As the frontline defense in many healthcare facilities, nurses and their knowledge of infection control principles and confidence in infection control protocols are essential to maintaining the well-being and safety of their patients and themselves. ANA continues its long-standing commitment to infection control through partnerships with organizations such as the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide RNs with effective tools and resources.
One collaborative effort, the ANA/APIC Resource Center, arose from lessons learned from the 2014 Ebola crisis. The center is a centralized, web-based information site organized into four main categories: healthcare-associated infections, emerging infectious diseases, personal protective equipment, and hand hygiene. In forming the resource, ANA, APIC, and other external stakeholders sought to identify and address knowledge gaps in evidence-based infection prevention and to control practices among their members. The Resource Center helps members stay apprised of the latest developments about emerging threats through website resources, links to stakeholder initiatives, and educational programs and opportunities. You can visit the ANA/APIC Resource Center.
ANA continues its partnership with the CDC through a 2-year contract in which ANA provides technical assistance to the CDC on how to best frame, format, and disseminate infection control content, materials, and information to reach nurses. ANA is leveraging existing partnerships with 20 nursing specialty organizations and the CDC in developing the Nursing Infection Control Education (NICE) Network. Launched in February of this year, the NICE Network seeks to empower nurses to protect themselves and their patients by providing real-time, tailored infection control training to nurses. ANA believes the educational materials and training developed through the network will increase nurses’ adherence to and confidence in infection control protocols, including prevention of healthcare-associated infections and providing care for patients with highly contagious diseases. In the first year, the following progress has been made.
• ANA partnered with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care to better understand the current state of nursing education and training needs. The information gathered was used to inform educational content.
• In collaboration with the CDC and Medscape, ANA contributed to the development of infection control training modules, ensuring educational material applicable to nurses nationwide. For the remainder of the project period, the NICE Network will disseminate relevant, customized infection control education free of charge to nurses.
For more information on upcoming educational events and infection control resources, please visit the NICE Network.
Sametria McCammon and Sharon Morgan are senior policy advisors in Nursing Practice and Work Environment at ANA.