Background EULAR recommendations aim to promote the role of nurses (RN) in the management of rheumatic conditions (RMD) particularly of inflammatory arthritis (IA). Great differences have been pointed out among European countries regarding the nurses' activities and qualifications. One barrier to the implementation of recommendations could be the lack of specific training (ref1,2).
Objectives To obtain a better knowledge of the competencies and educational needs of French nurses through a multicentric survey.
Methods A multidisciplinary group elaborated a first list of competencies considered useful for RNs. Participants were asked to refer to the EULAR recommendations for RN's role and RMD management and to the available European educational courses. A validation was made by a larger number of participants leading to a second list as a basis for the survey. The survey was conducted through 3 on-line investigations from Dec 2014 to Jan 2015, dedicated to nurses working the field of rheumatology. The nurses were asked if they believed they had acquired each competency on the list and if they considered it of importance for a RN.
Results The working group included 17 health professionals (HPs) (11 nurses), 8 rheumatologists, 2 patients. The selected competencies concerned IA, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, low back pain, pain management. Cognitive skills on disease and treatment, practical skills, communication, patient education, on-going support and research were considered. The validation was made by 39 HPs (20 nurses) and 1 patient association. The 1rst on-line investigation addressed the competencies in IA, the 2nd in other RMD, the 3rd in communication, education, continuity of care and research. They included respectively 78, 72, 70 items. Results of the 1rst investigation are presented: 60 nurses responded the survey, from 14/20 French regions, 93% female, 74% in a university hospital; 25% declared complementary qualifications in patient education, 15% in pain management, 8% in research. A gap was found between the competencies considered important and the actual reported skills (table). Nurses were very (45%) or rather (45%) interested by a RN training course. Only 22% believed they could very easily attend the course, 39% rather easily, 33% could not attend.
Conclusions This study, the first in the field of rheumatology nurse competencies in France, shows a gap between educational needs and reported skills. The survey goes on which results will help in developing a nationwide educational course.
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van Eijk-Hustings Y, et al. Rheumatology. 2014;53:1491-6.
Disclosure of Interest None declared