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Bringing Evidence-Based Continuing Education on Asthma to Nurses

Policicchio, Judith MS, RN; Nelson, Belinda PhD, MA, MSW; Duffy, Sonia PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e318217b5f6
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Purpose/Objective: The objective of the study was to demonstrate how the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in community health effectively responds to community need.

Rationale/Background: A needs assessment revealed high rates of asthma in the community and a request from nurses for more information on the care and management of persons with asthma.

Project/Intervention: The intervention brings evidence-based continuing education on asthma to nurses using the Nurse Asthma Care Education program developed by the National Respiratory Training Center and the University of Michigan to increase nursing awareness of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Asthma Guidelines and encourage nursing leadership in asthma control activities.

Design: A quasi-experimental study examined the ability of the Nurse Asthma Care Education program to increase nurses' confidence and perception of using the guidelines.

Sample: Thirty-four nurses participated in a Nurse Asthma Care Education seminar.

Methods: A preintervention and postintervention survey was conducted.

Findings: Significant changes were noted in nurses' perceptions of the helpfulness of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Asthma Guidelines (P ≤ .001) and their confidence to use the guidelines (P ≤ .001) regardless of age with some variation by work setting and years of experience.

Conclusions: Using CNSs to assess populations, including nursing populations, and train nurses, the largest number of frontline providers, may be an effective way to increase patient education and improve outcomes related to asthma and other chronic diseases.

Implications for Practice: The CNS can significantly impact community health by identifying and addressing the needs of those who provide care in the community.

Author Affiliations: Clinical Nurse (Ms Policicchio), Division of Ambulatory Care, University of Michigan; Research Investigator (Dr Nelson), University of Michigan Center for Managing Chronic Disease; Associate Professor, Departments of Otolaryngology and Psychiatry, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, and Research Investigator (Dr Duffy), Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Health Services Research and Development, Michigan.

The study was partially funded by the US Department of Health and Human Service, Health Resources and Services Administration grant (D11HPO8161).

This study was conducted for partial fulfillment of the master's program in community health nursing at the University of Michigan.

Correspondence: Sonia Duffy, PhD, RN, 400 North Ingalls Bldg, Room 3343, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.