Despite reports that asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism and the third leading cause of hospitalization in children under 15 years, little is known about how school nurses are educated and trained to manage asthma in schools. The current scoping review sought to describe the published literature on available asthma education programs for school nurses to manage asthma in schoolchildren.
This paper used Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) scoping review framework to identify the existing literature on the education and training received by school nurses to provide evidence-based practice care to school students with asthma, aged 5 to 18 years.
A search strategy was developed and implemented in 6 electronic databases including PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, ERIC, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO, from 1980 to 2020. A total of 1012 citations were identified, 27 full-text articles were retrieved and assessed for eligibility, and eight studies were finally reviewed and synthesized.
The educational programs throughout four interventional studies consisted of a one-time training session, followed by a practical demonstration. Four out of 8 included studies assessed school nurses’ previous exposure to an asthma educational programs through needs assessment surveys. The education delivery methods need to be synchronized with global technological advances and the availability of smartphones.
There is a need to highlight school nurses’ asthma educational needs and the preferred ways of delivering asthma programs to school nurses. The review also called for ongoing skill and knowledge assessment strategies to ensure the delivery of evidence-based practice care.
There is a need to standardize asthma education programs delivered to school nurses. Future empirical research is recommended to investigate and evaluate such programs.