Infectious Disease Nurses Work at Management and Supervisory Levels

Role of Nurses in Disease Control

Infectious Disease Area Biohazard Poster.

Infectious Disease Nurses and Infection Control Nurses are closely associated specialties. Both professionals typically work as supervisors or administrators in hospitals or community and public health.

  • Infectious Disease Nurses analyze environments for potential infection dangers, stay abreast of current disease threats, develop effective intervention and containment strategies, and work closely with healthcare and government sources.
  • Infection Control Nurses work primarily within hospitals to stem the spread of nosocomial infection, or that commonly found in hospitals.

If this sounds like heady work, it is. Nurses in these jobs typically have advanced degrees, Masters or Doctorates in Advanced Practice Nursing.

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Work Environments

Nursing professionals that work in hospitals, long-term care centers, school systems, work places, and in community and public health, all have the potential to specialize in infectious disease. Some nurses within these capacities may have more patient contact than others depending on their specialty. Nurse Practitioners, for example, will have much more patient contact than a Community Health Nurse with infectious disease specialization.

Degrees, Courses, & Training

Degree and certificate programs may vary from school to school and offer a varying level of infectious disease expertise:

  • Infectious Disease Control Certificate programs offer nurse professionals an opportunity to learn the basics of infectious disease. Programs often last six months to a year and cover topics like HIV/AIDS, care and case management of patients with infectious diseases, containment of an outbreak, public health, immunology and the challenges posed by the global environment.
  • Infectious Disease Clinical Nurse Specialists are a type of Advanced Practice Nurse. CNSs study at the Masters level and choose a sub-specialty, which may include Infectious Disease. CNSs analyze and assess patient needs—usually of a community—consider the best approach and intervention, as well as health education, and develop cost-efficient programs in collaboration with other associated professionals.
  • Infection Control Certificate programs are often available to RNs with at least a BSN. The curriculum may take from one to two years and prepares nurses for administrative jobs in hospitals. Infection control nurses assess medical environments for infection risks and especially focus on preventative education for all types of medical personnel.


All nurse specialists are encouraged and often required to earn particular industry credentials. Specialized certification exams test nurses’ knowledge of a certain aspect of healthcare in which they are specializing. Credentials make it possible for nurses to qualify for promotions and apply for jobs that advance their careers.

Nursing professionals working in infection control and infectious diseases jobs may qualify to earn the industry-wide Certified Infection Control (CIC) credential. Candidates must have a BSN and experience within the field.

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