In the Media: Nurse Fired for Misusing Social Media on TV Series

Jul 2, 2014, 3:26 PM

This is part of the July 2014 issue of Sharing Nursing's Knowledge.

ABC’s NY Med, a documentary series about hospital life, has a lesson for nurses in the digital age: Think before you post.

Katie Duke, RN, an emergency room nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital who is featured in the series, learned that lesson the hard way.

During the show’s season premiere on June 26, Duke was summarily fired after posting a photo of a messy trauma room on a social media website. She was hired soon after at a different hospital, according to an article about the episode on

“I’ve been in that emergency room for six years ... in a matter of ten minutes, I am no longer,” Duke said, according to the AOL article. “This post that has gotten me fired was a picture of an empty trauma room with a comment underneath.”

Television critic Neil Genzlinger pointed out what he sees as the irony of the situation in a recent blog post in the New York Times. “Given that this hospital is allowing itself to be filmed for prime-time network television, it seems ridiculous” that Duke would be fired for posting a photo to a social media site, he writes.

Still, nurses should understand hospital policies regarding the use of social media and make sure to abide by them, said Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Nursing. “If nurses are going to be involved in social media, they have to be very careful in terms of knowing what the hospital policies are,” she said in an interview.

The eight-part series is produced by Terence Wrong and airs on Thursday nights at 10pm Eastern Standard Time.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.