Antimicrobial stewardship: Staff nurse knowledge and attitudes


      • Many nurses are not familiar with antimicrobial stewardship (AS) or their role in AS.
      • Nurses are interested in more education about antimicrobial use and resistance.
      • Education efforts should focus on staff nurse awareness and AS interventions.
      • Nurse assessment of antimicrobial allergies should be explored.


      Registered nurses are uniquely qualified to augment antimicrobial stewardship (AS) processes. However, the role of nursing in AS needs further development. More information is needed regarding gaps in registered nurse knowledge, attitudes toward AS, and how infection preventionists can help.


      An online descriptive survey was deployed to a convenience sample of approximately 2,000 nurses at the bedside. The survey included 15 questions addressing: (1) overall knowledge of AS; (2) antimicrobial delivery; (3) knowledge and attitudes regarding antimicrobial use; (4) antimicrobial resistance; and (5) antimicrobial resources and education.


      Three hundred sixteen staff nurses from 3 hospitals (15.8%) responded to the survey. Fifty-two percent of nurses were not familiar with the term “antimicrobial stewardship,” although 39.6% of nurses indicated that an AS program was moderately or extremely important in their health care setting. Almost all nurses (95%) believed that they should be involved in AS interventions.


      These findings suggest gaps in nursing knowledge rearding AS. However, nurses believed AS programs were important and were eager to be involved.


      This study showed that many nurses are not aware of AS, or do not understand their role in contributing to AS endeavors. Infection preventionist education should focus on increasing staff nurse awareness and demonstrating how nurses can make specific AS interventions.

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