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Infection Control Nurse

Infection control nurses have the important job of stabilizing patients in health care facilities to prevent and control infections. Infections are the invasion of pathogens, such as bacteria or viruses, inside a host, which can make the host seriously ill. Infection prevention in health care facilities is important because infections can quickly escalate, especially in a setting where many patients are already ill. The nurses identify infection outbreaks and develop plans to contain it before it affects more people. They also implement measures to prevent outbreaks, such as strict sanitation procedures. Most infection nurses work with patients who have HIV, AIDS, or other highly contagious conditions.

Nurses specializing in infection control must be registered nurses (RNs). Registered nurses must complete either a diploma program from a nursing school, an associate degree in nursing, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. All of these programs lead students to become RNs, but the higher education level the student obtains, the higher job level he or she is likely to receive. After graduating from an accredited nursing program, prospective nurses take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Upon completion of this exam, the nurses will be licensed as RNs. Infection control nurses then can seek certification from the Certification Board of Infection Control.

Nursing is one of the biggest fields in the health care industry, and registered nurses make up the bulk of the occupations. With more health care facilities being built and existing hospitals getting expanded due to the rise in population, there will be a demand for infection control nurses. An infection control nurse’s salary varies with the nurse’s level of experience. For example, an infection control nurse who has been working for about four years earns an average of $28.03 per hour, whereas a nurse who has been working for about a decade earns an average of $31.53 per hour, according to PayScale, a company that specializes in compensation data.