The infection control nurse in us hospitals, 1976-1977: Characteristics of the position and its occupant

T. Grace Emori, Robert W. Haley, Richie C. Stanley

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37 Scopus citations


Within the past decade, the infection control nurse (ICN) has become an important element in organized infection surveillance and control programs. Before 1970, only a few hospitals (6%) had an ICN, but, by 1977, over 80% had hired at least one ICN, the majority of those hospitals having done so since 1973. To determine the characteristics of the position and its occupant, the authors analyzed data from interviews with a representative sample of ICNs from 347 hospitals nationwide, conducted In 1976-1977 as part of Phase II of the Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control (SENIC Project), the Hospital Interview Survey. Results varied most widely by hospital size. The ICN in the smaller hospitals (≤300 beds) typically worked only part time In infection control, spending the rest of her or his time as a nursing supervisor. The ICN in the larger hospitals (>300 beds) generally worked full time but actually worked less time In relation to the number of beds; she or he also had completed a higher level of nursing education and had attended more infection control courses. The ICN was typically a woman In the young or middle age group who had worked in her current hospital six years alto gether-two of them in infection control-and was receiving a supervisor's salary. Most ICNs were under the Nursing Service Department but generally looked to the physician in the infection control program for advice or supervision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-607
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1980


  • Cross infection
  • Epidemiology
  • Health surveys
  • Nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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