Social Media Policy

Columbia Nursing students, faculty, and staff are required to follow the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) Social Media Policy and the Columbia University Social Media and HIPAA Policy when using social media for either personal or business purposes.

Personal/Professional Social Media Accounts

Columbia Nursing does not monitor personal social media accounts. However, the school reviews any questionable student posts brought to our attention. The Student Affairs and Academic Affairs Offices take action as necessary.

As a Columbia Nursing student, you are a representative of the organization–even when using your personal social media accounts. Therefore, the following requirements apply when Columbia Nursing students post content to their own accounts, as well as posting, responding to, or commenting on the accounts of others. 

View Columbia Nursing’s Social Media Orientation Video for guidance.

Professionalism and Use of University Resources

(As stated in the CUIMC Social Media Policy)

  • CUIMC policies regarding privacy, discrimination and harassment, and the use of computers or other University resources apply to social media just as they apply to all other forms of communication. Violation of these policies may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
  • Clinicians are highly discouraged from providing medical advice on their personal social media accounts. In addition, remember that the information you post on social media will live there indefinitely. Twice a year, you should review content you have shared and remove medical information that is outdated and no longer reflects current and practice.
  • Configuration of social media account settings to automatically remove prior postings on a regular basis (e.g., after every 3 or 6 months) is recommended.
  • Content that has appeared on personal social media accounts may not be reposted on institutional (school, departmental, program, or CUIMC enterprise) social media accounts

Use of CUIMC Name and Logos

(As stated in the CUIMC Social Media Policy)

  • Logos of CUIMC schools, departments, and programs may not be used on personal social media accounts or for any commercial purpose.
  • You may use your CUIMC title to identify your Columbia role when using social media. However, if you do, you should make clear that your comments are your own and not those of CUIMC. For example, the “About me,” “Profile,” or other bio sections should include language such as “My posts represent my personal views and not those of CUIMC.”

HIPAA Compliance

No social media communication, whether public posting or private messaging, is HIPAA compliant. Please do not engage in the exchange of patient information online, as it violates federal law. View the Columbia University Social Media and HIPAA Policy for more information.

Patient Privacy

(As stated in the CU Social Media and HIPAA Policy)

  • Posting patient information, commentary, or photographs on professional or personal social media sites requires written authorization from the patient using the CUIMC HIPAA Media Authorization form. The Office of Communications should be contacted at to obtain a copy of the form. A copy of the form is provided to the patient and the original authorization is placed in the medical record.
  • Photo, tape, or video recording in patient treatment areas is permitted only after obtaining permission from the Practice Manager, Program Director, or CUIMC Communications.
  • Patients in treatment areas/practice locations are prohibited from photo, tape, or video recording without prior permission from the provider, program or practice. Patient authorization may also be necessary if any photos, tape, or video recording contain other patients’ images or information.
  • Faculty, staff, and students are prohibited from taking personal photos, video or audio recordings in patient care areas to avoid inadvertently capturing patients or patient information.
  • Photos, images, or a narrative thought to be de-identified by a workforce member may be recognizable by the individual or others and would not meet the definition of de-identified per the HIPAA Privacy Rule and thus permission should be obtained from the Privacy Office prior to posting any photos, images or narratives involving patients or patient information even if they are thought to be de-identified.
  • Notify the Privacy Office promptly of any suspected unauthorized disclosure of patient information via social media or any suspected unauthorized photographing, filming, or recording.

Interacting with Patients on Social Media

(As stated in the CU Social Media and HIPAA Policy)

Faculty, staff, and students should not connect with patients or patient family members using social media. It is recommended that workforce members use the same judgment regarding any other type of social interaction with patients.

Clinical Placements

Any content representing affiliated clinical organizations must abide by that organization’s social media policy (i.e. student or faculty clinical placements). Students should connect with their program director for more information.

Columbia Nursing Accounts

Any social media accounts run by Columbia Nursing entities, including student organizations, must abide by the CUIMC Social Media Policy and CU Social Media and HIPAA Policy.

New Accounts

The creation of new official social media accounts representing any entity at Columbia Nursing must be coordinated with Columbia Nursing’s Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing. Email for more information.

Promoting Your News

Do you have news you would like to be considered for posting on the official Columbia Nursing social media accounts? Email the below information to to submit your news for consideration.

  1. Send a brief summary of your news, including who, what, when, where.
  2. Include relevant links, photos, graphics, or videos

Share Your Story

Stories of Columbia Nursing is a social media campaign run by Columbia Nursing’s Student Council which aims to highlight different students who make up our unique and diverse student body. Stories are posted on Columbia Nursing’s official social media accounts. We invite degree-seeking students to submit your story for consideration. 

Submit Your Story

Follow Columbia Nursing

Follow Columbia Nursing’s official social media accounts for the latest news and updates from the school.