Need and baseline for harmonizing nursing education in respiratory care: preliminary results of a global survey

Andreja Šajnić*, Carol Kelly, Sheree Smith, Karen Heslop-Marshall, Malin Axelsson, Miguel Jose Padilha, Nicola Roberts*, Carme Hernández, Bridget Murray, Betty Poot, Georgia Narsavage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The coronavirus pandemic confirmed that respiratory nurses are critical healthcare providers. Limited knowledge is available about appropriate education to prepare nurses to deliver high quality respiratory care. A survey was developed by the International Coalition for Respiratory Nursing (ICRN) group to identify the need for a respiratory nursing core curriculum.

A 39-item survey was distributed to 33 respiratory nursing experts in 27 countries. Questions asked about current roles, perception of need, expectations for a core curriculum project and respiratory content in nursing education in their countries.

Thirty responses from 25 countries were analysed; participants predominantly worked in academia (53%) and clinical practice (40%). In total, 97% confirmed a need for a core respiratory nursing curriculum. Post-registration nursing programmes at bachelor (63.3%) and masters (43.3%) levels include internal/medical nursing care; less than half identified separate respiratory nursing content. The core educational programme developed should include
knowledge (70%), skills (60%), and competencies (50%), with separate pediatric and adult content.

Survey results confirm an enormous variation in nursing education and respiratory nursing education across the world, with many countries lacking any formal respiratory educational programmes to prepare nurses capable of providing enhanced quality respiratory care. Preliminary findings of the global survey support the need for a core respiratory curriculum. To advance this significant work the ICRN plan to conduct a Delphi study to identify core curriculum requirements for respiratory nursing education at pre-registration and advanced educational levels to flexibly meet each country’s specific educational requirements for recognition of respiratory nursing speciality practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 May 2022


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