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In Pursuit of Progress

The importance of continuous education in respiratory nursing care was highlighted at the annual International European Respiratory Society (ERS) Congress in 2019 in a nursing session: Training and development for respiratory nurses. There is an identified need for higher engagement and collaboration within scientific societies to achieve a desired specialist role in respiratory nursing.​

In 2019, the ERS Nurses Group Chair formed the ERS Nursing Working Group (n=11) with an aim to identify the need to define and outline the scope of practice, roles, and activities of respiratory nurses globally.


Members of the ERS Nursing Group desired to harmonise nursing education in respiratory care to strengthen the critical role of nurses in caring for patients with respiratory disease and to effectively promote lung health using advanced nursing knowledge and skills.​

In 2020, under the leadership of the ERS Nurses Group Chair, an International Coalition for Respiratory Nursing (ICRN) was formed at the annual International ERS Congress for the development of a harmonised syllabus and curriculum for respiratory nurses.


The ICRN brought together academic and clinical expert respiratory nurses and respiratory technologists/scientists (n=134) from a wide range of European Union (EU) and non-EU countries from across the globe (n=30). The ICRN group was expanded to include other global societies (n=21) to determine the need for a core respiratory nursing curriculum and to identify current curricula that exist in their countries.​


In 2021, we aimed to identify the disparities of the training and certification of respiratory nurses within and beyond European boundaries and to define the range of minimal educational standards and the provision of post-registration training in each country.

A cross-sectional survey confirmed the vast variation in formal respiratory nursing education globally and the need for a core respiratory curriculum.

As the visibility of the activities of the ICRN started to be raised in 2022, a group of prominent respiratory nurses gathered at the annual International European Respiratory Society (ERS) Congress to officially register the International Coalition for Respiratory Nursing (ICRN) as an international organization with the aim of empowering the nurses delivering respiratory care towards an active role in the health systems across the globe.

About the ICRN

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