Career Spotlight: Infectious Disease Nurse

career-spotlight-infectious-disease-nurse_bpSometimes deciding on a nursing specialty can seem overwhelming. There are so many different specialities out there, probably a few that you haven’t even heard of before! To help you better navigate the nursing specialty waters, we’ve put these Career Spotlight pieces to break down the specifics of certain specialties.

In this Career Spotlight, we will be looking at Infectious Disease Nursing and all that it encompasses.

What is an Infectious Disease Nurse?

Just as it sounds, infectious disease nursing entails working with infectious diseases and their spread. Infectious disease nurses are also referred to as infectious control nurses.

Every Nurse says “an infection control nurse is a nurse that specializes in preventing the spread of infectious agents, such as viruses and bacteria. As an infection control nurse, you will have a hand in preventing dangerous outbreaks and epidemics.”1

How do you become an Infectious Disease Nurse?

An infectious disease nurse is required to have a degree in nursing. This can either be an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Once you have worked a couple years in the field, you can get your infection control nurse certification from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.1

How much do Infectious Disease Nurses make?

The average yearly salary for an infectious disease nurse is $65,950.2

This of course is dependent upon the type of degree you have, where you are working and multiple other factors.

What does a normal day look like for an Infectious Disease Nurse?

As is the case for most nursing specialities, there isn’t always a ‘normal’ day for infectious disease nurses. However, there is a broad spectrum of tasks that these nurses will most likely complete at some point during their work week. Here is the list of tasks provided by Nurse Together:3

  • Collect, analyze and interpret infection-control data
  • Notify local, state and federal authorities about reportable diseases as required  
  • Plan, implement, manage and evaluate infection prevention and control activities
  • Conduct infection control risk assessments for construction and renovation projects; equipment inspection, and pest control
  • Educate individuals and groups about the risk, prevention, transmission, and control of infection, disease-specific care,  appropriate precautions, and appropriate assessments
  • Establish accepted standards and develop, implement, monitor and revise infection control policies and procedures to assure compliance with the standards
  • Investigate, manage and conduct surveillance of suspected and confirmed outbreaks of infection
  • Provide consultation on infection risk assessment, prevention, and control strategies

Is Infectious Disease Nursing the right choice for me?

Infectious disease nursing is a unique speciality within the field. This career path is for those who are looking to have hands-on experience with analyzing data and teaching patients. Nurse Together points out that having skills in consultation, teaching, data analysis and interpretation, and projection management can come in handy in infectious disease nursing.3

“Knowledge of microbiology, epidemiology, infectious diseases, sterilization and disinfection, medication, vaccine and antibiotic usage, statistics, and regulatory requirements are essential.”3

While there are a lot of components to infectious disease nursing, this career path is really for those who want an integral role in preventing the spread of disease and educating people about disease and spreading of disease.

When choosing between nursing specialities, it’s important to remember, as Nurse Mendoza points out, that “you won’t really know which department or unit you will like or really get into until you try it.”4

Do you have a suggestion for another nursing career spotlight? Tell us in the comments below!