Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term lung disease characterised by breathlessness, cough and sputum production. Progressively worsening breathlessness for the patient with COPD limits everyday activity, reduces quality of life and increases the risk of premature death. Beyond reducing symptoms and the rate and severity of exacerbations, the aim of treatment is to increase exercise capacity and improve overall health and wellbeing. Nurses have an important role in ensuring advance care planning is implemented for every patient. This learning module describes the diagnosis, assessment and management of COPD, and includes practical points for patient care.