Continuous professional development is essential to maintain and improve individual competencies and nurse practice in general. Nurse associations play an important role in this providing to nurses the opportunities for professional development. The Strengthening Nursing in BIH project closely cooperates and supports several nurse associations in BIH providing training opportunities to nurses.

Since 2018, with project’s assistance, the Federal Nurse Association (UMST FBIH) organized a series of trainings on various topics
important and useful for everyday work. Total of 2754 nurses across the FBIH participated in the trainings.

In 2020, in the Republika Srpska 754 nurses had the opportunity to improve their communication skills with patients thanks to a
series of workshops organized by the RS Association of Nurses and Midwives (UMSTIB RS) in eight cities in the Republika Srpska.

The Resuscitation Council of the Republika Srpska (RESS RS) organized in the last quarter of 2020 a series of the Basic Life Support (BLS) trainings for nurses. A total of 179 nurses from 12 towns received this kind of training.

Although last year educational activities were significantly reduced due to the pandemic, the associations showed the ability to adapt quickly to the new circumstances. To help the nurses cope better with the challenges of pandemics, the associations have also prepared trainings related to COVID-19. Some of the topics covered hospital admission procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, therapy for oncology patients and COVID-19, endotracheal intubation of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients, etc. Some training materials, such as those prepared by the RESS RS, were filmed and are available online.

Apart from continuous professional development, another important task of the nurse associations is to advocate for nurses professional interests, such as adequate support and protection in the workplace. With their experience and expertise in nursing care, strong nurse organizations can significantly improve the health system response in crisis situations and in general.