Effective infection prevention and control: the nurse’s role
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Effective infection prevention and control: the nurse’s role

Emma Burnett Senior lecturer in infection prevention and control, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland

Why you should read this article
  • » To identify the challenges that may be experienced in ensuring effective infection prevention and control, and how these can be addressed

  • » To recognise the effects of antimicrobial resistance and the role of nurses in antimicrobial stewardship

  • » To be aware of the standard infection control precautions and transmission-based precautions that nurses should adhere to in their practice

  • » To understand the knowledge and competence required for nurses to practise safely, act as a role model for colleagues, and educate patients about infection prevention and control

Healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance are significant threats to public health. As resistant organisms continue to emerge and evolve, and antimicrobial agents become less effective, infection prevention and control remains a vital aspect of maintaining public health, particularly among vulnerable patient groups such as older people and young children. Because of the increasing complexity of healthcare treatments and interventions, patients are becoming increasingly susceptible to healthcare-associated infections and resistant organisms. This article outlines some of the challenges that nurses may experience in ensuring effective infection prevention and control, and how these can be addressed.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11171


Burnett E (2018) Effective infection prevention and control: the nurse’s role. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11171

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software




Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 04 July 2018

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