Annual Conference 2018 of Society of Urologic Nurses in San Diego

My gratitude goes to the Danish Urological Nursing Society, who supported both the present EAUN chair, Susanne Vahr, Copenhagen University Hospital (DK), and me, former EAUN Chair Bente Thoft Jensen, Aarhus University Hospital (DK), in participating in the Annual Conference for Urologic Nurses last October in San Diego (US) and also to the EAUN for making this trip possible.

Susanne Vahr Lauridsen and Bente Thoft Jensen at the Annual SUNA Meeting

Support from sponsors

The meeting was a great success and was very well attended, with more than 600 nurses from around the world. They represented a broad range of clinical nurses and ward nurses working with, or affiliated with, urology nursing. Nurse leaders at different levels were present as well as primary care nurses and nurses working in the field of research and development.

“The pre-conference workshops were excellent with opportunities to sign up for 8-hour intensive courses in e.g. basic hands-on urodynamics.”

When we visited the exhibition hall, we became aware of the outstanding and unique support from a significant number of sponsors and co-operators during the congress. When we asked a random number of sponsors why  they chose to support the Annual Urologic Nurses Meeting they all pointed out  that, despite they faced some economic challenges, they discovered that urological nurses have a unique position; not only because of their role as teachers and care-providers but as mediators and communicators of complex knowledge to the ‘end users’ and are thus pivotal and the perfect base for partnership.

Pre-conference workshops

As frequent attendee of the Annual SUNA Meeting, I believe that the San Diego meeting offered one of the best programmes ever at SUNA, with an emphasis on the professional nurse, who seems to be forgotten over the last couple of years. Not only in the USA but in Europe as well, where a trend, for several reasons, convinced stakeholders of the benefits of having  more generalist nurses than specialised nurses, which resulted in  loss of competencies and  reduced quality of care.

SUNA President Gwendolyn Hooper with President Elect Margaret Amy Hull in the exhibition hall

The pre-conference workshops were excellent with opportunities to sign up for 8-hour intensive courses in e.g. basic hands-on urodynamics. You learned the basic  dynamic of the bladder, and learned how to carry  out a simple urodynamic investigation including describing and interpreting curves. Moreover, at the end of the session the participants were given a patient case and had to come up  with a plan for treatment and care. The recommendations could include, for example, teaching the patients to perform clean intermittent catheterisation (CIC) or instillation of intravesical medicine or proceed to a nurse-led cystoscopy clinic. If you had chosen the last option you could move on  and participate in the advanced hands-on cystoscopy workshop. In other words, following in the footstep of the patients …

Female sexual health

Another emerging clinical aspect is female sexual health. A well-known sexual centre in San Diego led by Dr. Irwin Goldstein (former chair and initiator of the Sexual Medicine Society in North America) and his team of sexual consulta

At the research symposium Susanne Vahr (Chair EAUN) presented the results from her PhD project regarding the efficacy of an early smoking and alcohol stop in relation to major bladder cancer surgery and the impact on complications. As usual Susanne Vahr delivered a fantastic talk.

If you would like to visit SUNA, please visit the website below:

This year the SUNA conference is in Disneyland, Florida (US) in October 2019.


Bente Thoft Jensen, Senior Researcher, Dept. of Urology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus (DK),