Career Development

What Does an Infection Control Nurse Do?

Find out what an infection control nurse does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an infection control nurse.

Infection control nurses are responsible for ensuring that hospitals and other healthcare facilities remain safe and clean. They do this by monitoring the spread of infectious diseases, identifying risks, and implementing procedures to prevent transmission of disease from one person to another.

Infection control nurses may also be involved in training staff on how to properly use equipment or interact with patients who have certain conditions or infections.

Infection Control Nurse Job Duties

Infection control nurses have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Monitoring the health of patients to identify signs of infection and disease progression
  • Educating patients about proper hygiene techniques and encouraging them to practice good health habits such as hand washing, dressing changes, etc.
  • Providing nursing care to patients who are hospitalized for treatment of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis
  • Administering medications, performing medical procedures, and providing other patient care services as directed by a physician or other medical authority, such as an infectious disease specialist
  • Prescribing medications to treat infections or diseases based on results of cultures and other diagnostic tests
  • Coordinating with other members of the healthcare team, including physicians, pharmacists, lab technicians, and social workers, to ensure that patients receive appropriate treatment and follow up care
  • Diagnosing and managing infectious disease cases in collaboration with other healthcare professionals
  • Coordinating with community agencies and social service providers to help patients meet their basic needs
  • Assisting with the development of infection control protocols and policies to protect patients and staff from exposure to infectious diseases

Infection Control Nurse Salary & Outlook

Infection control nurses’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $76,500 ($36.78/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $114,000 ($54.81/hour)

The employment of infection control nurses is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

As healthcare providers continue to implement best practices and standards for infection control, demand for these nurses is expected to increase. Nurses will be needed to educate healthcare workers about proper hand hygiene and other infection-control procedures.

Related: Infection Control Nurse Interview Questions and Answers

Infection Control Nurse Job Requirements

There are a number of qualifications required to obtain a position as an infection control nurse. They include:

Education: Infection control nurses are required to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and many also have a master’s degree. The master’s degree is often a Master of Science in nursing. This degree takes about two years to complete and includes coursework in infection control, epidemiology, biostatistics, research methods and health policy.

Training & Experience: Infection control nurses receive most of their training through their educational programs. Some employers may require new hires to complete additional training to become familiar with the specific needs of the facility. This training may include learning about the facility’s infection control policies and procedures, as well as the use of any specialized equipment.

Certifications & Licenses: Infection control nurses must be certified in infection prevention and control. They can earn this certification through the National Board of Certification and Examination for Nurse Anesthetists.

Many infection control nurses also earn additional certifications in infection prevention and control for specific types of environments, such as hospitals, nursing homes and health care systems.

Infection Control Nurse Skills

Infection control nurses need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Infection control nurses must be able to communicate with patients, other medical staff and patients’ families. You should be able to explain medical procedures and treatments to patients and their families, as well as explain the risks of infection and how to prevent it. You should also be able to communicate with other medical staff to ensure that patients are following proper infection control procedures.

Critical thinking: Infection control nurses use critical thinking skills to make decisions about patient care. They use these skills to determine the source of a patient’s infection, how to treat it and how to prevent the spread of infection to other patients. They also use critical thinking skills to identify potential risks to patients and develop strategies to mitigate those risks.

Time management: Infection control nurses often work with a schedule and deadlines, so time management is an important skill for them to have. They may need to prioritize their tasks and manage their time wisely to ensure they complete all of their duties on time. This can help them to work efficiently and avoid any potential issues.

Organization: Infection control nurses must be able to maintain a clean and organized work environment. This is because they often work in hospital operating rooms and other areas where germs and bacteria can spread easily. Maintaining a clean environment can help prevent the spread of disease and keep patients safe.

Teamwork: Infection control nurses often work with other medical professionals, such as doctors, surgeons, emergency responders and other nurses. They may also work with other infection control professionals, such as infection control managers and infection control technicians. This job requires collaboration and teamwork, so it’s important for infection control nurses to be able to work with others.

Infection Control Nurse Work Environment

Infection control nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. They typically work full time, although some may work part time or on an as-needed basis. Many infection control nurses also work overtime or on call, as the need for their services is often unpredictable. The work can be stressful, as infection control nurses must be constantly vigilant in monitoring for and preventing the spread of infections. They must also be able to handle potentially dangerous situations, such as when an infectious patient becomes combative. However, infection control nurses find their work to be rewarding, as they know that they are helping to protect patients and staff from potentially deadly infections.

Infection Control Nurse Trends

Here are three trends influencing how infection control nurses work. Infection control nurses will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for Better Communication Between Nurses and Doctors

The need for better communication between nurses and doctors is a trend that is becoming increasingly important in the medical field. This is because it can help to improve patient care by ensuring that all members of the healthcare team are on the same page when it comes to treatment plans and procedures.

As infection control nurses, you will be in a unique position to take advantage of this trend. You will need to be able to communicate effectively with other members of the healthcare team in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page. In addition, you will need to be able to identify potential risks and hazards that may impact patient safety.

Patient Safety Becomes More Important

As patient safety becomes more important, hospitals and nursing facilities are looking for professionals who can help keep patients safe. This has led to an increased demand for infection control nurses, who are responsible for preventing infections from spreading throughout a facility.

In order to capitalize on this trend, infection control nurses should focus on developing skills that will make them even more valuable to employers. This may include training in epidemiology or biosecurity. Additionally, infection control nurses should stay up-to-date on the latest trends in infection prevention.

More Attention Paid to Patient Satisfaction

As hospitals and other health care facilities become more focused on patient satisfaction, they are placing more importance on the role of the nurse. This includes infection control nurses, who are responsible for ensuring that patients do not contract infections while in the hospital.

To meet the demands of this trend, infection control nurses will need to be able to provide excellent customer service and work well with others. They will also need to be familiar with current infection control practices and be able to implement them in a way that meets the needs of the hospital.

How to Become an Infection Control Nurse

Infection control nurses have a unique and important role in the healthcare system. They are responsible for preventing the spread of infectious diseases, which can be life-threatening to both patients and staff. As such, they must have a strong understanding of how infections occur and how to prevent them.

Infection control nurses also need to be able to work effectively with other members of the healthcare team. They must be able to communicate clearly and explain complex medical concepts in ways that are easy to understand. They must also be able to work independently and make decisions when necessary.

Advancement Prospects

Infection control nurses may advance to positions with more responsibility, such as infection control coordinator or infection preventionist. They may also move into management roles, such as infection control manager or director of infection prevention and control. As they advance in their careers, infection control nurses may also take on more teaching and research roles.

Infection Control Nurse Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients. To help us maintain this standard, we are looking for an infection control nurse to join our team. The ideal candidate will have experience in infection control and prevention, as well as a strong understanding of medical asepsis. He or she will be responsible for developing and implementing infection control policies and procedures, as well as conducting surveillance and outbreak investigations. Additionally, the infection control nurse will provide education to staff and patients on infection control practices.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop, implement, and maintain infection control policies and procedures in compliance with regulatory agencies
  • Educate staff and patients on infection control practices
  • Monitor compliance with infection control policies and procedures
  • Investigate outbreaks of infections and implement corrective action
  • Perform surveillance of nosocomial infections
  • Maintain records of infections and communicable diseases
  • Select and use personal protective equipment
  • Disinfect and sterilize equipment
  • Prepare and administer vaccinations
  • Implement isolation precautions
  • Participate in quality improvement initiatives
  • Collaborate with other members of the healthcare team

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Registered Nurse (RN) with valid state license
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing or related field
  • 3+ years of clinical experience in infection control, epidemiology, or public health
  • Strong understanding of CDC guidelines and other infection control standards
  • Excellent communication, problem-solving, and organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in nursing or related field
  • 5+ years of clinical experience in infection control, epidemiology, or public health
  • Certification in Infection Control (CIC)
  • Experience working in a hospital setting


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