Nurse role and contribution to antimicrobial stewardship: An integrative review

Int J Nurs Stud. 2020 Oct 8;117:103787. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103787. Online ahead of print.


AIM: To examine existing published literature regarding nurses and antimicrobial stewardship, and their potential role and contribution, to identify what is known, to evaluate methodologies used in published research, and to review and integrate findings to inform practice and future priorities for research.

DESIGN: Integrative review.

METHODOLOGY: The approach to this review was informed by Whittemore and Knafl's integrative review methodology. Electronic databases were searched for papers published since the start of the database to November 2019, with abstracts available, related to humans and published in English. Papers were included regardless of practice setting (acute, aged, and primary care) and if they were research based, included nurses as participants and reported specifically on results from nurses or that had implications for nursing practice. Excluded were conference abstracts, and papers focussed solely on nurse prescriber, nurse practitioner, or nurse manager roles.

RESULTS: Fifty-two papers were included in the review. Identified themes were: i) nursing knowledge, learning needs and education; ii) nurse perceptions of the nursing role and motivations for involvement; iii) nursing brokerage and influence on information flow to and from patients; iv) nursing workflow, workload and workarounds; and v) nurse leadership. Methodological quality of the included papers varied, limiting transferability and applicability of findings for some of the included studies.

CONCLUSION: Formal inclusion of nurses in antimicrobial stewardship activities has been associated with improved nurse knowledge, nurse confidence, and in some cases improved clinical outcomes for patients. The review reinforces nursing values as a motivator of nursing actions, and reveals the complex yet significant influence of nurses on antimicrobial prescribing. Potential opportunities to enhance nurses' participation and contribution to antimicrobial stewardship include; formal acknowledgement of the nurse role, educating nurses so that they are aware of how they can contribute, collaborating with nurses in planning and implementing local stewardship activities, and ensuring nurse leaders are involved. However, evidence on this topic remains limited. Research is needed to facilitate greater understanding about the nature, scope and influence of the nurse role in antimicrobial stewardship, how nurses enact and carry out their role, and nurses' support needs.

TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: Integrative review explores #nurse role in #antimicrobialstewardship. Nurse contribution, influence significant, but not well understood.

PMID:33647845 | DOI:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103787