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New asthma training for nurses

A programme to help provide practice nurses with additional knowledge about the causes and management of asthma has been launched in the UK

A programme to help provide practice nurses with additional knowledge about the causes and management of asthma has been launched in the UK.

The ASCEND programme, 'Asthma skills, Continued Education and Nurse Development' intends to bridge the gap between pre-registration training and more specialist, post-graduate learning. 

The initiative has been developed by a steering group of primary and secondary care respiratory nurses with nurse representatives from Asthma UK, Education for Health, Primary Care Respiratory Society UK (PCRS-UK) and Respiratory Education UK (REUK) in partnership with and funded by MSD.

It will be available as a printed resource and also online via the Nursing in Practice website.

Stephanie Wolfe, chair of the PCRS-UK Nurse committee said: "Asthma remains an important chronic disease affecting people of all ages and walks of life. ASCEND is an excellent starting point for nurses and other healthcare professionals working in this field."

Research conducted by Education for Health has shown that over 50 per cent of nurses conducting diagnostic or follow up consultations have no formal training in asthma, this is in part due to staff shortages and lack of funding.

Erica Haines, asthma lead for Education for Health said: "Continuing professional education and training is essential for all nurses. ASCEND is designed to provide a foundation in asthma knowledge which can be further developed through postgraduate education."

19th August 2010

From: Healthcare

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