More and more nurses are finding out how useful, and fun, being part of the nursing community on Twitter can be. If you haven't joined yet, don't feel daunted, just follow our simple tips and you'll be Tweeting like a pro in no time. And if you're a seasoned Tweeter, why not share a top Twitter tip of your own in the comments at the bottom of the page. Happy Tweeting!
Start by lurking...
When you're new to Twitter you can find your feet by just following others and watching, or 'lurking' as it's known. As students we learn a lot from watching the same applies to Twitter. You'll see what people do and how it works in no time.
When you've lurked for a bit take the plunge and be brave, retweet a few interesting tweets and try replying to a few.
Listen to others
Remember that communicating on Twitter is the same as in real life: listening is just as important as having your say. Listen to what others are Tweeting about and respond or help when you can. If we not only Tweet but also listen to what others say and need we can all learn from each other.
After all, that's why it's called social media.
Mind your Ps and Qs
You might be surprised but the Twitter community is based on some good old fashioned social values, so play nicely, and remember your pleases and thank yous.
It's not a popularity contest
Don't stress about how many followers you have. It's not a competition, it's a community. The important thing is not the number of followers you have but the value you add to and get back from the community. So don't worry - you may not be Stephen Fry but there's a place for you on Twitter!
Remember the NMC code
If you're a nurse in the real world, then you are still a nurse online - it's as simple as that! And so you should act in the same way. If you wouldn't discuss or do something in a room full of people then don't do it on Twitter.
Share, share, share
Tell all your nursing colleagues about it! Think about who would make Twitter better for you and invite them to join you. We can all share and expand the nurse Twitterverse as the more nurses on there, the greater the resource will be.
Viva la difference
It doesn't matter if you're a student nurse or the Chief Nursing Officer: everyone has a valid opinion and point of view that will add value to the conversation. The great thing about Twitter is that you will be able to chat to a wide variety of nurses from all sorts of backgrounds, find out about their jobs, learn from them, and even make a few friends too!
If you're not signed up to Twitter you're not going to get far. It's a great tool for nurses that allows sharing of information, expertise and experience.
A couple of friends to get you started