Poster Abstract

Development of a Specialist Nurse Educational Program: The NIICE (Nurses Initiative in IBD Care and Education) in Canada Program (P098)

Joan Nadin (University of Calgary IBD Clinic, Calgary); France Bernard (HSFA/CHUQ, Quebec City); Usha Chauhan (McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton); Barbara Currie (QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax); Mari-Chris Dy (PGA & GI Research Institute, Vancouver); Wendy Fehr (Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon); Karen Frost (Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto); Marlene Stone (McGill University Health Centre, Montreal); Yvonne Verklan (CSGNA, Edmonton); Sarah Lolley (Glia Scientific Communication); Kevin McHugh (Abbott, Montreal)

One of the important evolutions in the care of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been the increased involvement and escalated role of nurses. There exist few specific opportunities and resources for nurses to formally learn about optimized IBD care and to incorporate best practice into their provision of care.

A national mixed-method needs assessment was conducted with 46 gastroenterologists, 40 gastroenterology nurses, and 9 patients with Crohn’s disease in Canada. The results revealed that the nurses lacked clarity around their roles and responsibilities, and communication gaps existed that undermined their ability to most effectively provide care.1

Based on the results of the needs assessment, in 2010, a group of 7 gastroenterology nurses with subspecialties in IBD and a member of the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates developed a 7-module educational program for peer-to-peer (nurse-to-nurse) learning sessions: NIICE (Nurses Initiative in IBD Care and Education). Each module aims to: increase nurses’ knowledge and management of a particular aspect of IBD, refine their clinical thinking, and offer insight into the psychosocial aspects of care. The format allows for open-ended discussion and encourages participants to share clinical experience and best practice. The program has been run 41 times in Canada, with 445 participants as of August 2011. Initial feedback is overwhelmingly positive.

A follow-up needs assessment will determine the impact of the program. The program is intended to be iterative such that there is ongoing editing and creation of additional modules.


1. Dupuis M, et al. Can J Gastroenterol. 2009; 23(12): 805-10.

Funding Sources

Unrestricted educational grant from Abbott