ANA offers infection prevention and control education for all nurses

Refresh and enhance your knowledge through ANA Project Firstline

Nurses have always played an important role in infection prevention and control (IPC). The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that fact. Evidence demonstrates that IPC is most effective when all members of the healthcare team consistently apply best-practice principles and protocols. Within the interprofessional team, nurses are well-positioned to be IPC advocates, using risk assessment and problem-solving skills to optimize safe patient care environments.

Project Firstline, a national training collaborative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is dedicated to creating innovative and engaging IPC education materials for the nation’s healthcare workforce to help them confidently effect change and education. The American Nurses Association (ANA) is one of 64 organizations partnering with the CDC on this initiative, which includes resources focused on identifying and addressing infection control challenges.

Nurses are trained experts

IPC core principles are integrated into the foundation of nursing education curriculum. The application of these principles guides our practice and should be second nature to every nurse. Nursing education gives us an in-depth understanding of IPC and empowers us to educate others.

The nursing profession emphasizes excellence in many skills, particularly problem-solving. As nurses, we’re uniquely positioned to identify IPC risks, opportunities for improvement, and solutions applicable to the work setting. We know the ins and outs of our work environment and have a comprehensive understanding of how to implement changes that prioritize patient safety. Consequently, we’re among the most qualified professionals to identify gaps in existing IPC protocols, advocate for improvements, and provide education on best practices.

For nurses, by nurses

Nurses possess indispensable knowledge that they can use to re-evaluate protocols, enhance IPC strategies, initiate change, and further healthcare education. Because relevant IPC educational resources tailored to the unique nursing practice environment are critical, select Project Firstline content developed by nurse subject matter experts representing a range of specialties and roles will be released throughout early 2022.

The first two resources, released in January 2022, focus on vaccination IPC. These modules inform and refresh nurses’ knowledge of precautions and best practices to prevent infection before, during, and after injections, with an emphasis on multi-dose vials. An estimated 17 education materials on various topics, including the risk associated with nonsterile glove use and infection control review, are in development.

ANA Project Firstline tools are free and available to all nurses because IPC knowledge, practices, and solutions belong to every nurse, provider, and member of the healthcare team. All IPC efforts should leverage the expertise of nurses to allow effective continuous improvements, with the goal of reducing the risk to patients, healthcare workers, and the community at large.

The ultimate aim of ANA Project Firstline is for nurses to be the voice of IPC knowledge that will protect patients, colleagues, the community, and ourselves. Whether your position is in an inpatient or outpatient setting, in the schools, or in the C-suite, IPC is for every nurse.

Learn more about existing free resources and upcoming educational modules at

Rasheda Jones is education specialist for ANA Project Firstline. Sandy Cayo is project coordinator for ANA Project Firstline. Brittany DiNatale is former project coordinator for ANA Project Firstline. Katie Boston-Leary is director of nursing programs at ANA and co-lead for ANA Project Firstline. Kendra McMillan is a senior policy advisor in Nursing Practice and Work Environment at ANA and is co-lead for ANA Project Firstline.

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