Strong international bonds highlighted in Joint Sessions with AEEU, ECET and ANZUNS
Some of the readers may remember the first urology nurses conference in Brussels, Belgium, where around 68 nurses joined in session room Cinedoc, April 2000. Despite some problems with the projectors on the second day, this first meeting was such a success that it was decided to continue this initiative in the next year and form a group of organisers.
At the request of Ronny Pieters, on 7 September 2000 a meeting was organised by the EAU to discuss the start of a nurses’ committee. Ronny Pieters (BE), Martin Beynon (UK), Maria Ascension Crespo Garcia (ES), Rita Willener (CH), Thea De Laat (NL) attended, as well as two professors from Switzerland, Prof. Fiona Burkhard (CH) and Prof. Hans-Jürg Leisinger (CH), and the Secretary General and founder of the EAU, Prof. Frans Debruyne, as well as EAU Executive Manager Operational Affairs Jacqueline Roelofswaard.
At the EAU Congress in Geneva in 2001 the first board of the EAUN was installed, of course with Ronny Pieters as the first Chair, and as first board members: Martin Beynon (UK), Fiona Burkhard (CH), Maria Ascension Crespo Garcia (ES), Thea De Laat (NL), Helén Marklund Bau (SE), Thomas Stöcker (DE), Rita Willener (CH).
For the Geneva nurses’ meeting an abstract session and an excellent programme were composed, also thanks to a Swiss nurses and doctors group who proposed a programme on Testicular and Prostate cancer, Cystoscopy and Nurses training in various countries.
At the third meeting in February in Birmingham in 2002, nurse participants from all over Europe got to know each other better at the ‘Healthcare Professionals Dance Evening’ in Tiger Tiger, the same party destination that was unknowingly selected by the EAUN Board 15 years later in London!
Ronny Pieters chaired the EAUN until 2004 when Aase Grundal (DK) took over (she chaired from 2004-2006). After a short co-chairmanship by Ronny Pieters and Jerome Marley until 2007, the following chairs were installed at the annual meeting: Bente Thoft Jensen (DK, 2007-2011), Kate Fitzpatrick (IE, 2011-2014), Lawrence Drudge-Coates (UK, 2014-2016) Stefano Terzoni (IT, 2016-2018). The current chair is Susanne Vahr Lauridsen (DK, 2018-2021), who will hand over the baton to Paula Allchorne (UK) to chair the EAUN from 2021 until 2024.
At the conference in March 2005, the very first EAUN guidelines were introduced, entitled “Urethral Catheterization, Section 1: Male Catheterization”, of what now is a series of 11 guidelines. The first Nurses Panel consisted of Martin Beynon (UK), Thea De Laat (NL), Jessica Greenwood (UK), Toine Van Opstal (NL), Eva Lindblom (SE) and Eija Luotonen Emblem (NO).
Many other important guidelines for urology nurses followed, continuously keeping up with the developments in the scientific process of developing guidelines. The series currently counts 7 topics which are regularly reviewed.
In 2014 the EAUN Board decided that the important task of composing the Scientific Programme of the annual EAUN meeting should be left to a committee of experienced scientifically trained nurses, which would enable the board to increase their efforts to develop educational activities and accreditation specifically for the members and build on the international relations.
The first Scientific Congress Office (SCO) counted several members with a long and strong relation with the EAUN: Rita Willener (CH), Lisette Van De Bilt (NL), Bente Thoft Jensen (DK), Jerome Marley (IE) and was chaired by Stefano Terzoni (IT), EAUN Board Member, and they have set the tone for a more complete, and more attractive programme with a high scientific level. Looking back it cannot be missed that there is one person who has been at the heart of all these developments. This, and the joyous occasion of celebrating the 20th annual meeting in Barcelona is the reason the EAUN Board has established a lifetime achievement award to be awarded yearly to an exceptional EAUN member. The award is named after the initiator of the annual meeting for urology nurses: Mr. Ronny Pieters (BE). In Barcelona, the first award was awarded to Mr. Ronny Pieters himself.
Corinne Tillier, Chair EAUN Scientific Congress Office, Amsterdam (NL), email@example.com