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How do I Become an Infection Control Nurse?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 07 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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An infection control nurse works to identify, prevent, control, and monitor the spread of infection in medical care settings. A person who wants to become an infection control nurse typically has to complete a nursing program and secure licensing to practice as a registered nurse. Some people who pursue this field may also seek certification, which typically involves passing an exam and demonstrating competency. Certification is not usually required, however, to secure a job in this category of nursing.

If left unchecked, infectious conditions may run rampant in a medical setting. A person in this field typically works to plan and implement processes for preventing the spread of a range of different infectious conditions. If there is an outbreak of infection, this type of nurse may make recommendations and develop plans for putting a stop to it and also work to ensure there are no new outbreaks of that or any other type of infection. While an infection control nurse may work with health care staff for this purpose, he may also instruct patients and their loved ones in how to prevent and control the spread of infections.

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In most places, a person who wants to become an infection control nurse starts out by finishing high school or earning a general educational development (GED) diploma before enrolling in a nursing education program. For example, he may enroll in a program that grants graduates diplomas, associate’s degrees, or bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Earning a bachelor's degree may require an aspiring nurse to spend the most time in school, but may also help him to secure more job opportunities. A person who wants to become an infection control nurse may also work to gain some experience in this type of nursing, though experience isn’t required. For example, a person interested in this field may work as an intern or as an assistant to gain practical experience while studying nursing or even prior to entering a nursing program.

Upon graduation from a nursing program, a person who wants to become an infection control nurse typically has to take a licensing exam and pass it in order to begin practicing nursing in his jurisdiction. After becoming licensed and working in this field, an infection control nurse may seek certification. The requirements for certification may vary, but nurses are often expected to gain at least a couple of years of experience in infection control before seeking licensing.

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