At the 1987 EULAR Congress held in Athens, a British nurse, Vicky Stephenson, arranged a meeting that was attended by about 30 health professionals. The meeting decided that a working group of Health Professionals from different professions and countries should work towards establishing a Standing Committee within EULAR. This was achieved in 1989 and since that time, the role of Health Professionals within EULAR has changed dramatically.
In this lecture, I will describe the evolution of rheumatology nursing over the past thirty years, and the part that EULAR has played in the dissemination, education and facilitation of best nursing practice and experiences within Europe. This will be illustrated by two pieces of work. In late 2009, EULAR part funded a Web-based survey to evaluate the status of extended roles undertaken by health professionals in Europe. The data from this survey relating to nursing has been extracted and analysed separately and will be presented. The following year, EULAR also funded a study to investigate the role of the nurse in the management of chronic inflammatory arthritis. The important recommendations resulting from this piece of work will also be shown.
Following the recommendations project, a number of other important nursing initiatives have been launched under the auspices of EULAR. These will be highlighted to enable delegates to understand how far rheumatology nursing has developed and how far it still has to go.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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