Nurse Educ Pract. 2021 Mar 24;52:103036. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2021.103036. Online ahead of print.
Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide. Antimicrobial stewardship programs and interventions aiming to optimise the use of antibiotics, are increasingly used to ensure judicious use of antibiotics and limit the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Nurses are pivotal in antimicrobial stewardship however nursing students' awareness of such programs has not been investigated. This study aimed to elicit nursing students' perspectives and perceptions of the nurse's role in antimicrobial stewardship. A cross-sectional design was utilised to survey pre-registration nursing students. A total of 321 nursing students enrolled in an Australian university participated. The survey comprised questions on knowledge and opinions regarding the nurse's role in AMS and on a range of topics relating to antimicrobial stewardship and antimicrobial resistance, through closed and open-ended questions. While 44.5% of participants indicated they were familiar with the term Antimicrobial Stewardship, 70.7% believed they had very little or no knowledge of the principles. Completion of subjects with a focus on quality and safety in nursing practice and quality use of medications was associated with greater awareness. Findings underscore the need to engage nursing students in discussions exploring the problem of antimicrobial resistance and the important role nurses play in Antimicrobial Stewardship programs.