Guideline recommendations for antimicrobial stewardship education for clinical nursing practice in hospitals: A scoping review

J Rout, S Essack, P Brysiewicz


Background. Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is a proactive healthcare intervention to improve patient outcomes by optimising antimicrobial use. Although nursing involvement is a recognised necessity, bedside nurses may not yet possess competencies to fulfil this role.
Objectives. To identify recommendations for AMS education for the bedside nurse in key global AMS guidelines.
Methods. Scoping review methodology was used to systematically search published and ‘grey’ literature in PubMed, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, government websites and websites of professional societies and organisations. Search dates were from 1990 to 2020. Inclusion criteria were English language AMS guidelines for hospitals.

Results. Literature searches retrieved 1 824 articles, with 43 meeting the review inclusion criteria. Reference was made to AMS nursing education in 23 (53.4%) of the articles. Educational opportunities for nurses were recommended: inclusion of AMS concepts/content into undergraduate and postgraduate nursing curricula (n=12; 27.9%), in-hospital training (n=14; 32.5%) and continuing professional development (n=6; 13.9%). Recommendations for nursing education were as follows: role of AMS in preventing antimicrobial resistance (n=7; 16.2%), infection prevention and control (n=3; 6.9%), diagnostics in AMS (n=5; 11.6%), pharmacology (n=11; 25.5%) and collaboration (n=2; 4.6%). Identified nursing educational gaps were: nurses not recognising their role within AMS (n=5; 11.6%), inadequate nursing resources and expertise for dosing, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic strategies and managing possible drug incompatibilities with extended/prolonged infusions (n=3; 6.9%), and inappropriate nurse disposal of antibiotic waste (n=1; 2.3%).

Conclusions. Although recommendations for nursing education were found in many key AMS guidelines, few guidelines provided detailed descriptions of the nursing competencies that were required for this role.

Authors' affiliations

J Rout, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

S Essack, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

P Brysiewicz, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Cite this article

Southern African Journal of Critical Care 2021;37(3):104. DOI:10.7196/SAJCC.2021.v37i3.482

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-01-28
Date published: 2022-01-28

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