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ARNS 2018 Conference

ARNSThe Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists (ARNS) conference 2018 by Emma Ray (NIHR CLAHRC Wessex)

The Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists (ARNS) continues to grow from strength to strength since its inception in 1997.  ARNS seeks to provide a unique environment   for specialist respiratory nurses to share and promote best practice, guide the direction of clinical care as well as influencing government policy.  Their annual conference is a culmination of this work, and this year it was held in the Reading Hilton on the 4th-5th May.   Susan West, Senior Nurse Educator at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, opened proceedings with an update about changes to nurse graduate training with the announcement that newly qualified nurses will be prescribing-ready in the near future.

Inspiring work was presented by many delegates, including by Emma Bushell and Rosie Reading from Frimley Health NHS Trust.   They presented their Paediatric Asthma Bus programme, which is saving lives and improving the health of children in secondary schools in their area.  An open panel debate with Dr Noel Baxter (Chair, Primary Care Respiratory Society), Natalie Harper (Dorset County Hospital), Viv Marsh (Education for Health) and Fiona Wyles (Frimley Health Foundation Trust) about the current ambiguity with the asthma guidelines also proved very insightful and caused much discussion between delegates post-debate.

Education was a key focus of the conference and there were a number of plenary talks and practical-skills sessions by leading experts on key respiratory themes such as airway clearance, inhaler competencies and severe asthma for example.  Thematic posters were also on display allowing delegates the opportunity to share their research and innovation in clinical practice, and awards were given for best poster and poster-presentation.

The conference concluded with an inspiring talk by Sam Prigmore (St Georges Hospital), who highlighted that respiratory nursing was developing rapidly in response to NHS priorities.  Sam outlined that nurse-led research should be a key element in improving and delivering excellence in care, and that the results of the recent Delphi study may address the focus of this need.  Access the Delphi study article

Sam also raised awareness of the Respiratory Nurse Research Consortium (RNRC), which is a collaborative network available to help facilitate respiratory nurse-led research.  For further information, or if you would like to become involved with the work of the RNRC please contact Dr Carol Kelly

The next conference is expected to take place in May 2019.  Please check the ARNS website regularly for further updates: You do not have to be a member of ARNS to attend the conference, but becoming a member has many benefits and it is free to join.  More information about joining