Hospital antimicrobial stewardship (AS) interventions have been shown to reduce the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials and rates of resistant organisms. To date, nurses have had limited involvement in AS. Improving nursing AS knowledge and sense of empowerment may improve their engagement in AS.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of an educational intervention on AS knowledge and sense of empowerment among bedside registered nurses (RNs) in a surgical intensive care unit in an academic medical center.
This was a quasi-experimental pre-post study.
Forty-four RNs (85%) participated. There was a statistically significant (P < .01) increase in both AS knowledge and empowerment level of staff RNs. Registered nurses identified participation in patient care rounds and use of antibiotic timeouts as strategies for increasing their AS engagement. Perceived barriers included lack of physician/other team member support and knowledge deficits.
The findings of this study indicate that educating nurses on their role in AS improves their knowledge and sense of empowerment for this emerging role. Future studies should examine how nurses apply this knowledge and sense of empowerment to engage in unit-based AS activities and the resultant patient outcomes.