Professional Conduct

Social Media and Electronic Communication

Nursing faculty are discouraged from “friending” students on social media. The School of Nursing and/or Nursing Commissions may investigate reports of inappropriate disclosures on social media by faculty and students on the grounds of unprofessional conduct.


Etiquette in online communication includes the same principles that are used in all other realms of interpersonal communication and professional relationships. The following guidelines are intended to prevent harm and avoid later and/or unintended consequences:

  • Do not include other people in conversations that should be a private.
  • Be respectful of others’ time by being clear and concise.
  • The tone of an online communication can be easily misinterpreted; Address the meaning, not the words.
  • Do not send angry emails. Discipline yourself to take a cooling off period, to think clearly on the situation and your response.
  • If you would not make a particular statement to a person in front of you, you should not say it online.
  • Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes.
  • Don’t read into other people’s messages with your own interpretations or assumptions.
  • Request clarification of a message if it is ambiguous, unclear, or incomplete.
  • Pick up the phone or have a face-to-face conversation when complex matters or sensitive topics are involved.
Intimate and Sexual Relationships

Intimate and/or sexual relationships between faculty or members of the instructional team and students are strictly prohibited. Sexual misconduct of any kind is not tolerated. All suspected inappropriate relationships will be reported to the PLU Title IX Coordinator, and are subject to disciplinary action by the university. See PLU Title IX Policy and PLU Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Sexual Misconduct

All SoN faculty and staff are mandatory reporters of sexual misconduct, harassment, assault, stalking, or dating violence, as required by University policy. Known information regarding student experiences of or engagement in sexual misconduct must be reported. Please use great care in assigning work or classroom discussions that asks students to information about their personal relationships.

Faculty Role

In addition, nursing faculty must recognize that their role in relation to students is that of faculty member, not professional counselor. Faculty are advised to refer students to university or healthcare counseling for their personal counseling needs.