Using Social Media to Promote Nursing Science

Mention social media to a room full of nurses and nurse educators and you may just see a collective cringe shudder through your audience.  From HIPAA to hospital liability and everywhere in between, social media may feel like a minefield to those in our line of work.  While there are lots of resources out there to tell you what not to post online as a nurse, we think it’s equally important to know how proper use of social media can benefit you, your colleagues, and society as a whole.

In this Huffington Post article, Mona Shattell and co-author Monica McLemore discuss the changing demographics of the nursing profession and its implications for nurses’ involvement on social media. Like other fields of science, nursing science is finding its footing in the world of Twitter, where researchers can disseminate information far and wide, potentially reaching diverse audiences across the globe.

The potential benefits of using social media to advance nursing science abound– these platforms allow for quick postings, hashtags that bring attention to issues and help organize posts, and connections to other researchers or interested parties who may never have crossed paths with the nursing researchers without the help of social media.

If you would like to explore social media as a vehicle to share your nursing research and scholarly work, this AACN webinar recording is a great place to begin. Read the session description and use the link below to access the recording. One hour of CE is available!

How to Use Social Media to Promote Nursing Science
“You’ve completed the research, presented your findings at a scientific conference, AND published your research results in a high-impact journal. In the past, this was considered to be the complete checklist for dissemination of science – but now there’s social media. This session will provide guidance for developing your social media plan as a means to build a professional network, monitor news items from our professional organizations and other media outlets, promote programs and services, and even find new funding and publishing opportunities. Advanced users can use social media as a means to become a thought leader in areas of expertise, influence policy, and inform the public; all by being a part of the conversation.”

View the webinar, and comment below if you decide to establish your professional presence in the world of social media! Note: you will need to enter your name and email address to view the webinar, but it is free and available to the public.

Cybersecurity Part 1: Internal Threats

Erik Yarberry is the College of Nursing’s Network Administrator.  He recently took some time to talk to us about cybersecurity at the College of Nursing, including what are termed “internal” and “external” threats to the network.  This post will explore internal threats, and another post will follow discussing external threats.

Internal threats are those that come from employees or others who have access to the network.  These can be both intended and accidental. Here are some examples:

  1. Employees clicking on or forwarding phishing messages sent by email
  2. People leaving employment who leave security holes or delete files they shouldn’t (either accidentally or intentionally)
  3. People getting viruses through unsafe websites, unsecured flash drives, or other means

You might be wondering, what’s the point in phishing or hacking the College of Nursing? What’s there to gain? Here are some things hackers and phishers look for:

  1. Intellectual property including copyrighted works, dissertations, etc.
  2. Personally identifying information
    • Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, anything that would help an identity thief
  3. Access to legitimate email addresses to send more attacks out

Internal security threats make up a large portion of the cybersecurity threats that the College of Nursing faces. That’s why it’s important to know a threat when you see it, and if necessary alert the proper channels.  Here are some tips to remember to protect yourself and the College of Nursing from these kinds of threats:

  • Don’t click on unfamiliar links or attachments in emails! If you are sent an email that looks suspicious, forward it to
  • Change your passwords frequently, and use a new and unique password each time.  If your email or other information was ever breached, those old passwords could be in the wrong hands.
  • Know how to browse the web safely. Here are some good tips.
  • Have anti-virus software, and update your computer and software regularly. Cybersecurity is basically an arms race, and the best way to be equipped is to keep all of your systems as up-to-date as possible.
  • If you suspect you have a virus or clicked on something you shouldn’t have, alert IT right away at


In our next Cybersecurity post, we will delve into external threats and what the College of Nursing is doing to mitigate them.



Having Fun with Canvas Discussion Boards

Whether you have already taught in Canvas for a semester or are transitioning now, one thing to keep in mind is that Canvas has a more robust “text entry” feature than we saw in D2L.  Text entry is often used to post replies on discussion boards, and can also be used as a way to submit assignments and write announcements in Canvas.  By learning the various options you have in Canvas, you can take your class discussions to a new level with videos, animations, and voice as well as text.

To demonstrate several features we find in Carmen Canvas, I hosted a discussion in my sandbox and encouraged my “students” to be as creative as possible with their input.  You can find this discussion here: Flaute.13 Sandbox Movie Discussion. Note: You will need to be logged into Canvas with your OSU credentials to view this page.

You will see on this discussion board that in addition to just typing answers, students were encouraged to submit multi-media responses to the prompt. Below we can see some of the options available to you in your discussions and other text-entry:


The labeled buttons above will help you brighten up your text entry. Below is a short summary of each.

Insert link: Allows you to link to a website (e.g. a youtube video or news article). The link will appear and others will click it to re-direct to the website.

Insert picture: This allows you to add a photo to the page from your computer.

Add media: This allows you to insert a video or sound file on your computer, or to record your voice or webcam video in real time to post.

Attach a file: This allows you to attach any file to your post that other readers will then download to view.

You can also copy and paste items from online directly into your text entry box. For example, that’s how Joni was able to insert the GIF found in the entry shown here:



With this knowledge, we encourage you to try adding some oomph to your discussion posts, announcements, and assignment submissions!


Some further resources can be found here:

Canvas Guides: Replying to a Discussion

Canvas Guides: Adding media to a submission

Canvas Guides: Adding images to a submission