A Challenge to Nursing Education

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This discussion outlines educational methods for preparing nurses for infection control practice in hospitals. The suggested model is additive and is based on a continuum of increasingly complex behavioral outcomes. The proposed titles (infection control nurse, nurse epidemiologist, and RN hospital epidemiologist) comply with progressive levels of competence which can guide curriculum structure and provide nursing directors with realistic expectations of standards of performance congruent with educational preparation. Infection control nurses can be prepared through integration of appropriate content into undergraduate curricular; however, more structured programs are required for more complex roles involving specialization in hospital epidemiology.

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