Pre-registration Nursing Students’ Perceptions of Nurses’ Role in Antimicrobial Stewardship

Dr Stephane Bouchoucha1, Professor Nikki Phillips1, Ms Mataya Kilpatrick1, Associate Professor Ana Hutchinson1,2

1Deakin University, Geelong, Australia,
2Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research – Epworth HealthCare Partnership, Richmond, Australia


As Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) is a relatively new area of practice, it is not a mandated component of pre-registration nursing curricula in Australia. This study explored pre-registration nursing students’ perceptions of on nurses’ role in AMS and opinions on inclusion of AMS and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) topics in the nursing curriculum.


A cross-sectional survey of pre-registration nursing students at Deakin University was conducted. Participants’ were surveyed about their awareness of AMR and perceptions of nurses’ role in AMS. Survey responses were summarised using descriptive statistics; chi square tests and ANOVA were used to analyse differences in perceptions dependent on prior experience working in healthcare and completion of a final year unit focusing on clinical leadership and patient safety.


The survey was completed by 321 students. Overall 143 (44.5%) had heard of AMS; participants rated their AMS knowledge as excellent 6 (1.9%), 92 (27.4%) good and very good, limited 110 (34.3%), none 117 (36.4%). Nurses who had completed the clinical leadership unit were more likely to agree that nurses had a role in educating consumers (p = 0.026) and raising awareness of AMS (p = 0.012).


Pre-registration nursing students had limited awareness of AMR and AMS and the majority rated their knowledge as low. Completion of third year clinical leadership and safety unit had a positive influence on participants’ perception of nurses’ role in AMS. These results highlight the importance of including education regarding the principles of AMS in pre-registration education programs and leadership courses for nurses.


Stéphane Bouchoucha is a Head of School, International for the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Deakin University. With over 20 years’ experience as a registered nurse and an academic, Stéphane has worked in a variety of clinical (critical care, Infection Prevention and, Leadership and management) and community settings. Stéphane has developed a program of research in infection prevention and control informed by his Master of Science (Public Health) and PhD where he investigated the psychosocial factors affecting adherence to Standard Precautions and developed and validated a scale: The Factors Influencing Adherence to Standard Precautions Scale (FIASPS). As an early career researcher, Stéphane was successful in receiving 2 early career grants in 2016, one of which was from the ACIPC to consolidate infection prevention and control work.

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