While asthma nurses are funded by many health authorities within the U.K. National Health Service, for the improvement of clinical management in both inpatient and outpatient settings in secondary care, the effect of asthma nurse appointment on acute asthma care in hospitalized children has been inadequately studied. Here, we test the hypothesis that the employment of a full-time hospital asthma nurse improves quality of care for children admitted to hospital with acute asthma. Prospective in design, the study compares analyses of indicators of good clinical practice for hospitalized asthmatic children (2-16 yrs) before and after the appointment of a hospital asthma nurse. Both management [oxygen saturation check (35/106 vs. 111/126, P<0.05)] and discharge planning [self management plan/asthma education (17/106 vs. 49/126, P<0.05), follow-up arrangements with general practice (8/106 vs. 25/126, P<0.05)] improved. There was, however, no significant change in oral steroid administration, peak flow check, inhaler technique assessment, inhaled drug prophylaxis or arrangements for hospital follow-up at discharge. Employment of a hospital-based children's asthma nurse leads to significant improvement in aspects of routine in-patient asthma management. However, other important areas of in-patient asthma care did not improve following nurse-led interventions. A clearer evidence base may improve compliance with asthma management guidelines, and could make the role of hospital asthma nurse more effective.