Rural school nurses' asthma education needs

Karen Huss, M. Winkelstein, B. Calabrese, J. Nanda, R. Quartey, A. Butz, M. Resto, R. Huss, C. S. Rand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


School nurses play an important role in identifying children with asthma and providing care during school hours. Educational programs designed to improve nurses'' asthma knowledge and practices have concentrated on urban settings. The purpose of this investigation was to determine asthma-related practices and educational needs of rural school nurses. A survey about asthma was mailed to school nurses in all counties of the state of Maryland and in Washington, D.C. Responses were compared between rural Maryland counties and counties from the remainder of Maryland and Washington, D.C. The survey addressed attitudes and beliefs, function and roles, medication administration, and educational needs about asthma. We found that rural nurses used peak flow meters less often to assess and monitor asthma, requested fewer referrals for asthma, had fewer interactions with health room assistants, and had reduced access to asthma educational resources. Also, they provided less asthma education in the schools than other school nurses. These results suggest a need for comprehensive asthma educational programs in rural areas that are based on national guidelines, and that address the unique needs of rural school nurses. These programs should also emphasize the need for open communication between rural school nurses, health room assistants, primary care providers, and parents/caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Asthma
  • Asthma education
  • Childhood asthma
  • Rural
  • Rural health
  • School nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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