Home Position Statement Antimicrobial Resistance
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is very concerned with the widespread use of antimicrobial agents and the increasing global resistance, which is now a major public health problem. ICN calls for responsible prescribing and regulation and together with its member national nurses associations will:
Nurses can play a key role in reducing antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance is a result of poor practices such as poor adherence by patients, inadequate dosing, a substandard medicines or use of antimicrobials in animals and poultry for growth promotion or prophylaxis.
Antimicrobials were effective in control of many infectious diseases in the past. However, today many microbes are becoming resistant to antimicrobials and our ability to fight disease is under threat. As a result there is re-emergence of old diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, and resistance in “new” diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. Nurses are key health professionals in administering antimicrobials and monitoring their effect.
The consequences of microbial resistance include prolonged illness, spread of resistant microbes, high health care cost and preventable deaths. Spread of resistant microbes is facilitated by factors such as urbanization with overcrowding and poor sanitation, environmental degradation, demographic changes with an ageing population, new diseases such as HIV/AIDS and growth in global trade and travel.
Adopted in 2004
 Microbes denoted the collective term for bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses.