Press Room

Clinical Nurse Specialists Join the Front Lines of Infection Control

Nurses are the front-line of defense against the spread of infections in U.S. health care facilities. Moreover, the increasing number of emerging diseases often forces nurses to take on roles outside of their normal duties, such as environmental cleaning and waste management.

The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is joining the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Nursing Infection Control Education Network (NICE Network) so that clinical nurse specialists can better address emerging threats and follow infection control procedures to not only protect themselves, but also to protect their patients and nurses working at the bedside.

The NICE Network will:

  • provide real-time, tailored infection control training to nurses,
  • improve adherence to infection prevention and control practices known to be effective in preventing exposure to Ebola virus disease and other emerging infectious diseases; and
  • enhance the confidence of nurses to care for patients with Ebola virus disease or other highly contagious diseases through effective education and training.

NACNS represents more than 72,000 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) working in the United States. CNSs are advanced practice registered nurses with masters or doctoral preparation in advanced nursing care, physiology, pharmacology and physical assessment. CNSs’ work varies; they can provide diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management of patients, advance nursing practice, and improve clinical processes to achieve greater safety and quality.

“Thanks to their work at the bedside and beyond, clinical nurse specialists can play a crucial role in helping our health care system address complicated and emerging health care issues,” said NACNS 2017 President Vince Holly, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS. “Infection control demands the highest level of care coordination and a deep knowledge of health care and nursing research to best provide efficient, effective care. Clinical nurse specialists stand ready to protect their patients and work to make our health care facilities safer.”

As part of this work, NACNS created an Infection Control Task Force. It will identify the top concerns about infection control in today’s health care environment and make recommendations on the resources and education needed by clinical nurse specialists to implement refined practices in their work places. Task force members will meet twice a month for more than a year until goals are met.

Members of the NACNS Infection Control Task Force are:

  • Jacob John, RN, MSN Ed., ACNS-BC, a MDRO Prevention Coordinator (MPC) at VA Ann Arbor Health System in Canton, Mich.;
  • Pamela J. Laborde, DNP, APRN, CCNS, a CNS in Patient Care Services at UAMS Medical Center in Little Rock, Ark.;
  • Sharon R. Liska, NNP/NCNS-BC, RNC-N, a Clinical Nurse Specialist-Advanced at Providence Alaska NICU in Anchorage, A.K.;
  • Vanessa A. Makarewicz, MN, RN-BC, an Infection Control Operations Manager at Harborview Medical Center and University of Washington Affiliate Instructor in Seattle Wash.;
  • Michelle S. Milly, MSN, RN, AGCNS-BC, CMSRN, an Ebola Assessment Hospital Program Coordinator at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, Md.;
  • Chris Shakula, MS, RN, CNS-BC, CIC, an Infection Preventionist at Franciscan Health Crown Point in Crown Point, Ind.; and
  • Monica Weber, MSN, RN, CNS-BC, FAHA, a Director, Professional Practice/Magnet Program Manager at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Rocky River, Ohio.

Twenty other nursing organizations are joining NACNS and ANA in the NICE Network.

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