N003. Development of a specialist nurse educational program: The NIICE (Nurses Initiative in IBD Care and Education) in Canada program

J. Nadin1, F. Bernard2, U. Chauhan3, B. Currie4, M.‑C. Dy5, W. Fehr6, K. Frost7, M. Stone8, Y. Verklan9, S. Lolley10, K. McHugh11

1University of Calgary IBD Clinic, Canada; 2HSFA/CHUQ, Canada; 3McMaster University Medical Centre, Canada; 4QEII Health Sciences Centre, Canada; 5PGA & GI Research Institute, Canada; 6Royal University Hospital, Canada; 7Sick Kids Hospital, Canada; 8McGill University Health Centre, Canada; 9CSGNA, Canada; 10Glia Scientific Communication, Canada; 11Abbott, Canada

Background: Although the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has greatly evolved in the past decade, particularly with the introduction of biologic therapies, nurses have had few opportunities to formally learn about the evolution of care and even less of a chance to discuss how these changes affect their provision of care.

Methods: In 2007, a national mixed-method (qualitative an quantitative) needs assessment conducted with 46 gastroenterologists, 40 gastroenterology nurses, and 9 patients with Crohn's disease queried participants on Crohn's disease management. Nurses working with patients with Crohn's disease reported a lack of clarity around their roles and responsibilities across the continuum of care, and communication gaps within the health care team that undermined their ability to effectively provide care for patients with Crohn's disease [1].

Results: In 2010, a group of 7 gastroenterology nurses with subspecialties in IBD and a member of the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (CSGNA) developed a 7‑module, interactive, educational program for small-group learning sessions, named the NIICE (Nurses Initiative in IBD Care and Education) in Canada program. Each module aims to increase nurses' knowledge of a particular aspect of IBD and its management, refine their clinical skills in this area, and offer insight into the social aspects of caring for patients with IBD. The format allows for open-ended discussion and encourages participants to share clinical experience and best practice. The modules are sufficiently flexible to allow for discussion of specific regional issues, such as access to care, reimbursement, or special population needs. The 7 modules cover: epidemiology; diagnosis; standard therapy for IBD; anti-tumour necrosis factor treatment; non-pharmacologic treatment; surgical treatment; and communicating with IBD patients. There is also a summary module that provides a brief overview of all of these topics. The program has been run 41 times in Canada, with 445 nurses participating as of August 2011.

Conclusions: A follow-up needs assessment will determine whether Canadian gastroenterology nurses feel that their roles and responsibilities have been more clearly defined and whether their comfort level with IBD care has increased. Future plans include the creation of additional modules.

1. Dupuis M, Marshall JK, Hayes SM, Cytryn K, Murray S (2009), Assessing the educational needs of Canadian gastroenterologists and gastroenterology nurses: challenges to optimal care in Crohn's Disease, Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, 23(12):805–810.