Behind the public face of INGID is a hard-working and committed group of nurses from around the world. The well-organised INGID board meets regularly to work towards a worldwide network of connected, informed and empowered immunodeficiency nurses. Current INGID vice-president and board member, Carla Duff says “being on the INGID board has broadened my perspective on primary immunodeficiency disease care and management… being on the board has afforded me the opportunity to meet many nurses from multiple countries and to network with many wonderful people”. The board has overseen INGID’s recent projects, including the soon-to-be-launched European Nursing Guidelines for Immunoglobulin Administration, the development of the new INGID website and the development and translation of the eLearning program on immunoglobulin therapy.
Many board members have had to overcome language barriers to get involved, but are grateful for having taken the leap. Former board member and past INGID president, Gabriele Strotmann, reflects “At the time I joined the board as a member, my English was not good – just English to go on holidays. I had a lot of help from the board with presentations and things I had to write or say in English”. Gabriele spells out the highlights of her INGID board experience, saying “I met a lot of very nice, interested, helpful and clever nurses from all over the world. That really opened my horizons. I made new friends. I travelled a lot to conferences and meetings. As a nurse in my hospital I would not have had the chance to do that”. Carla Duff adds, “for new board members, I would say don’t be afraid if English is not your first language”.
Expanding INGID’s membership to reflect a wider community of immunodeficiency nurses is one of the upcoming challenges for the board, as is ensuring that the composition of the board remains diverse and responsive to the needs of members from the non-English speaking world.
With board elections coming up at the INGID conference in Barcelona in September, it is time for new people to step forward for election. The personal satisfaction and professional development that grows from being on the board is immense. Board member and website manager, Marie-Claude Levasseur explains “being on the board is an investment, because when you take responsibility and you have a role to play, all the other members count on you”. Board member Karin Ludwig says “I am amazed at how much has been accomplished within the past two years and how much hard work and dedication and commitment it takes. The women involved in the board are exceptional and I have learned a great deal from them all”.
Wherever in the world you are and whether you are a native English speaker or not, consider putting yourself forward as a candidate in the upcoming board elections. Carla Duff says “don’t be shy, share your knowledge and experience. That is the best way to help patients.”