An infection control nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in enforcing sanitation and infection-control protocols in healthcare settings and the community, implementing best practices for halting the spread of disease, and monitoring the care of patients who’ve contracted infectious diseases. Also known as infection prevention nurses, ICNs are indispensable members of today’s healthcare teams as they strive to ensure healthcare centers remain safe and sanitary. Nurses who enjoy introducing new ideas and solving puzzles find a career in infection control consistently stimulating and highly rewarding.
Infection control nurses are highly sought specialists with numerous infection control travel nursing jobs posted on Vivian at a variety of prestigious facilities around the country.
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Infection Control Nurse FAQs
How Much Do Infection Control Nurse Jobs Pay?
For jobs available on Vivian as of Thursday, December 2nd 2021, the average weekly salary for a Infection Control Nurse is $2,809, but can pay up to $5,135 per week.
- min - $1,560
- avg - $2,809
- max - $5,135
What does an infection control nurse do?
There isn’t a standard job description that covers all the responsibilities of infection control nurses and their roles can vary depending on where they work. However, the primary responsibility of an ICN is infection prevention and management. ICNs help identify, isolate, and prevent the spread of infectious agents in healthcare environments that could impact the safety of patients and healthcare professionals. Some common duties of ICNs in various positions include:
Studying pathogens to determine the origin and prevent future outbreaks
Creating, sharing, and helping implement sanitation strategies and action plans at healthcare facilities and relevant community locations
Analyzing the success/failure of various prevention strategies for healthcare-associated infections
Educating patients and colleagues on how to control and prevent infectious disease outbreaks
Scanning admissions records for community-acquired infections
Isolating and treating individuals with infections to help contain the spread
Facilitating emergency preparedness by educating medical and public health professionals on protocols of infection prevention
Calling the health department to report infections
Collaborating with the CDC and other government agencies to ensure implementation and enforcement of infection control practices
Investigating possible outbreaks and assembling resources in response to confirmed outbreaks
ICNs serve as infectious disease consultants for healthcare providers and community members. When infectious diseases pose a threat within a community, ICNs work with community leaders to educate the public on how to protect their health and safety. They may also assist physicians and scientists in developing treatments and vaccines for infections to help ensure the safety and health of patients and the community at large.
Where do infection control nurses work?
Infection control nurses can work in a wide array of healthcare settings, including hospitals, community care centers, home health services, and hospice programs. In long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and skilled nursing centers, ICNs primarily function as infection prevention nurses. ICNs can also work in ambulatory and outpatient care centers, often functioning as both hands-on nurses and general infection control consultants. They may also be employed by emergency preparedness organizations and public health departments. ICNs also might work with scientists to study and identify the pathogens causing infectious diseases and look for new ways to treat or eliminate them.
What skills make a good infection control nurse?
Good infection control nurses are meticulous and extremely detail-oriented, which makes them highly efficient at analyzing all types of infection data and producing evidence-based decisions. Their expert knowledge of the risks of various infectious agents helps them effectively deal with contained infections and broader outbreaks. Good ICNs continually remain at the forefront of modern healthcare solutions and are often exceptional problem solvers and innovators. The ability to work well under pressure and superior communication and leadership skills are must-have attributes of successful infection control nurses and profoundly influence how healthcare professionals and the public address potential infectious threats.
How to become an Infection Control Travel Nurse
The first step towards a career as an infection control nurse is becoming a registered nurse, which requires graduating from nursing school and passing the NCLEX-RN exam to earn licensure. While an Associate Degree in Nursing is the standard minimum requirement for RNs, many employers prefer prospective ICNs to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. RNs also need Basic Life Support certification and it’s recommended to pursue professional certification, as it’s often preferred by potential employers. After at least two years of experience as a registered nurse, RNs can sit for the Certification in Infection Prevention and Control awarded by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology. Prospective employers also like to see previous infection control experience with two years typically the minimum, but some prefer as much as six years.