In 1976 Berna Sol-de Rijk finished High School in Amsterdam and started her nursing studies at Slotervaart hospital, which she completed in 1980.
Between 1981 and 1993 she worked in several hospitals and home-care organisations and developed interest in patient care for chronic diseases. While working as a diabetes specialized nurse she successfully finished the Nurse Specialist program at the Hogeschool of Utrecht in 1997, followed by the Master of Science in Nursing program at the Hogeschool of Utrecht/ University of Wales and graduated in 2001. In 1999 she started working as nurse specialist at the department of clinical geriatrics in the UMC Utrecht and in 2002 she became a nurse specialist vascular care, and combined her work with the vascular research described in this thesis. To support her research activities, she followed different additional courses in and outside the UMCUtrecht.
Berna Sol-de Rijk has been actively involved in Dutch professional nursing organizations as the AVVV, EADV and NVHVV. Until recently she was chair of the `leadership succession committee’ of Rho Chi, a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor society of nursing.
She is a member of CCNAP, a European council of cardiovascular nurses and allied health professionals and she is a member of the board of the Platform Vitale Vaten, initiated by patient support groups to develop the recently published (2009) implementation of the guideline vascular risk management.