Barcelona, but thanks to the power of social media, I was able to follow developments almost as they happened.

It made me think about the role that social media has in nursing today.

At RCN congress, members are asked to use hashtags on socia media to help raise awareness on matters important to us, and to bring nurses together in the debating hall and beyond.

Positive side of social media #camaraderie

Snippets and stories are shared, discussions are had and the posts give a real feel for the mood of the nursing community as a whole.

And it’s always fun when a picture or quote brings us light relief and a sense of camaraderie.

But there can be a downside to social media too. Negativity or rudeness can bring people down. And how can we always distinguish real news from fake news?

At a recent meeting of the RCN Cancer and Breast Care Forum committee, we discussed how we interact with social media.

And as we plan our work and focus for the upcoming year, social media will need to be high on the agenda.

RCN Cancer Forum plans to communicate to a wider audience

Our committee needs to remain informed, relevant and accountable and social media is one way of doing that.

Making sure that we can see what's happening on all the major social media platforms and that we use them to communicate to a wider audience is important.

Social media is a great way for us to come together and stand together as nurses, bringing that power to influence change and offer support to each other that is tangible when we congregate in groups.

So with that in mind I will start thinking about a suitable hashtag for us to use.

In the meantime, do let me know about the issues that you would like the forum to prioritise. 

About the author

Nikki Morris is vice-chair of the RCN Cancer and Breast Care forum and chief executive officer of Age UK Camden 

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