Three members of American Sentinel University’s faculty and staff recently attended the 39th Annual Educational Conference, held by APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology).
Associate Provost Dr. Catherine Earl and Associate Professor Dr. Joy Green-Hadden attended the workshops and educational sessions, filled with the latest information on infection control measures.
Staff member Kelli Highfill, however, was the “face” of American Sentinel University for those three days, manning our booth in the exhibition hall. She reports that the outreach effort was a smashing success! “Our booth was tiny, we were surrounded by much larger vendors, and yet we were mobbed, with people lining up around the corner to talk to us. It was almost like we were being hugged by 4,000 people!” she says.
The conference was the largest and most well attended that APIC has held to date, with 4,638 attendees and 239 exhibitors spread across of 51,000 square feet of exhibit hall.
Kelli believes some of the enthusiasm for up-to-date information on infection control is being driven by new reimbursement initiatives that penalize organizations for certain types of hospital-acquired infections. “But some of it is also a career push,” she notes. As public health budgets have been cut in this sluggish economy, health care workers in that field have not necessarily had an easy time making the transition to another area. Some of them are finding that a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is not specific enough.
As Kelli spoke to nurses and other health care workers who came by the American Sentinel booth to chat, she heard the same message over and over again – that a specialty in infection control was the key to career advancement for these professionals. Some of them were keenly interested in American Sentinel’s online RN-to-MSN program that focuses on infection control and prevention. Others were very excited by American Sentinel’s new certificate program in infection control (launching this fall). “The certificate appeals to health care workers other than nurses, and also to nurses who hold an MPH and don’t necessarily want another master’s degree,” says Kelli.
American Sentinel University’s RN-to-MSN, MSN, and certificate in infection and control align with the foundational components of the new APIC competency model, which supports infection preventionist development and certification readiness.
APIC provides a recap of the 2012 conference online, where you can read summaries of the informational sessions, find links to news coverage of the event, and listen to podcasts.
To learn more about careers in infection control, consider participating in our July 18 live online chat, featuring faculty member Joy Green-Hadden, DNP, APRN, CNP, FNP as the featured presenter. This live Q&A is hosted by NurseTogether.com and American Sentinel University, and will present a one-of-a-kind opportunity for you to ask questions and learn about careers in infection prevention and control, the education you need to succeed, and the range of career opportunities that are open.
To participate in the chat, just log in with your username and password. (If you’re not a NurseTogether.com member, you can register for a free membership here. There’s no cost or obligation to join.)