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Keywords:

  • Nurse practitioners;
  • curriculum;
  • antimicrobial resistance;
  • antibiotics

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine current nurse practitioner (NP) curricula in the United States with regard to antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance and assess the need for a web-based module for instruction on antimicrobial resistance and appropriate prescribing of antibiotics.

Data sources: A 22-item, anonymous, self-administered, web-based survey was sent to 312 NP programs; 149 (48%) responded. Survey items included questions related to NP specialties offered, program accreditation, format of pharmacology course(s), lecture hours related to antimicrobial therapy, and whether the participant would use a Web-based module to teach NP students about antimicrobial resistance, if one were available.

Conclusions: Most NP programs (99.3%) required a pharmacology course, and 95% had lectures dedicated to antimicrobial therapy. Half of the programs (53.5%) devoted ≥4 lecture hours to antimicrobial therapy in the pharmacology course, and most (84.8%) reported covering antimicrobial therapy in nonpharmacology courses as well. Approximately half of the programs (45.3%) reported <4 h of lecture on antimicrobial therapy in nonpharmacology courses. Many programs (51.9%) did not offer a microbiology course; 39.2% required microbiology as a prerequisite. Most respondents (86.7%) were familiar with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention antimicrobial resistance program, and 92.6% reported that they would use an electronic module regarding resistance.

Implications for practice: NP curricula generally include <10 h of content on antimicrobial therapy. An electronic module regarding antimicrobial resistance is likely to be a useful and relevant adjunct to current curricula.