On the evening of Thursday, March 7, 19 nurses from 13 countries across Europe participated in our yearly N-ECCO National Representatives Meeting.
As N-ECCO Committee Member responsible for the National Representatives, Kay Greveson welcomed the attendees, and this was followed by a short round of introductions. Four countries were happy to present their new National Representatives. 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 new N-ECCO Committee Member - Ana Ibarra - was then introduced to the representatives. She will take over the National Representatives Meeting for the next year.
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. Three countries (Belgium, Ireland and Croatia) 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 European nurse education course. 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. The possibility of having more places available for attendance at the N-ECCO School was discussed, as was the importance of receiving nominations from every country.
N-ECCO Committe Members © ECCO
More details followed on the upcoming and very exciting ECCO IBD Nurse Education Programme. In 2018 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 2018, please see the ECCO Website.
We reflected on the many past and future N-ECCO Opportunities, including the update of the N-ECCO Consensus and the success of the Research Grant and the yearly N-ECCO Travel Award. Everyone was encouraged to disseminate this information to their countries.
Finally, brief mention was made of the decrease in abstract submission this year, the reason for which is unclear. Hopefully a higher number will be received next year.
Every year an N-ECCO Travel Award Grant is made to an IBD nurse. The purpose of this grant is to enable nurses to visit other European IBD centres and to learn from each other. Last year, Miri Gannon received the grant. She planned her visit to five different centres in London and will soon deliver feedback on her experience. Nurses who want to apply can plan a visit either in their own country or abroad. If you want to apply for this grant in 2020, please send in your application before June 3, 2019.
We look forward to welcoming our National Representatives next year in Vienna.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly by email or phone. You can find the contact details of the N-ECCO Committee on our (N-)ECCO Webpage.