I'm currently a master's level epidemiologist with about 5 years experience, first doing outbreak investigations and original epidemiologic research with the CDC and now working in a community outreach department at a hospital. I've been thinking about going back to school for a nursing degree (associate's from a local community college), working for a year or so to get some clinical experience, and then getting into the infection control field and had a few questions.
In general, how much clinical experience would I need to qualify for IC jobs? Would one year be enough?
What areas of the hospital would give me the best clinical experience for IC jobs?
Would my lack of a BSN hurt me when lookign for jobs or would by previous epidemiology training and experienc make up for that?
Thanks for any answers or advice you might have for me.
Jan 2, '08
My bias is for nurses to do Hospital Infection Control, because NO one knows better what happens to a patient than a nurse.
That said, you are probably in a good position right now. My suggestion is to get involved w/APIC ( http://www.apic.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home
) and do some networking. If the feedback you receive from those folks is to go to nursing school, look into accelerated MSN courses for people who have prior BS degrees. Seems like you'd do well w/that type of course.
If you do become a nurse, med-surg and/or ICU would be the best placements.
I wish you the best of luck.
Jan 3, '08
Thanks for the feedback, I'll be sure to check out that web page.
I agree that a person should have nursing experience before working in infection control. I think the confusion is in how I worded my last question. I would definitely get an associate's degree in nursing and gain some experience working in a hospital before going on to apply for IC positions.
My last question would have been more clear if I had asked, would only having an associate's degree in nursing versus a BSN hurt my chances of finding work or would my previous BS and MS make up for that.
I've looked into the direct entry MSN and ABS routes before, but to do that I'd have to move my family and leave my job. With the associate's program we could stay where we are and I could keep my job part time.
Jan 5, '08
This is off topic, but I have a question for you. I have a resident that with Strep B around her G-tube site. This is the first time I have ever noted this infection in a G-tube site. Do you have any recommendations or feed back in this matter. I am currently doing observations with cna's and nurses w/ this resident.