Objectives: To evaluate respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-point-of-care-testing (POCT) performance among paediatric patients with respiratory symptoms, using the BinaxNOW (R) RSV assay performed by trained nurses on the paediatric ward, and compare results with those obtained by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Methods: Four paediatric nurses were trained and certified in using RSV-POCT. Between October 2008 and March 2009, all hospitalised children below 5 years of age presenting with a suspected RSV infection had nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) tested by RSV-POCT by the nurses and a real-time PCR targeting common respiratory viruses by laboratory staff. Results: Among 159 NPS, 21 (13.2%) were RSV-POCT positive and 138 (86.8%) negative. All 21 RSV-POCT positive samples were positive by PCR, yielding a specificity of 100% (95% CI 95.7%, 100.0%). Of 138 RSV-POCT negative samples, 30 (21.7%) were RSV positive by PCR (sensitivity 41.2%; 95% CI: 27.9%, 55.8%). The positive and negative predictive values for RSV-POCT were 100% (95% CI 80.8%, 100.0%) and 78.3% (95% CI 70.3%, 84.6%) respectively. Other respiratory viruses were detected in 52/138 (39.9%) NPS. Conclusions: A POCT for RSV run by trained nurses can be used reliably as a first screening step in symptomatic children. Negative samples should be analysed for RSV and other respiratory pathogens by real-time PCR. (C) 2010 The British Infection Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.