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Integrating bedside nurses into antibiotic stewardship: A practical approach

  • Elizabeth A. Monsees (a1), Pranita D. Tamma (a2), Sara E. Cosgrove (a3), Melissa A. Miller (a4) and Valeria Fabre (a3)...

Nurses view patient safety as an essential component of their work and have reported a general interest in embracing an antibiotic steward role. However, antibiotic stewardship (AS) functions have not been formally integrated into nursing practice despite nurses’ daily involvement in clinical activities that impact antibiotic decisions (e.g., obtaining specimens for cultures, blood drawing for therapeutic drug monitoring). Recommendations to expand AS programs to include bedside nurses are generating support at a national level, yet a practical guidance on how nurses can be involved in AS activities is lacking. In this review, we provide a framework identifying selected practices where nurses can improve antibiotic prescribing practices through appropriate obtainment of Clostridioides difficile tests, appropriate urine culturing practices, optimal antibiotic administration, accurate and detailed documentation of penicillin allergy histories and through the prompting of antibiotic time outs. We identify reported barriers to engagement of nurses in AS and offer potential solutions that include patient safety principles and quality improvement strategies that can be used to mitigate participation barriers. This review will assist AS leaders interested in advancing the contributions of nurses into their AS programs by discussing education, communication, improvement models, and workflow integration enhancements that strengthen systems to support nurses as valued partners in AS efforts.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Elizabeth A. Monsees, Email:; Valeria Fabre, Email:
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
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