You can’t get away from social media today, and most people don’t want to. Once the province of the younger generation, these days just about everyone of any age relies on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter to some extent to stay in touch and keep up with what’s going on in the world and with friends.
That kind of interaction and support can be even more important while you’re in nursing school earning a master’s en route to becoming an NP or taking on some other advanced practice role. It’s a tough course of study and you need all the assistance you can get. You want to stay in touch with your peers to help one another through the challenges. You want to hear from your family and other friends who you won’t always have time to see while you’re slammed with coursework. The fact is, you’re going to be on social media plenty while you’re in school, so shouldn’t your school be on it too?
Increasingly, you can also use social media to stay on top of things with your school itself. Nursing schools have been starting to get on board with electronic communications. They post graduation ceremony videos and news about students and former students; they Tweet about upcoming events and cool opportunities; they offer up inspirational quotes and put together photo collages of overseas aid trips.
But not all schools are equally good at social media. So we have put together a list of the top 100 most social media friendly nursing schools to help you find the very best.
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Social media rankings themselves are all driven by algorithms. These automated machine-learning systems figure out how to score and rank posts without the intervention of humans, just by looking at statistical information associated with the site.
It’s appropriate, then, that our scoring system is also very heavily algorithmically influenced—although we are totally not robots! Here’s how we human beings calculated the total scores for each school based on their presence and use of individual social media platforms:
Facebook is the gorilla in the social media room with more than 2.2 billion active users. Almost every nursing school has a Facebook presence, so it’s a good place to start the evaluation. We looked at likes and followers and awarded up to 25 points based on how many of each the school had. Putting up engaging content likely to be re-shared and discussed was key to getting a good score here.
Twitter offers tiny snippets of content compared to Facebook’s big posts and long comment streams. It’s designed to offer quick information in bite-sized pieces, not necessarily to foster discussion. But through the service’s direct messaging system, it’s also turned into a great customer service platform… just the thing for a student to contact school administrators with! Twitter also can get a school up to 25 points based on the number of tweets made and how many followers the account has.
YouTube is also worth up to 25 points, with the score split evenly between the channel’s subscribers, total videos, and total views. A prime platform for distributing video content in both short and long forms, YouTube is a path for schools to offer instruction or demonstrations for visual learners.
As a social media platform for working professionals, LinkedIn is probably going to interest you more after graduation than while you’re still studying… but it will interest you a LOT then, because it’s how you’re likely to look for jobs and networking opportunities with other alumni. LinkedIn can get a school 5 points for how well it attracts those alums to its site.
Google Plus isn’t what it used to be in terms of traffic or interaction, but if a school has a site with them, you know they are making a real effort at social media! They can get 5 points here for the number of followers they attract.
Pinterest is all about the visuals. The original pasteboard social media site, it’s a great resource for putting up pictures and links as a sort of visual bookmarking site. If a school is active enough to get the 5 points available for total Pinterest followers, you know they are offering up some good links and resources to prospective students.
Snapchat is a different sort of social media platform, one that is a tough one for nursing schools to make use of. The basis of the system allowing sharing between small groups of friends revolves around that content automatically disappearing after a short time—not really the thing for a school trying to build up useful content for students. But we gave any school that was at least giving it a shot an extra 5 points for effort!
Instagram offers a more traditional way to share photos and videos, one that doesn’t evaporate after 24 hours! Instagram is now owned by Facebook but maintains an independent platform from the larger company. Schools can put together large catalogs of photos showing student lifestyle and accomplishments and cataloging the events that nursing school offers from day to day. If the social media manager is putting up a lot of unique and interesting pictures, we scored the school up to 5 points.
As the major social media platform exclusively for nursing professionals, you know we had to include NursesLounge in our scoring too. If a nursing school isn’t set up with a NursesLounge account, you can be sure their priorities don’t include maintaining a strong social media presence. Just about every school we looked at had an active presence on NursesLounge, using the platform for attracting new students and keeping current students in the loop about what’s going on around campus. It’s pretty standard for schools to have an account here, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also very valuable, so we went ahead and gave them all 5 points anyway.
This list features programs that our editorial staff hand selected to present as top recommendations. We believe the many aspects of a program that come together to create an exceptional student experience can’t be reduced to numbers alone, so no formula was used to attempt to score or rank these programs. Instead, they represent our top picks based on a thoughtful review of the things we know mean the most to students. Each one of these programs offers something unique, and all come equally highly recommended. We stand behind the principal of editorial integrity and make these recommendations independently and without compensation.
Chamberlain College of Nursing - Downers Grove, IL