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10 Pros and Cons of Being an Infection Control Nurse + Salary + Steps to Become


Written By: Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN

As an infection control nurse, you know that every day is a new adventure. You never know what kind of wild scenario you will be thrown into next, and that is part of the excitement of the job. But like with any profession, there are both pros and cons to being an infection control nurse.

I know you are probably now wondering, what are the pros and cons of being an infection control nurse? Do not panic. I am going to help you out with that. Below you will find the top 10 pros and cons of being an infection control nurse + salary + steps to become one. These pros and cons will help you decide if this is a career worth pursuing.


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What Exactly Is An Infection Control Nurse?


An infection control nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in preventing and controlling infections. Infection control nurses work in the healthcare setting to protect patients, staff, and visitors from the spread of diseases. As an infection control nurse, you are responsible for developing and implementing infection control policies and procedures, monitoring compliance with these policies, and investigating outbreaks of infections.


What Does An Infection Control Nurse Do?


So, I am sure that you now have the million-dollar question of what does an infection control nurse do? Well, I will tell you! You already know that they are the nurses responsible for preventing and controlling the spread of infection in healthcare settings, but let’s break this down a bit further. They also play a vital role in educating healthcare workers on proper infection control practices and procedures. Some of the duties of an infection control nurse include:

1. Observing the data:

One of your key responsibilities as an infection control nurse is gathering and analyzing infection data. This helps you identify any trends that may be emerging so that you can take steps to prevent infections from occurring.

2. Teach prevention techniques:

Infection control nurses will provide training and education on preventing infection to healthcare workers and those in the community. The goal is to prevent disease, stop the spread of infection and improve patient care.

3. Work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Infection control nurses play a vital role in protecting the public from infectious diseases. You will work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and implement guidelines for preventing infection.

4. Develop plans to prevent the spread of infection:

As an Infection control nurse, you will develop protocols and policies to prevent patients from spreading diseases throughout the hospital or other patient care facilities. Your knowledge of medical procedures and treatments will be invaluable in developing these plans and policies.

5. Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Program:

As an Infection control nurse, you will typically lead an organization's Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Program. In this role, you will be responsible for coordinating all activities related to preventing and controlling infections. This will include developing and implementing policies and procedures, educating staff and patients on infection prevention, and conducting surveillance and outbreak investigations.

6. Decreasing the rate of infection down:

As an infection control nurse, you will be charged with reducing the infection rate within your facility. You will need to be constantly vigilant and have a keen eye for detail to do this. Additionally, you will need to be proactive in your approach to infection control. This means that you will need to be constantly on the lookout for ways to improve the hygiene and cleanliness of your facility.

7. Determining the origin of a particular pathogen:

As an Infection control nurse, you will determine the origin of a specific pathogen. This will help control the spread of the disease and keep everyone safe. You will need to use your knowledge of microbiology and pathogens to determine the source of the infection. This is an important job, as it can help to save lives.

8. Help develop treatment modalities:

Infection control nurses work side by side with other health care professionals to find treatments for disease. They are the ones who make sure those patients with infectious diseases are adequately treated and that they do not spread their infections to others.


Where Does An Infection Control Nurse Work?


Before becoming an infection control nurse, I am sure you want to know more about where you may be working in this role. You can find yourself working in various settings as an infection control nurse. These locations will typically be in areas of high infection rates.

1. Hospitals:

One of the settings you may find yourself working in as an infection control nurse is a hospital. Your duties in this setting will help prevent the spread of infection and educate hospital staff on proper infection control procedures. You will also work closely with the hospital's Infection Prevention and Control Committee to ensure that the hospital follows best practices for infection prevention.

2. Long-term care facilities:

Long-term care facilities are another environment you may be working in as an infection control nurse. As an infection control nurse in a long-term care facility, you will ensure that the facility is following all infection control protocols and procedures. This includes ensuring that all staff members are appropriately trained in infection control procedures and that they are followed daily.

You will also be responsible for investigating any outbreaks of infection in the facility and working with the staff to contain and control the outbreak. In addition, you will be responsible for educating the facility's residents on proper infection control procedures and helping them maintain a clean and safe environment.

3. Public health centers:

Infection control nurses play a vital role in public health centers. They work to prevent the spread of infection and disease by working with patients, families, and staff. They also educate the public about infection prevention and control measures. Infection control nurses are an essential part of the healthcare team and play a key role in keeping our communities healthy.

4. Centers for disease control and Prevention:

You can also find infection control nurses working for the centers for disease control. These nurses help to control and prevent the spread of infections. As part of the center for disease control and prevention, you will work to develop and implement policies to prevent the spread of infection.

5. Universities:

Another setting you could work in as an infection control nurse is a university. Here, you would be responsible for ensuring that the students and staff are healthy and safe from any potential infections. This can be a challenging environment to work in, as there are often large numbers of people coming and going and many different types of bacteria and viruses present.

6. Home health:

The home health setting will utilize the expertise of an infection control nurse. The role of the infection control nurse in home health is important in preventing the spread of infection. You will work to identify potential sources of infection and implement measures to prevent the spread of infection. You will also educate the home health staff on infection control measures.

7. Emergency preparedness programs:

Another setting that you may find infection control nurses in is emergency preparedness programs. These nurses help to ensure that hospitals and other healthcare facilities are ready to handle mass casualty events, such as natural disasters or disease outbreaks.

8. Ambulatory care:

You will find an infection control nurse hard at work in ambulatory care. This type of nursing plays a vital role in infection prevention. As an infection control nurse, you will be responsible for identifying, preventing, and controlling infections. Since this environment is in an outpatient setting, you will ensure that any identified infections do not spread to the community.

9. Prisons:

In the correctional facility setting, people are in tight quarters. The area is heavily populated. This is the perfect breeding ground for disease. As the infection control nurse, you will work with the staff to prevent the spread of infection throughout the facility in order to keep everyone healthy.


What Is The Typical Work Schedule Of An Infection Control Nurse?


When you are deciding to become an infection control nurse, you probably want to know what your typical work schedule is going to look like. Well, the short answer is, it will depend. Your schedule will mainly depend on what type of environment you are working in.

Some infection control nurses work five days a week, eight-hour days. Others will work ten or twelve-hour shifts, three to four times a week. You will find some jobs that will give you the weekends off, whereas others will require that you work some weekends. It will basically depend on the needs of the institution you are working for.


What Are The Most Important Skills And Abilities Required To Successfully Work As An Infection Control Nurse?


If you wish to become an infection control nurse, it is crucial to ensure that you possess the proper skills to do the job. Without these critical skills, you may not succeed. Below you will find the most essential skills and abilities that you must have to succeed as an infection control nurse.

1. Assessment skills:

As an infection control nurse, you need to assess a patient's condition quickly and accurately. This requires strong assessment skills. You also need to identify the signs and symptoms of infections. This knowledge allows you to take quick and appropriate action to prevent the spread of disease.

Once an infection is identified, you will be responsible for continuing to monitor the patient by taking steps to control the spread of the infection. This may include implementing isolation protocols and contact tracing.

2. Communication skills:

A recent study has shown that infection control nurses need strong communication skills to be effective. The study, conducted in Michigan, found that nurses who were able to effectively communicate with their patients and families about infection control measures were more successful in preventing the spread of infection.

You will also need to effectively communicate with other healthcare providers. This is because you will need to be able to coordinate your efforts to ensure that everyone is on the same page and remains infection-free.

3. Research skills:

As an infection control nurse, it is imperative to have strong research skills to identify new and emerging pathogens, understand how they are transmitted, and develop strategies to prevent their spread. To be effective, you must critically evaluate the available evidence and make sound decisions based on your findings.

4. Teamwork:

Working well with others is essential for infection control nurses. After all, they are part of a team responsible for keeping patients safe from infections. Teamwork is a critical component in the fight against infections, and it starts with the infection control nurse.

5. Organization:

As an infection control nurse, you will need strong organizational skills. This is because you will be responsible for keeping track of patients' medical records and infection control procedures. If you are disorganized, it will be challenging to do your job effectively.

6. Leadership:

Leadership skills are an essential quality to possess if you want to be an infection control nurse. You will need to be able to motivate and inspire your team and handle any challenges that come your way. If you are not a natural leader, do not worry; plenty of resources and training programs are available to help you develop these skills.

7. Understanding the processes of colonization, infection, and contamination:

One of the most critical abilities you have as an infection control nurse is understanding the processes of colonization, infection, and contamination. This is important because it can help you better control the spread of infections in healthcare settings. Without a clear understanding of these principles, developing effective infection control protocols would be challenging. Infection may become widespread in this case.

8. The ability to follow string protocol:

As an infection control nurse, you must understand string protocols. This means that you must be able to follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the spread of infection. Additionally, you must be able to educate others on these protocols so that they can be followed as well.


How Much Does An Infection Control Nurse Make?


I am sure you want to know how much you could be earning as an infection control nurse. So, how much does an infection control nurse make? The average infection control nurse's salary is $84,582 a year. This means that you will be earning an hourly wage of $40.66 or $7,050 a month.

Let's now talk about how your experience level will dictate your salary. If you are just starting out as an infection control nurse, your hourly rate will be $27.14. This will mean that you will be making $4,710 a month or $56,460 a year. Once you have gained a bit of experience, one to four years, you will be earning an annual salary of $65,150. This is an hourly salary of $31.32 or $5,430 a month.

After five to nine years of experience, you could earn $79,630 a year or a monthly wage of $6,640. This is an hourly wage of $38.28. An infection control nurse with ten to nineteen years of experience will see an increase in their hourly rate to $47.57. This means that you will earn a monthly wage of $8,250 and an annual salary of $98,940. Once you reach 20 years or more, you will be making a six-figure income. Your annual salary will be $122,870 or $10,240 a month. This is an hourly wage of $59.07.

Level of Experience HourlyMonthlyAnnual
Entry-Level $27.14$4,710$56,460
1-4 Years of Experience $31.32$5,430$65,150
5-9 Years of Experience $38.28$6,640$79,630
10-19 Years of Experience $47.57$8,250$98,940
20 Years or More Experience $59.07$10,240$122,870
Average Salary$40.66$7,050$84,582


Is There A Demand For Infection Control Nurses?


The demand for infection control nurses is high and expected to grow in the coming years. Infection control nurses are a crucial part of the healthcare team. The need for infection control nurses is expected to grow as the healthcare industry expands. There are a couple of reasons for this demand.

1. Hospital-acquired infections:

The number of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) has been rising in recent years, and infection control nurses play a critical role in preventing and managing these infections. HAIs are a severe problem for patients, families, and healthcare providers alike. In addition to the physical and emotional toll they take on those affected, HAIs also lead to increased healthcare costs.

2. The emergence of new infections:

As new infections continue to emerge, the demand for infection control nurses will only grow. Infection control nurses play a vital role in preventing infection and ensuring that patients receive the best possible care. They can make a real difference in the fight against infections with their knowledge and skills.


What Is The Step-By-Step Process To Become An Infection Control Nurse?


1. The first step toward becoming an infection control nurse is earning either your associate's degree (ADN) in nursing or your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) from an accredited institution. Please keep in mind that many employers will prefer to hire a nurse with a bachelor's degree.

2. Next, you must pass the National Certification Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN).

3. Once you have passed the NCLEX-RN, you can then apply for a license through the state board of nursing of the state you plan to practice in.

4. You must then gain experience working as a nurse before sitting for your certification.

5. You can next earn your certification in infection prevention and control (CIC)

6. You can then sit for the Infection Control Certification Exam administered by the Certification Board of Infection Control ad Epidemiology. After passing this exam, you will be a certified infection control nurse.



TOP CONS OF BEING AN INFECTION CONTROL NURSE


(The following are the top 10 disadvantages of being an Infection Control Nurse.)

1. You can acquire an infection.

One of the cons of being an infection control nurse is acquiring an infection. It is a bit like being a firefighter and getting burned. But, hey, at least we know how to treat ourselves!

2. You can make your loved ones ill.

As an infection control nurse, you can make your loved ones ill. It is negative and sad to see them ill, and in some cases, your loved ones can become extremely ill. Unfortunately, it is just another con of being an infection control nurse.

3. Your job may be highly stressful at times.

As an infection control nurse, you may find that your job can be stressful. After all, you are responsible for ensuring that patients remain safe from infection. However, it is essential to remember that stress is also bad for your health.

4. Your job can be frustrating.

One of the top cons of being an infection control nurse is that you may stumble upon many job frustrations, especially when it comes to contact tracing. It can be complicated to get in touch with people who may have been exposed to a disease and even more challenging to convince them to take the necessary precautions to prevent its spread. This can lead to long hours and a lot of stress, which can be frustrating for you and the people you are trying to help.

5. You sometimes feel like you are fighting an uphill battle

As an infection control nurse, you will not be able to win the battle of germs by yourself. It will take an army. Suppose the healthcare workers you are working with fail to follow policy and procedures. In that case, you will feel like you are fighting an uphill battle. You will see infections spread, and it will be discouraging.

6. You may not be very well-liked

One of the biggest disadvantages of being an infection control nurse is that you may not be very well-liked. Keep in mind that one of your duties will be to try to catch others not following protocols and procedures. This will likely result in you being seen as the "bad guy" or "party pooper." Additionally, you may come across as naggy because you will constantly be reminding people to wash their hands, use gloves, etc.

7. Your workday may not end once you leave the office

As an infection control nurse, your workday may not end once you leave the office. You may find yourself working evenings and weekends to keep up with the demands of your job from home during your own time. You will kind of be working for free.

8. You may ultimately need a bachelor's degree to get a good job

As an infection control nurse, you may ultimately need a bachelor's degree to get a good job. This is because many employers will hire bachelor-prepared nurses over the associate degree nurses. As an associate's degree nurse, you will have all the leftover jobs.

9. Education, Education, Education

In the world of infection control, there is always something new to learn. Whether it is a new disease or a new way to prevent the spread of infection, infection nurses have to be constantly learning to stay ahead of the curve. All of this constant learning is a bit tedious and time-consuming. Hey, but I guess it must be done if you want to keep your job.

10. You may feel like a loner.

Another one of the disadvantages of being an infection control nurse is that you may find yourself working alone a lot of the time. Your job can become highly isolating. You may feel lonely when you are at work.



TOP PROS OF BEING AN INFECTION CONTROL NURSE


(The following are the top 10 advantages of being an Infection Control Nurse.)

1. The salary is great

One of the top pros of being an infection control nurse is the salary. The excellent salary you will make will allow you to live a comfortable life. With such an excellent salary, you can afford to travel and enjoy other luxuries in life.

2. You will not miss important moments.

As an infection control nurse, you will not miss memorable moments in the lives of your loved ones. You will not have to worry about missing a family dinner or a holiday. This is because you will not have to work weekends or holidays in most positions. You will also get to be with your loved ones more often. So, if you are looking for a career that allows you to have a better work-life balance, consider becoming an infection control nurse.

3. You do not have to be hands-on.

As an infection control nurse, you do not have to be hands-on with the patients like a bedside nurse. You are more like the "manager" of the infection control team. You make sure that the team follows all of the protocols and procedures to prevent the spread of infection. You also educate the staff on proper infection control practices.

4. You help keep people safe.

One of the biggest advantages of being an infection control nurse is that you help keep people safe from infection. It is a significant role and comes with a lot of responsibility. But it is also a role that can be very rewarding, both personally and professionally.

5. You will have a lot of independence.

As an infection control nurse, a great deal of your job is working independently. Your day will be dictated by you. This is great for people who do not like to be micromanaged.

6. You may be able to partially work from home.

One of the pros of being an infection control nurse is that some of your work can be completed remotely if your employer allows it. This is an excellent opportunity for you if you have a family or want to save some money on commuting costs.

7. You can find a job anywhere.

As an infection control nurse, you can find a job anywhere. No matter what state you live in, there will be a demand for an infection control nurse. This is because infection control nurses play an essential role in preventing infections. They work with patients, families, and staff to ensure that everyone follows proper infection control procedures.

8. You can choose from a variety of care environments.

One of the advantages of being an infection control nurse is that you will have a variety of settings to choose from when it comes to finding a job. You can work in a hospital, clinic, or even the home health setting. There are many opportunities for infection control nurses to find employment. So, if one setting does not feel like a good fit, well, try another.

9. You can work and travel.

Have you ever thought about traveling the country? Seeing different places and helping people? Well, as an infection control nurse, you can do just that! You can become a travel infection control nurse and help people all over the country stay healthy and safe.

10. You will be seen as a wealth of knowledge.

As an infection control nurse, you will be seen as a wealth of knowledge. You will be the go-to person for all things infection control-related. From preventing the spread of infections to treating patients with infectious diseases, you will be an expert in infection control. Your knowledge and expertise will be invaluable to your patients, families, and healthcare team.



BREAKING DOWN THE SALARY OF AN INFECTION CONTROL NURSE


What Is The Starting Salary Of An Infection Control Nurse?


The starting salary of an infection control nurse for an infection control nurse is $56,450. This is a monthly earning of $4,710 or a weekly wage of $1,086. You will be earning $27.14 an hour.

Hourly$27.14
Weekly $1,086
Monthly$4,710
Annual$56,460


What Is The Average Salary Of An Infection Control Nurse?


The average infection control nurse salary is $40.66 an hour. This is $1,627 a week or $7,050 a month. You will be earning an annual wage of $84,582.

Hourly$40.66
Weekly $1,627
Monthly$7,050
Annual$84,582
(Source: Ziprecruier.com)


What Is The Average Infection Control Nurse Salary In Your State?


Infection control nurse salaries will differ depending on which state you practice in. For example, Alabama is the lowest paying state. Here you will be earning an average annual income of $63,670. Now, let's compare that salary to California, the highest paying state. In California, your average yearly salary will be $127,450. That is a huge difference, especially when performing the same job.

State Hourly Monthly Annual
Alabama $30.61 $5,310 $63,670
Alaska $48.42 $8,390 $100,710
Arizona $40.85 $7,080 $84,970
Arkansas $32.35 $5,610 $67,280
California $61.27 $10,620 $127,450
Colorado $39.57 $6,860 $82,310
Connecticut $43.13 $7,480 $89,700
Delaware $37.78 $6,550 $78,580
Florida $35.33 $6,120 $73,480
Georgia $36.35 $6,300 $75,600
Hawaii $53.28 $9,240 $110,820
Idaho $36.41 $6,310 $75,730
Illinois $37.89 $6,570 $78,820
Indiana $34.30 $5,950 $71,350
Iowa $31.80 $5,510 $66,150
Kansas $32.63 $5,660 $67,870
Kentucky $32.90 $5,700 $68,430
Louisiana $34.57 $5,990 $71,900
Maine $36.11 $6,260 $75,100
Maryland $41.47 $7,190 $86,250
Massachusetts $48.92 $8,480 $101,750
Michigan $37.60 $6,520 $78,210
Minnesota $41.15 $7,130 $85,590
Mississippi $31.13 $5,400 $64,750
Missouri $33.50 $5,810 $69,670
Montana $35.85 $6,210 $74,560
Nebraska $35.31 $6,120 $73,450
Nevada $45.62 $7,910 $94,880
New Hampshire $38.61 $6,690 $80,310
New Jersey $43.57 $7,550 $90,620
New Mexico $38.48 $6,670 $80,030
New York $45.62 $7,910 $94,890
North Carolina $35.04 $6,070 $72,890
North Dakota $35.39 $6,130 $73,610
Ohio $35.45 $6,150 $73,740
Oklahoma $33.85 $5,870 $70,410
Oregon $48.91 $8,480 $101,730
Pennsylvania $37.70 $6,530 $78,410
Rhode Island $42.08 $7,290 $87,520
South Carolina $34.13 $5,920 $70,980
South Dakota $30.98 $5,370 $64,440
Tennessee $32.59 $5,650 $67,780
Texas $39.03 $6,770 $81,190
Utah $35.76 $6,200 $74,390
Vermont $36.66 $6,360 $76,260
Virginia $37.80 $6,550 $78,630
Washington $46.41 $8,040 $96,530
West Virginia $33.10 $5,740 $68,850
Wisconsin $38.00 $6,590 $79,030
Wyoming $36.90 $6,400 $76,750



HIGHEST PAID INFECTION CONTROL NURSES IN THE NATION


What Are The 10 Highest Paying States For Infection Control Nurses?


The highest paying states for infection control nurses are found below. California is the highest paying state, where you can earn $127.450. Hawaii is the second highest-paying state. Here you can earn $110,820. Massachusetts, Oregon, and Alaska will have you earning around $101,000 a year. Washington, New York, Nevada, and New Jersey will all have you earning salaries in the low to mid $90,000 range. Connecticut will top the top ten highest paying states for infection control nurses. You have the potential to earn $89,700.

Rank State Average
Annual Salary
1 California $127,450
2 Hawaii $110,820
3 Massachusetts $101,750
4 Oregon $101,730
5 Alaska $100,710
6 Washington $96,530
7 New York $94,890
8 Nevada $94,880
9 New Jersey $90,620
10 Connecticut $89,700


What Are The 10 Highest Paying Metros For Infection Control Nurses?


As you already know, California is the highest paying state for Infection control nurses. Still, there are metros within California where you could be earning different salaries in. Below you will find the highest paying metros for infection control nurses. In San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, you could be earning an average annual salary of $157,730. That is quite a yearly salary. Redding, CA, is the lowest paying metro out of the top ten highest paying metros. Here you will be earning an average annual salary of $118,250.

Rank Metro Average
Annual Salary
1 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $157,730
2 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $155,260
3 Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $150,260
4 Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA $142,030
5 Salinas, CA $139,710
6 Santa Rosa, CA $131,970
7 Modesto, CA $128,010
8 Stockton-Lodi, CA $122,480
9 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $119,580
10 Redding, CA $118,250



Top Organizations And Associations For Infection Control Nurses


Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology: This organization aims to connect you with other infection control nurses. It is the world's largest network of infection preventionists and educators. The goal of this organization is to assist you in creating an effective infection control program.

Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology: This organization is a voluntary, autonomous, multidisciplinary board that administers the certification exam for those who wish to become certified in this profession.

American Journal of Infection Control: This publication aims to cover epidemiology and infection control topics. These articles are all peer-reviewed and cover clinical topics and original research. The information found in these articles can be applied to your practice as an infection control nurse.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC is the nation's leading science-based, a data-driven service organization that protects the public's health. The CDC is a great educational resource for infection control nurses. The education you will receive from this site will help ensure that you are up to date with all the protocols and standards.


My Final Thoughts


So, there you have it, the top 10 pros and cons of being an infection control nurse + salary + steps to become one. Infection control nurses have a unique and essential role in protecting patients from infection. While there are many pros to this career, there are also some cons that should be considered before deciding to embark on this career.

I hope these pros and cons of being an infection control nurse have given you a better understanding of what it is like to work as an infection control nurse and whether or not this is the right career for you. If you are still on the fence about whether or not this is the career for you, hopefully, this article has helped make your decision a little easier.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. Is Infection Control Nursing A Good Career?

Yes, Infection control nursing is a good career. It is a field where you can make a great living and one where you are in such high demand. You can essentially work anywhere you desire.


2. On Average, How Much Does An Infection Control Nurse Make Per Hour?

The average infection control nurse's salary per hour is $40.66. This hourly wage is well above the national average. An hourly wage of this caliber means you will hopefully not have to live paycheck to paycheck.

$40.66


3. How Many Hours A Week Does An Infection Control Nurse Work?

How many hours a week you will work as an infection control nurse will rely heavily on the type of environment you work in and the position you were hired for. You may find yourself working five days a week 8-hour days or working ten-to-twelve-hour days, three to four days a week.

The type of position you were hired into will affect how many hours you work; if you are full-time, you will probably be looking at 37.5 to 40 hours a week. If you work part-time, you will be working around 20 hours a week. If you are hired into a per diem position, you will be working the hours you agreed to when you were hired.


4. Is Being An Infection Control Nurse Stressful?

Being an infection control nurse can be highly stressful at times. When there is an outbreak of an infection, and it is spreading rapidly, you may become stressed trying to gain control of it. Think about the COVID-19 pandemic. I am pretty sure every infection control nurse in America was feeling a bit of stress with that one.


5. Do I Need To Be Certified To Work As An Infection Control Nurse?

You do not need to be certified to be an infection control nurse. It is, however, strongly encouraged.


6. What Certifications Are Required Or Recommended For An Infection Control Nurse?

It is recommended that you earn your certification in infection prevention and control (CIC You should also sit for the Infection Control Certification Exam to become a certified infection control nurse.


7. How Long Does It Take To Become An Infection Control Nurse?

If you choose to pursue earning your associate's degree in nursing, then becoming an infection control nurse should only take you about two years. If you choose the path of a bachelor's degree, then you are looking at four years. If you want to pursue certification, you can tack on another two to three years to each degree since you need to gain experience before sitting for the certification exam.


8. How Much Does It Cost To Become An Infection Control Nurse?

An associate's degree in nursing will cost you anywhere from $6,000 - $150,000. If you choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing, you will be spending anywhere from $20,000 - $200,000


9. What Kind Of Career Advancement Opportunities Are There For Infection Control Nurses?

As an infection control nurse, you have the opportunity to advance your career by earning an advanced degree. You may want to consider becoming a nurse practitioner. As a nurse practitioner, you can work in a higher capacity with your advanced degree. For example, you may be able to work as a provider within an infectious disease practice.


10. What Are The 5 Most Common Infection Control Nurse Interview Questions?

1. What motivated you to choose infection control nursing as your specialty?
2. What are the most critical aspects of infection control nursing?
3. What do you think are the most significant challenges infection control nurses face?
4. What do you think is the most important thing that an infection control nurse can do to prevent infection?
5. What do you think is the most important thing that an infection control nurse can do to treat an infection?



11. Can An LPN Be An Infection Control Nurse?

No, an LPN cannot be an infection control nurse. The minimum education requirement to become an infection control nurse is an associate's degree in nursing. Please keep in mind that although an associate's degree is the minimum education requirement, most employers prefer to hire nurses who hold a bachelor's degree in nursing.


12. What Are The 3 Levels Of Infection Control?

There are three levels of infection control: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary infection control focuses on preventing the spread of disease by stopping it at its source. This can be done through vaccination, hand-washing, and wearing protective clothing.

Secondary infection control seeks to stop the spread of disease by breaking the chain of transmission. This can be done by isolating sick patients, disinfectants, and good hygiene practices.

Tertiary infection control is the last line of defense against the spread of disease. It involves treating patients who are already sick and preventing them from infecting others. This can be done through isolation, quarantine, and treatment.


13. What Are The 10 Standard Infection Control Precautions?


The 10 Standard Infection Control Precautions are a series of measures designed to reduce the risk of transmission of infections in healthcare settings. They are based on the principle of direct contact and indirect contact. They are applicable to all types of healthcare workers.

1. Hand Hygiene: Hand Hygiene is one of the infection control standards that is most important in any healthcare setting. It should be performed before and after any patient contact and after any contamination exposure risk. The use of alcohol-based hand rubs is now recommended over the traditional hand-washing method to ensure more effective removal of pathogens.

You should wash your hands when they are visibly soiled or when caring for a patient who is vomiting or has diarrhea. Washing hands properly for 20 seconds is vital to preventing infection. There are four key moments when hand washing is essential:

1. Before touching a patient
2. Before clean/aseptic procedures
3. After exposure to body fluids/ secretions
4. After contact with the patient's surroundings

2. Patient Placement and Assessing a Patient's Infection Risk: The first step in preventing the spread of infection is to appropriately place patients in appropriate rooms. Patients at high risk for developing infections should be placed in private rooms, and those at lower risk can be placed in semiprivate rooms. Once patients have been placed in their rooms, it is essential to assess their infection risk. This can be done by considering the patient's age, overall health, and the reason for their hospital stay.

3. Respiratory and Cough Etiquette: Respiratory and cough etiquette is an infection control measure that involves maintaining a safe distance from others, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and disposing of used tissues properly. Patients showing signs of respiratory illness should wear a mask to protect others.

4. Personal Protective Equipment: PPE is another standard of infection control. This is anything that covers the body and clothing to protect you from contact with blood, bodily fluids, or other potentially infectious materials. This includes gloves, gowns, face masks, and eye protection.

5. Safe Management of Care Equipment: Safe management of care equipment is the idea that all necessary equipment is sterilized correctly and maintained to protect patients from infection. This standard precaution is vital in any medical setting but critical in high-risk areas such as operating rooms and immunocompromised patient care units.

6. Safe Management of Care Environment: Safe management of care environment keeps your environment clean and neat. There should be no objects which can serve as a breeding place for the bacteria. This is why equipment should be put away so proper cleaning can ensue.

7. Safe Management of Linen: Linen is a constant source of contamination in the healthcare setting. The standard infection control precautions (SICPs) are designed to reduce the risk of transmission of microorganisms from contaminated linen.

8. Safe Disposal of Waste: Safe disposal of waste in the healthcare setting means that all waste is disposed of to prevent infection and contamination. There should be four different streams of color-coded waste in every healthcare facility.

1. Black/clear: Domestic waste
2. Orange/blue: Low-risk laboratory waste
3. Yellow: High-risk waste that carries a risk of infection, contamination, or other forms of harm.
4. Red: Special waste, which includes chemicals.

9. Occupational Safety: This SICP is all about prevention and exposure management. It’s not enough to be safe; you have to take immediate corrective action if your injuries or exposure to blood-borne pathogens like HIV/AIDS!

10. Safe Management of Blood and Other Body Fluids: The idea that spilled bodily fluid can transmit viruses is enough to take care of when cleaning up any accident. Only staff with appropriate training deal with this task, and do not forget the importance of decontamination!



14. How Hard Is It To Pass The CIC Exam?

The CIC exam will be difficult to pass if you are not adequately prepared. You must be knowledgeable about the content that will be tested. If you are well designed to sit for this exam, you may not find it difficult.


15. How Much Does CIC Exam Cost?

This exam will cost you $375.00


16. How Long Is The CIC Certification Valid?

CIC certification is valid for five years before you need to renew it.


Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
Jennifer Schlette is a registered nurse in pediatric critical care in New York City. She is the former Director of Undergraduate Nursing at a college located in New York. After obtaining her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she went on to complete her MSN.