American Nurses Association Publishes Antibiotic Stewardship White Paper

By on 4:59 AM

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has published a white paper focused on nurses' role in antibiotic stewardship efforts.

The white paper is titled, "Redefining the Antibiotic Stewardship Team: Recommendations from the American Nurses Association/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Workgroup on the Role of Registered Nurses in Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Practices."

It offers suggestions for how nurses can optimize antibiotic use and provide safer patient care in response to four key questions:
  • What are the roles that bedside nurses can and should play in working to improve antibiotic use?
  • What education and training resources are needed to help nurses perform these roles?
  • How can we engage nurses more (at both a national and hospital level) and encourage them to participate in antimicrobial stewardship programs?
  • What can we do to engage nursing leaders in stewardship efforts?
The white paper is broken down into three parts. The first part reviews antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) and the current state of antibiotic resistance. The second part summarizes the workgroup's discussions on current barriers to full nurse participation in ASPs, gaps in nurse knowledge and education about antibiotic stewardship, and the use of antibiotics in the 21st century. The third part examines opportunities for nurses to add their expertise to ongoing stewardship efforts and provides recommendations for future nursing education.

On the importance of nursing involvement in antimicrobial stewardship, the white paper states, "The urgent need to improve appropriate, evidence-based antibiotic use cannot be overstated. With the current worldwide expansion of multidrug-resistant organisms, the question is not whether to involve nursing in antimicrobial stewardship, but how. ... With an estimated 3.6 million workforce, nurses represent a powerful voice and cohort by which to mold interdisciplinary ASPs, enhancing patient safety and minimizing the spread of antibiotic resistance."

To access the white paper, click here. Learn more about ANA here.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.