MSN: Infection Prevention & Control Degree Programs & Career

Closely related to public health, infection prevention and control is a sub-discipline of epidemiology concerned with preventing healthcare-associated infection. Nurses with this specialization will have the expertise necessary to develop programs to monitor critical infection prevention and control indicators in healthcare delivery systems in settings such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, on-site care, and more. Having expertise in epidemiology and data analysis are necessary strengths for any IC nurse. Often times, becoming an infection control nurse can be a first step toward becoming an expert healthcare epidemiology practitioner and obtaining certification by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC).

How to Become an Infection Control Nurse

To become an infection control nurse, students typically complete the following steps:

  1. Complete an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program
  2. Earn a Registered Nurse Certification
  3. Meet the professional experience conditions
  4. Enroll and complete a Master’s in Science Nursing degree with a concentration in infection prevention and control
  5. Obtain certification and proper licensure for the infection prevention and control specialization (requirements vary by state)

Salary and Career Information for Infection Control Nurses

The expected salary, career growth, and work environment for an infection control nurse might include:

  • According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for an RN in 2012 was $65,470. Nurses with a specialty generally earn higher wages than the average.
  • Job Prospects: Very good
  • Job Setting: Nursing homes, hospitals, acute care facilities, public health organizations, dialysis centers

Qualifications for an Infection Control Nurse

To become an infection control nurse, students are typically required to meet the following job qualifications:

  • Obtain certification from the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology
  • Select a specific area of study which may include prevention and control of infections in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public safety, bioterrorism, and ambulatory care practices
  • Possess computer skills using various applications such as word processing, presentation, and online database systems

Infection Control Nurse Job Description

An infection control nurse is typically responsible for the following job duties:

  • Create infection prevention and control guidelines
  • Oversee public health programs and evaluate health safety standards
  • Collect data and investigate human or animal diseases and preventative care
  • Work closely with physicians, researchers, and government health officials to track and identify dieases
  • Collaborate with staff on research and professional practice projects that address disease prevention and health promotion