Use of Social Media By Nurse Educator Students: An Exploratory Survey

Mari Lahti1, Heidi Haapaniemi-Kahala2, Leena Salminen3, *
1 Post-Doc researcher, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Finland, Senior lecture in Turku University of Applied Science, Finland
2 Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Finland
3 University Lecturer, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Finland

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Creative Commons License
© 2017 Lahti et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland Tel: +358 (2) 333 8576; E-mails:



Information and Communication Technology (ICT) opens up new possibilities for introducing innovative teaching and learning methods to deliver education in different educational areas. Use of internet and social media has grown rapidly and is a key way in how nurses and nurse educator students find information. However, the evidence is still lacking how nurse educator students use social media.


The aim of this study is to describe nurse educator students’ use of social media and the ways in which their educational needs are related to social media.


The data were collected using a structured questionnaire that included one open question. Altogether, 49 nurse educator students completed and returned the questionnaire (response rate 96%). The quantitative data were analysed using statistical programme SPPS and content analysis.


While many nurse educator students reported using the tools of social media, others claimed that they do not use social media at all. Facebook was most common (53% use it every day) and YouTube (17%) the second most common form of social media used to support daily living. The participants reported using YouTube (6% use it every day) and Facebook (4%) most often as support in their studies. They reported using Second life as virtual reality form of social media, the least. The most common educational needs of nurse educator students include receiving more in-depth information about how to use social media, as well as more practice in using it.


In the future, the education of the nurse educator students should include even more in-depth information about the forms of social media and about the advantages of using it in teaching. The education should encourage nurse educator students and provide them with more possibilities to train and make use of the benefits of social media as support in their daily lives and studies. There is need for more robust evidence of social media use in nurse educator students education.

Keywords: Nurse educator student, Social media, Social media needs, Nurse teacher education, Education, SPSS.