Update: Educational framework for urological nursing (EFUN)

From the outset, the EAUN determined to always keep you, the members, updated on the development of the Educational Framework for Urological Nursing (EFUN). During the recent 23rd International EAUN Meeting in Milan, an EAUN presentation and discussion session was held wherein EFUN information and plans were shared. This article largely summarises the key issues presented.

Recent actions

In the latter portion of 2022, seven sub-groups gathered to consider the seven draft areas of EFUN which have been previously reported. These groups were composed of core members of the three associations EAUN, ANZUNS and BAUN, as well as invited expert partners.

The seven groups were tasked with devising outlining of the “learning outcomes” for the seven draft areas. These learning outcomes could loosely be described as the things that the subgroups thought that urology nurses should know, be, and do in each area. Once refined and agreed, the learning outcomes would then direct the educational offering within each area allowing national societies, educational institutions and others to understanding precisely the educational direction intended by EFUN.

When the work of the seven groups was received and analysed, it quickly became clear that only six sections were actually required as the original seventh area, Nursing Responses to Patient-Centred Urological Health Needs, could be found throughout the remaining six areas. The six remaining areas are as follows:

  1. Communication in Urology Care
  2. Challenges in Leading and Managing Urology Care
  3. Understanding and Applying Evidence and Research in Urology Nursing
  4. Foundational Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology in Urological Disease and Disorders
  5. Fundamental issues in Benign Urology
  6. Fundamental Issues in Urological Oncology

The learning outcomes received from the subgroups were sent, largely unaltered, to the boards of the three associations. The reason for this was simple and reflects the fact that EFUN is essentially an initiative of each board. It is they who must not only agree on the final EFUN, but it is the associations who will drive EFUN into the future through their education provision.

Current position

With an end date of the 31 January 2023, each board was required to discuss the EFUN learning outcomes and provide feedback to the steering group. This feedback would kickstart an intensive phase of learning outcome revision so that a second version of EFUN could be written. This version will be ready in early summer of 2023 and will be shared formally with the members of the three associations, the wider global urology nursing community, and other collaborators. At the end of this short consultation period, a definitive version of EFUN will be launched formally.

The board members of the three associations were asked to discuss the proposal that the original version of EFUN, which became known as EFUN Core, would essentially be the benchmark to which all urology nurses should aim for no matter their location. In addition,  the learning outcomes should be demonstrated by all urology nurses. It was further proposed that as the learning outcomes for Advanced Practice in urology nursing are an extension of the EFUN Core, the work on Advanced Practice should be undertaken after EFUN Core is complete. In principle, both of these proposals have been agreed.

Future plans

It has long been recognised that the creation of a set of learning outcomes is the easy part of this process. The more difficult challenge lies in supporting nurses with educational input that is targeted, available, and accessible to all. More difficulties also lie ahead, and the EFUN co-leads, myself and Julia Taylor, have already started to draw together some proposals that will be discussed with the EAUN, BAUN and ANZUNS looking at a range of issues that are essential to making EFUN a real live force in urology nursing. In particular, recognising that within EAUN, much work has already been done on important matters such as accreditation. EFUN will also need to walk step-by-step with this work and that is the intention.

EFUN seeks to allow urology nurses to attain and demonstrate their knowledge and competence in urology nursing care, and to be recognised for their achievement through a system that is understood by all and accepted by all. Naturally for this to occur, issues such as formal educational programmes, ongoing professional development, accreditation, and potentially the creation of a system of registration of attainment are all being discussed. Any developments along these lines will be agreed with the three associations so that actions have the greatest impact across the world.

As part of its outreach, the EAUN Chair, Paula Allchorne, has been in close contact with urology nursing associations throughout the world to ensure that the EFUN process is understood by them and to continue the process of consolidating urology nursing in a very challenging post-pandemic period. This important work sits alongside the aspirations of the EFUN Project Team to ensure that eventually, EFUN is the accepted process for developing our practice in the years ahead.

EAUN will continue to endure that you, the members, are fully updated as plans unfold.


Jerome Marley, EFUN Co-Lead