Report on the N-ECCO National Reps Meeting at ECCO'20
Ana Ibarra, N-ECCO Member
On the evening of Wednesday, February 12, 16 nurses from 11 countries across Europe participated in our yearly N-ECCO National Representatives Meeting.
As the N-ECCO Committee Member responsible for the National Representatives, I welcomed the attendees, and this was followed by a short round of introductions. An exchange of nurses every 2–3 years is greatly encouraged by N-ECCO, but many countries nevertheless retain the same National Representatives for more than 3 years. New people tend to mean new ideas, although some countries have different service setups and getting new representatives is sometimes difficult.
The responsibilities of the National Representatives are versatile. The primary role of an N-ECCO National Representative is to act as a link to the N-ECCO Committee for all nurses in their country who have an interest in IBD. However, a further role is to provide the N-ECCO Committee with information on IBD nursing initiatives in the country in question. Sharing our knowledge, ideas and initiatives makes us #StrongerTogether.
The National Representatives’ email interviews regarding questions about nursing in each country (IBD care, developments, nomination process for N-ECCO School etc.) were discussed. The response has been low: Time and the language barrier seem to be the biggest issues. Two countries (France and Israel) volunteered to do the next National Representatives’ interviews.
The National Representatives of each country then presented country-specific developments at the level of nursing networks and IBD Nurse education; however, some countries would benefit from being considered for the ECCO IBD Nurse Education Programme. A lot of interesting initiatives were discussed and one can conclude that IBD nursing around Europe is definitely increasing.
The number of participants in various N-ECCO Activities over recent years was also considered, and we can be proud of the growth achieved. In addition, the possibility of IBD Nurse Members participating in the Intensive Advanced Course was discussed, and we hope we can take this discussion further with the ECCO Governing Board.
More details followed on the upcoming and very exciting ECCO IBD Nurse Education Programme. In 2019 this programme, which aims to reach all European nurses, took place in Milan, Italy. For more information about the programme, or other upcoming N-ECCO Opportunities in 2020, please see the ECCO Website. We discussed the need for all European countries to recognise the IBD Nurse as a job and we think the IBD Nurse Education Programme can massively facilitate the recognition of this post by training nurses who are interested in becoming IBD nurses but are not receiving the education they require.
We reflected on the many past and future N-ECCO Opportunities, including the update of the N-ECCO Consensus and the success of the N-ECCO Research Grant. Everyone was encouraged to disseminate this information to their countries. Some countries mentioned the effect of the language barrier on nurses’ understanding of guidelines and consensus statements. Unfortunately, translating these would mean that they would lose their rigour and is not possible; however, we do encourage this at a local level as these documents can be incredibly beneficial for IBD nursing services.
We look forward to welcoming the National Representatives next year in Berlin.