This communication outline was created by the UNMC College of Nursing in partnership with the Nebraska Assembly of Nursing Deans and Directors (NANDD) and with representation from nursing colleges across the state.
Nursing is a highly trusted profession and the information nurses provide can inform/influence the public on topics including COVID-19 and vaccinations. Social media messaging should be authentic, connective, sharable and source-able/accurate. When you share information:
- Consider your audience and be considerate.
- You are the link to the source; be thoughtful about the information you push forward.
- Provide accurate, timely scientific sources from peer-reviewed publications.
- Pause before you share content; the content you provide reflects on you, your profession and the organization to which you belong.
- Communication isn’t one directional; learning/acceptance can take place on all sides.
- Science and our knowledge of COVID-19 continues to evolve; make sure information you share is current.
Policies and Procedures
Review UNMC’s social media guidelines and policies, which include:
- Be mindful of your reputation
- Display respectful and professional behavior
- Communicate with accuracy, transparency and clarity
- Write in the first person and indicate you are not speaking on UNMC's behalf
- When commenting or posting personal views, be sure to use disclaimers such as “opinions are my own” to avoid misunderstandings.
- If your social media activities are inconsistent with UNMC's brand, mission or message, you may not use UNMC-branded materials:
- Ensure social media activities do not interfere with your work commitments.
- If there is a question or concern about social media, contact UNMC Strategic Communications at 402-559-4353.
Contact and consult UNMC’s Strategic Communications staff if you receive a media inquiry. The UNMC College of Nursing specifically works with Vicky Cerino, media coordinator, on media training opportunities and press-related opportunities. Vicky can be reached by phone or email.
Content doesn’t have to be boring or dull; it does need to be authentic, accurate and thoughtful. See possible messaging points below or share your own information, per the guidelines outlined in this document. Choose how to share content on whatever platform suits your personality. Links to toolkits and other resources for reliable information include:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Understanding mRNA COVID-19 vaccines
The Swiss Cheese Respiratory Pandemic Defense – No single intervention is perfect at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Each intervention (layer) has holes. View a graphic that shows how multiple public health layers improve success.
- Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from getting sick. When given as directed, the FDA-authorized vaccines can prevent severe COVID-19 and death.
- People of color are especially vulnerable to severe COVID-19. Getting vaccinated can provide protection.
- Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 helps others in your community. The more people who receive the coronavirus vaccines, the sooner vulnerable people can feel safe among others.
- Every person who gets protection from the coronavirus by getting a vaccine helps us move closer to normal life.
- Science and our knowledge of the novel coronavirus continues to evolve. As more is learned, it’s natural that our public health advice and recommendations also evolve.
- Though the COVID-19 vaccine development was fast, it did not skip steps. The vaccines were made using processes that have been developed and tested over many years, and which are designed to make – and thoroughly test – vaccines quickly in case of an infectious disease pandemic such as COVID-19.
- Diversity in COVID-19 vaccine testing helped assess safety and effectiveness. Trials also have occurred with pregnant women, adolescents and children under 12.
- Side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are temporary and do not mean you are sick. The vaccines do not contain live coronavirus; you cannot and will not get COVID-19 from getting vaccinated. The number of individuals who get COVID after being vaccinated is low
- Once vaccinated, you may experience a sore arm, a mild fever or body aches. Not everyone does; but if you do, that is normal and signals a natural response as your body’s immune system learns to recognize and fight the coronavirus.
- I already had COVID-19 so why do I need to get vaccinated? Current guidelines suggest that anyone previously infected with COVID-19 should be vaccinated.
- My loved one prefers to wait to be vaccinated until more people have received the vaccine. Is that OK? Health professionals and public health experts say waiting too long to be vaccinated allows the coronavirus to continue to spread and allows new variants to emerge.
- If you’re unsure about getting vaccinated, talk to your health care provider and seek out reliable sources so you can make the most informed decision.