College students having discussion under tree on campus, preparing for exams

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) announced their intention to create an infection prevention and control curriculum for colleges and universities. APIC’s IP Academic Pathway marks the first national effort to link undergraduate and graduate programs to the field of infection prevention and control, ultimately leading to certification in infection prevention and control.

“The pandemic has brought to light the tremendous need for trained infection preventionists in our nation’s healthcare facilities,” said APIC CEO Devin Jopp in a press release. “While APIC has a robust competency model and other resources to support professionals already practicing in the field, a clear pathway into infection prevention and control careers does not currently exist for college and university students. Through IP Academic Pathway, APIC plans to create an intentional track for infection prevention certification and degree programs. This will help not only the healthcare field, but also industries like entertainment, hospitality, and travel, which are increasingly hiring infection preventionists.”

Infection preventionists work to prevent healthcare-associated infections by isolating sources of infections and developing and implementing evidence-based practices to prevent and contain the spread of dangerous organisms. They practice across myriad healthcare settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care, and ambulatory surgery centers.

An APIC task force will develop the IP Academic Pathway core concepts, which will detail competencies needed to work successfully in infection prevention and control as outlined by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC). Once developed, the curriculum can be integrated into a higher education institution’s course of study through their undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs.

“Creating the IP Academic Pathway is a national imperative,” said Jopp. “As the leading organization in infection prevention and control, APIC is uniquely positioned to lead this initiative. APIC will be soliciting input from both the infection prevention and higher education communities and seeking university partners that are willing to help design and pilot the new program.”