Exploring the characteristics and behaviors of nurses who have attained microcelebrity status on instagram: Content analysis
Journal of Medical Internet Research
URL with Digital Object Identifier
Background: Instagram is a social media platform that enables users to share images and videos worldwide. Some nurses have used Instagram to document their experiences as a nurse and have subsequently gained microcelebrity status-that is, a user who purposefully seeks to amass a substantive Web-based following and has become recognized as a niche area of interest. Objective: This study aimed to identify the characteristics and behaviors of microcelebrity nurses who act as influencers on Instagram and use their nursing profile to gain attention and presence on the Web. Methods: A qualitative, exploratory, nonparticipatory content analysis of media and text generated by a purposeful sample of 10 registered nurses who use Instagram and sustain a definable microcelebrity status was conducted. In this study, manifest and latent data were examined to gain an understanding of the characteristics and behaviors of nurses who have attained microcelebrity status on Instagram. Results: Data analysis revealed 5 themes of Instagram posts: (1) engaging Instagram users, (2) educational opportunities and insights, (3) nursing-related humor, (4) emotions experienced by nurses, and (5) media and narratives including patient details or work context. Messages were primarily positive in nature; however, multiple potential privacy, ethical, and professional issues were noted throughout the posted content. Conclusions: The findings of this study help to expand the current knowledge related to the use of social media platforms such as Instagram, especially in regard to the emergence of nurses who use this form of technology to achieve or maintain a microcelebrity status. This study calls for additional research on nurses' attainment of microcelebrity status on social media as well as further policy development to adequately prepare nurses to navigate social media.