There are many elements of immunization that nurses need to know. From the correct anatomical sites for giving injections, to the increasingly complex immunization schedule, to knowing where to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Report, to the way that vaccines work in activating the immune system, there's a lot to learn and remember!
Through continuing education courses, fact sheets, videos, and webcasts, this page offers nurses a variety of educational opportunities to increase their immunization knowledge and competency.
Training & Continuing Education
There is a lot to know about immunization, and it can be overwhelming. Everything from immunology and the mechanism of how vaccines work, to where to correctly give an injection in an adult arm, to what temperature ranges are necessary for vaccine storage.
There are all kinds of trainings, and we encourage nurses to choose one that meets their educational needs, as well as their schedule. Some of the trainings on this section of the site are hours long, some take just half an hour. There are various media, too, including webcasts, DVD modules, and web-based interactive trainings.
Please see the materials below in the blue box under Resources beginning with "Storage & Handling" and ending with "Needle Safety."
Please see the materials below in the blue box under Resources beginning with "Adult Vaccination Guide" and ending with "Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit."
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses infecting the nose, throat and lungs. Each year, influenza claims thousands of lives and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of hospital admissions from influenza and its complications.
ANA believes that nurses have a professional and ethical obligation to be immunized - it protects both the health of the nurse, and the health of her or his patients and community.
Nurses play a critical role during influenza prevention season by serving as vaccinators, educators, advocates, and role models for their patients as well as their colleagues. Vaccination of nurses, and other healthcare professionals, is strongly encouraged by both ANA and the CDC to protect both nurses and the patients whom they serve. Influenza vaccination of nurses not only reduces the disease burden in those vaccinated, but also has been shown to reduce the rate of influenza disease and overall mortality in the patients under their care. In 2007, the Joint Commission began requiring its accredited facilities to offer influenza vaccine to improve vaccination rates as a patient safety and quality initiative. Everyone, unless contraindications exist, over the age of six months should receive the seasonal influenza vaccine.
In an effort to reduce the spread of influenza this season, ANA strongly urges nurses to:
- Get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available.
- Ensure your family and co-workers get vaccinated.
- Talk to your patients and community about the importance of vaccination.
- Use or create standing orders to administer vaccinations.
- Always use a safety needle - it's your right under the law.
- Observe meticulous hand-washing practices.
- View ANA’s Immunization Position Statement regarding immunizations for nurses and across the life span.
Help be a part of the solution. Be vaccinated this influenza season, and encourage your nursing colleagues to do the same. Let’s all unite to fight the flu!