Social media and nurse education: an integrative review of the literature

Social media and nurse education: an integrative review of the literature


The exponential advance of social media has touched all areas of society, no exception for the professional and personal lives of healthcare people. The issue to be considered is not whether or not social media are being used, but how they are used. The line between proper and improper use, and even abuse, of social media is a subtle one. Thus, the key issue is to be aware of the tool that is being used and this should be supported with suitable training for healthcare professionals and, at an even earlier stage, for students at healthcare training institutions during their studies.


To describe, through an integrative review of the literature, the use of social media by teachers and students during teaching activity and practical training courses.

Materials and methods

An integrative review of the literature was conducted in October 2014. The literature search was performed by consulting the main biomedical databases: PubMed, CINAHL and Embase.


The literature search brought up a total of 854 citations. 804 abstracts were excluded as they were not relevant. Of the remaining 50, 31 were excluded for not meeting the general criteria and, hence, only 19 articles were included. Two aspects emerged from the works selected: the use and potential of social media in nursing education and the ethical and professional implications of their use.


The analysis of the literature reveals two areas for further investigation: evaluating the level of moral awareness in nursing education with regards to the use of Web 2.0 communication tools and implementing teaching methods to promote the construction and development of moral reasoning in professionals.


Nursing education; Social media.



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