COPD Nurse Training and Support Program

Lung Foundation Australia recognises the important role of nurses in the community and across the primary care continuum. To support this role Lung Foundation Australia has developed a program to support nurses in their work with community and patients with lung disease.


Health Promotion Screening and Risk Assessment Disease State Management

COPD Nurse Online Training

Learn about the role of nurses working with patients with COPD, including:

  • Identifying patients with COPD
  • Managing patients with COPD
  • Developing self-management plans with patients

Learn about COPD, identify patients with COPD, manage patients with COPD and develop self-management plans with patients.

Will I get continuing professional development points?

Completion of this educational activity entitles eligible participants to claim up to 12 CPD hours.

This activity has been endorsed by APNA according to approved quality standards criteria.
This online learning program is endorsed by ACN according to our Continuing Professional Development Endorsed Course Standards.

It has been allocated 12 CPD hours according to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia – Continuing Professional Development Standard

Discount applies to bulk online training orders:
15% - 10 to 49
20% - 50 to 99
25% - 100 - 499
30% - 500+

Click on the icon to purchase from our shop.
Online Training Order Form - 2016

What are participants saying about the training?



‘I found this a great online course which was very easy to follow, well prepared and very clearly presented. It maintained my interest and I have gained great knowledge of COPD which will benefit me greatly where I work as a nurse in General Practice in Chronic Disease Management.’
Annette Carey
Endorsed Enrolled Nurse
Tindale Family Practice
‘I loved the interactive modes used and the variation of them. This kept me interested. Sometimes I felt like I was at bingo trying to get all the correct numbers I got excited but nervous at the same time. I really liked the mix of statistics with every day patient needs with specific tools. I found this to be a very efficient learning tool and will recommend it to my co-workers. Keep up the excellent work to provide evidence based practice guidelines to a wider audience.’
Kathy Chapman
Respiratory Specialist Nurse
John Hunter Hospital, Hunter New England Local Health District
‘I like the way the training was set out and that I can go back to the topics and review it. I also like the resources which I can print and utilise for my patients.’
Joyce Moreland
Registered Nurse
The Madison Practice, Hornsby
‘The training that was provided was easy to read and follow. I liked the resources that were built within the module itself. The videos were helpful in providing the appropriate guide on the use of the devices and the interaction questions that one may ask on the first encounter with a client conducting an assessment.’
Emidia Falzon
Registered Nurse
Gap Road Medical Centre, Sunbury
'The Care Planning Module is excellent. I encourage nurses with limited care planning experience to do this module.'
Peta Niven
Registered Nurse
Cottage Surgery, Manly Vale, NSW


What is involved in the training?

Modules include:

  • Introduction
  • About COPD
  • The Respiratory System and COPD
  • Management of COPD
  • Confirm Diagnosis
  • Optimise Function – Pharmacotherapy
  • Optimise Function – Non Pharmacotherapy
  • Prevent Deterioration
  • Develop Self-Management Plans
  • Manage Exacerbations

Training includes:

  • Case studies and videos
  • Interactive features
  • Care plans and the Medical Benefits Schedule
  • Downloadable assessment tools and patient handouts
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge

For more information, click the link below:

COPD Online Modules only (145 KB)


Who is the training for?

The training has been developed for primary care nurses but other nurses and allied health professionals who work with COPD patients will benefit from the training.


Who developed the training?

A committee of highly respected clinical experts was involved in the development of this training.

List of acknowledgements 2014 (43 KB)


How was development of the training funded?

Lung Foundation Australia secured a grant from The Talbot Family Foundation. Additional funding was sourced through sponsors of the COPD National Program.


I am already enrolled and want to access the training portal. How do I do this?

Click here to access the training portal (enrolled participants only).


Medicines and Inhaler Technique

COPD Medicines Wall Chart

The wall chart of inhalers and medicines for COPD can be downloaded and used to assist in the education of patients – print in A3 or larger for best display. The wall chart features those products that were available on the PBS as at December 2015. This chart will be updated periodically as new medicines become listed on the PBS. Refer to the Stepwise management of stable COPD or COPD-X Concise Guide for Primary Care for further guidance on the use of the medicines.

COPD Medicines Wall Chart 300px

Inhaler Technique

Research shows that up to 90% of Australians with a respiratory condition are not using their inhaler devices correctly.

There are a number of different inhaler devices available and many patients will be using more than one device which can increase the risk of error. Using an inhaler device is a skill and to deliver the medicine to where it will work best each device needs to be used correctly.


COPD inhaler technique and adherence checklist

Asthma inhaler device techiques checklist

Patient fact sheets and videos on inhaler technique


Simplifying medicines and other management strategies for COPD

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify evidence-based strategies in the management of COPD e.g. Pulmonary Rehab and smoking cessation
  • Describe classes of medicines for the management of COPD
  • Outline recommendations for the introduction of medicines as COPD increases in severity
  • Review inhaler technique device
  • Clarify the role of the practice nurse in COPD Management

This video was provided courtesy of the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA)


COPD Screening and Risk Assessment

Lung Foundation Australia has a number of resources that can support nurses in the implementation of a COPD Risk Assessment and Screening Service. Lung Foundation Australia has an entire page devoted to this activity. To find out more click here, COPD Screening Devices in the Community.


Disease Management

Nurses can be involved in helping patients to manage COPD by:

  • Advising on optimal use of medicines including inhaler devices
  • Counselling and advice on smoking cessation
  • Supporting self-management through education about COPD
  • Recommending health services offered by other health professionals including pulmonary rehabilitation.

Co-morbidities will need to be considered in any discussion with patients and where necessary assistance sought from other relevant health professionals such as the GP.

Stories from our primary care nurses

Case Study: Nurse-led Clinic - Judi Wicking
Judi Wicking and male patient
Judi Wicking has been working as a nurse since 1975 and running nurse-led respiratory clinics in general practice since 2001. You could say she was pioneer in this space! Judi shares her invaluable knowledge about how to set up and run a clinic successfully.

Read More
Case Study: Nurse-led Clinic - Karen Pippett
karen pippett 200pxKaren Pippett started a nurse-led respiratory clinic at Oakden Medical Centre in South Australia 21 years ago. Read Karen’s story for great tips on how you could start a nurse-led respiratory clinic at your general practice.

Read More
Case Study: Spirometry - Louise Barnes
Louise Barnes Pharmacy Case Study 180pxLouise Barnes is passionate about spirometry to diagnose lung disease. She runs a nurse-led spirometry clinic at Junction Medical in Nowra, NSW. Louise shares her tips for successful spirometry in a nurse-led clinic. Read more.

Resources for patients

Resources for health professionals:


Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive program for people living with chronic lung disease who have symptoms of breathlessness and often have a decreased ability to perform the activities of daily life. Programs are individually tailored and designed to optimise physical and social wellbeing. The structure and delivery of each program is different and depends upon local resources.

People who have chronic lung conditions are often less active and can lose their fitness and muscle strength. By exercising regularly, a person’s fitness and muscle strength can be maintained or improved.

Find a pulmonary rehabilitation program in your area.


Patient Support Group

LungNet is a national network of patient support groups for people with COPD and other lung conditions. A patient support group is a collective of people sharing common interests and experiences. It provides an environment to share information and discuss ways to cope with the challenges of living with a lung condition.  Patient support is not just for patients. It is also for family members and carers who often need support as well.  It is an opportunity for them to learn, to meet with others and to share experiences.

Patients are supported with information via LungNet news, a quarterly health education newsletter, and a toll free support hotline: 1800 654 301.

Find a Lung Foundation support group in your area.

Click here to sign up for LungNet e-newsletter




The COPD National Program receives unrestricted sponsorship towards the development of training and resources from the following companies:

Foundation Partners:

Principal Partners:

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Supporting Partners: