My nursing background is not as a continence nurse, nevertheless, I always believed continence care to be an extremely important area of practice for all nurses. For this reason, during my PhD studies, I became an ICS member to increase my knowledge and networks. When an opportunity to join the ICS Nursing Committee arose, I applied. My application wasn’t successful on that occasion, but as a result I was invited to become a co-opted member later.
Being a co-opted committee member meant I wasn’t voted onto the committee and didn’t have full voting rights. The benefit of co-option was that I became involved in activities and learned more about the committee without being overwhelmed. Co-opted membership was a gentle introduction to the work of the nursing committee and it fitted in well with my other commitments.
The other Nursing Committee members were very welcoming and helped me to learn more about the numerous activities being undertaken. In the year that I was co-opted I was involved in a number of tasks, which helped me to develop knowledge and skills. I also had the opportunity to present some of my research at the ICS annual meeting. Attending the ICS annual meeting cemented my involvement and gave me a broader understanding of the role of the committee within the ICS. Co-opted membership also gave me additional experience to include in future ICS committee membership applications.
Becoming a co-opted member of the ICS Nursing Committee was an interesting and confidence-building experience. I therefore encourage nurses who are interested in gaining a fantastic opportunity in itself, and who desire to get involved with the ICS, to consider co-option to the Nursing Committee. This applies especially to other nurses who, like me, may be at the early stages of their careers, or for those who have not worked within international committees previously as this experience can also act as a springboard to other things.
Article by Amy Hunter on behalf of the ICS Nursing Committee