What Do Infection Control Nurses Do
If you've ever watched an epidemic spread across the country or even just across your area, you realize how important infection control is. Nurses who work in this specialty know how to limit the spread of infection and control infection after transmission. about this specialty and what infection control nurses earn in your area.
Roles/Other Potential Roles
Infection control nurses tend to take on an important role in public health, particularly in large cities or area where diseases tend to take over. In addition to working with citizens to minimize the spread of infection, you may work with government officials and health care professionals to find ways to keep disease from spreading. You may also take on a research role, as you may have to use information from previous outbreaks to make predictions for the future. Another important role of Infection Control Nursing is that of designing, disseminating, and maintaining adherence to infection control processes, policies and procedures within healthcare facilities.
Responsibilities/Demands of the Job
If you decide to work as an infection control nurse, you may have to take on a fairly intense set of job duties and responsibilities. When an infection is threatening to spread, you may have to collect and analyze data, and create reports that detail the spread and severity of the infection. Your job title may require you to communicate with others in positions of power to make decisive action plans based around infection control. Another part of your job may involve creating general action plans that may be implemented in the event of an epidemic.
At the facility level, you may be responsible for developing policies and procedures for staff members that deal with handwashing, safe needle use, reporting procedures and biocontainment issues.
As an infection control nurse, you may take on several different specialty roles. For example, if you live in an area where the flu is particularly devastating each year, you may attend continuing education courses on the spread of flu and how to improve public health initiatives. The specialized training you receive depends quite a bit on the public health risks that exist in your area, as well as the level at which you practice.
You may need to meet fairly extensive hiring qualifications before you can work as an infection control nurse. First, you need some type of nursing degree. Once you have the correct degree, you can apply for a nursing license in your home state. Specific requirements vary among positions, so you may want to look at job qualifications for the types of roles you are interested to get a better idea of how to get the nursing experience you need to succeed as an infection control nurse.
There are several routes you can follow to become an infection control nurse. You may wish to earn an Associate's degree. If you go this route, you may need to complete additional coursework in public health and infection control to qualify for a position. If you earn a four-year Bachelor's degree in nursing, you may already have the infection control and public health classes you need. As you advance your education, so you can advance your career, becoming better qualified for high level positions in this essential nursing field.
Licensing for infection control nurses happens on a statewide level, so you need to contact your state's Board of Nursing to become licensed as a registered nurse. You may be required to pass the NCLEX-RN and provide college transcripts before you receive a license.
The salary you can earn as an infection control nurse depends on your education level, the amount of experience you have, and where you work. Learn more about what infection control nurses earn and compare this specialty to other options by downloading the free Nurse Salary Guide.
Job Outlook for 2014 and Beyond
You may find that registered nurses have a great job outlook in the United States. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for registered nurses may increase by 19% between 2012 andCareer Path
You may begin working in infection control upon completing your Associate's degree or Bachelor's degree, as long as you've completed the necessary coursework. You may first need to get some experience in public health nursing, or in a general care unit to begin.
Associations and Organizations
Infection control is one of the most important aspects of preventive health today. Take the first step in your new career by looking at the Nurse Salary Guide and contacting nearby schools.