An online course improves nurses' awareness of their role as antimicrobial stewards in nursing homes

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Abstract

Background:

To support the role of nurses as active proponents of antimicrobial stewardship in long-term care facilities, we developed an educational intervention consisting of a free online course comprised of 6 interactive modules. Here, we report the effect of the course on the knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes toward antimicrobial stewardship of nurses working in long-term care facilities.

Methods:

We used a paired pre- and postcourse survey instrument to assess nurses' knowledge regarding the care of long-term care facility residents with infections and attitudes and beliefs regarding antimicrobial stewardship.

Results:

There were 103 respondents, registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, who completed the pre- and postsurveys. Their mean knowledge scores improved from 75% (precourse) to 86% (postcourse, P < .001). After the course, nurses' agreement that their role influences whether residents receive antimicrobials increased significantly (P < .001).

Conclusions:

The online course improves nurses' knowledge regarding the care of long-term care facility residents with infections and improves their confidence to engage in antimicrobial stewardship activities. Empowering nurses to be antimicrobial stewards may help reduce unnecessary antibiotic use among institutionalized older adults.

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