On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the “Elena Gjika” School of Nursing in Elbasan, Albania (now a branch of the Catholic University “Our Lady of Good Counsel” in Tirana) some Albanian nurses who trained there organized a celebratory event.

The date was set for May 23, 2024, in Armeno, in the province of Novara with a conference on “New frontiers in home care: the central role of the nurse” by Dr. Delia De Gennaro.

Thirty-year anniversary meeting of Albanian nurses in Armeno

We decided to celebrate this anniversary in Italy since many nurses trained at this institute have been working here for many years, explains Aurora Kokici, one of the nurses organising the initiative.

The meeting began with a link with Prof. Edi Oga, a well-known journalist from ABC Chanel, an Albanian television station, as well as a former teacher, with a reflection on ‘Nurses, between yesterday today and tomorrow’ led by Professor Dr. Antonio Scopelliti, a former teacher at the ‘Gjirka’. ‘For thirty years part of a big family’ was the theme of the report by Vjollca Karaj Berdufi, a nurse who runs the nursing clinic at the Institute’s premises. Enkeleda Gjini, coordinator of the Degree Course in Nursing in Tirana, presented ‘We continue with the same dedication and commitment’.

Space was also given to testimonies on the work of the nuns and volunteers, which has continued untiringly for decades, and to stories of nurses who have distinguished themselves in their postgraduate studies.

About us

On the premises of the Catholic University ‘Our Lady of Good Counsel’ in Elbasan, the Nursing School began its activities in 1994 under an agreement between the Minister of Health and the Catholic Church in Albania, continuously updating the programmes on the basis of European regulations.

It shares the principles and values of the ‘Our Lady of Good Counsel’ Foundation, which is realised by placing the student at the centre of all educational activity, ensuring him or her a complete and personalised education at the cultural, health and social levels, combining technical progress with human and ethical growth. It contributes to the development of university education of young Albanians, scientific research and continuous training of local health personnel, in order to prepare graduates, experts and specialists, educated according to the best moral values and capable of contributing to the material and spiritual development of society. It ensures a process of learning and evaluation of professional preparation with European standard levels and offers the possibility of internships in Italy and scholarships.

At the end of the course, graduates are awarded a joint degree with the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, which is recognised in Albania, Italy and all European Union member states.

Since 1994, 276 nurses have graduated and, to date, the number of graduates is 290, 93 % of whom are in employment, (87% in the health sector 13% other sectors).

Attached to the School is the home service for terminally ill patients in the district and the outpatient clinic in the university building.

Thanks to those who believed in this Project right from the start: Dr Scopelliti of Foggia Hospital and the team and the first Sisters of Charity who literally ‘threw themselves’ into the realisation of this Project.

May 23 could not have been a better day for this anniversary, right on the feast of St. Jeanne Antide. She who was the enterprising woman who crossed borders, she who cared for so many sick people and taught her nuns and novices the art of care, certainly looks down on us from heaven with admiration and intercedes for us.