Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing: Can E-Learning Be a First Step?

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      In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the Core Elements of Hospital Antimicrobial Stewardship Program guidelines. As part of the update, a greater emphasis is placed on the role of nurses in improving antibiotic stewardship (AS). Currently, there is minimal research that has looked at nurses’ attitudes/beliefs towards AS. Potential reasons could include lack of education about stewardship, poor communication among providers, hospital/unit culture, concern for additional work, and perception of it being not part of their scope of practice. The objectives of this project are to identify nurses’ true attitudes toward AS, to discover the usefulness of the modules, and to determine the effectiveness of the modules in changing nurses’ attitudes towards AS.


      Three short eLearning modules (Antimicrobial Stewardship for Nursing, Pharmacy Topics for Nursing, and Laboratory Topics for Nursing) and a survey were developed for acute care hospital nurses. The nurses were asked to view the three eLearning modules and then complete an online survey. Twenty-eight nurses completed the survey. An analysis was done on the results.


      The results of the survey showed that eighty-two percent of nurses felt they should participate in AS work. Seventy-three percent felt more empowered to participate in AS discussions. One hundred percent said that the information could be used in their everyday work. Twenty-three percent wanted more education. Nurses cited lack of education (41%) and hospital/unit culture (27%) as barriers to participating in AS.


      Although the sample size was small, the survey showed that the majority of nurses want to be a part of the AS team. The modules were effective in educating them and the results suggests that short eLearning modules may be a good first step in engaging nurses in AS. The study is ongoing.
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