What is Infection Control Nursing?
Infection control is a discipline of healthcare that is focused on preventing infection. Healthcare professionals working in infection control can come from various educational streams, including nursing. Infection control nursing plays a central role in both preventing as well as controlling infectious diseases. All healthcare professionals must practice infection control to some extent in their careers, whether it is by washing their hands or by practicing sterile gloving before performing a sterile procedure.
What Should I Expect Working as an Infection Control Nurse?
Nurses who want to go into infection control nursing have to have a solid background in nursing education, or leadership skills, as this specialization involves instructing others on infection prevention. According to Johnson & Johnson, other tasks performed by infection control nurses may include creating sanitation plans, studying bacterial cultures, and communication with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
What are the Education and Certification Requirements?
Certification in infection nursing control is not necessary to work in this specialization, but it may be advantageous. While all basic nursing programs do offer some degree of training or coursework that relates to infection control and prevention, nurses who want to specialize in this field can take and complete specific certification courses that are available in online nursing programs or at a traditional LPN program or a traditional RN program.
The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC) offers a certification examination that is available those working in a career that involves infection control who meet the eligibility requirements. If a nurse passes this examination, he or she earns the Certified Infection Control (CIC) credential. It is necessary for professionals working in infection control nursing to have a sound foundation with regards to critical thinking skills, organizational skills, clinical knowledge and clinical skills. An infection control nurse has the possibility to work in a wide array of settings like hospitals, long-term care facilities, acute care facilities, ambulatory care centers, and even home health agencies.
What is the Job Outlook?
The job outlook for registered nursing is excellent, with 26% expected job growth from 2010 to 2020 reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The outlook for LPNs/LVNs is also positive with 22% expected growth.
What is the Average Salary?
It is difficult to estimate salary for home health care nurses, as this information is dependent on location, education, experience, and employer. Johnson & Johnson estimates that infection control nurses make between $40,000 and $57,000 per year.