Some EAUN Members 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 the following year and to 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, along with two professors from Switzerland, Prof. Fiona Burkhard (CH) and Prof. Hans-Jürg Leisinger (CH), the Secretary General and founder of the EAU, Prof. Frans Debruyne, and 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. The first board members comprised:
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).
The EAU set up a membership registration system for nurses after the meeting in Geneva and the first members were registered from December 2001. Some of them, e.g. from Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are still members until today!
First Abstract Session
For the Geneva nurses’ meeting an abstract session and an excellent programme were composed, with great thanks going to a Swiss nurses and doctors group who proposed a programme on Testicular and Prostate cancer, Cystoscopy and Nurses training in various countries.
First Nurses’ dinner
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!
Chairs of the EAUN
Ronny Pieters chaired the EAUN until 2004, when Aase Grundal (DK) took over the role of chair from 2004-2006. After a short period of co-chairmanship by Ronny Pieters and Jerome Marley from 2006 I-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. More information on the Board of the EAUN can be found here
First General Assembly
With the new members the tradition of an annual General Assembly (AGM) was firmly established. At the AGM members are informed on the plans of the board and were supported and encouraged to contribute their ideas, offer their opinion and vote on important decisions such as changes in the Bylaws and the nominations for the Board. You can find the minutes of the past General Assemblies here
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 in subsequent years, all of which continuously assist nurses throughout Europe and farther afield to keep up with the developments in the scientific process of developing guidelines and practice. The guidelines series currently numbers 7 topics, all of which are regularly reviewed.
You can find the current EAUN guidelines and related documents such as a catheter diary, a training document for TRUS biopsy, or an anti coagulation pre biopsy chart here.
A fellowship is a wonderful way to enhance your knowledge and therefore not long after the start of the association a fellowship programme similar to that of the EAU was started. One or a team of 2 or 3 nurses visit a hospital abroad to get inspired by e.g. the way they have organised care, the techniques they apply or the research they undertake.
In 2006 the first Fellowship took place in Linköping in Sweden. The report of this and all following Fellowships can be found on the website here. Anyone who has been a member of the EAUN for 2 years can apply for a fellowship, there are host hospitals in 7 countries! Two times a year, after the submission deadlines of 31 August and 31 January the board grants the Fellowships. The application form is easy to fill out and most applications will be approved.
First Scientific Congress Office (SCO)
In 2014 the EAUN Board decided that the important task of composing the Scientific Programme of the annual EAUN meeting should be delegated to a committee of experienced scientifically trained nurses. In turn, this would enable the board to increase their efforts to develop educational activities and accreditation specifically for the members and to build on the growing number of 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.
First Special Interest Groups (SIG)
Special Interest Groups [SIG] support the EAUN Board with their expertise on specific fields within urology nursing. They support this by organising education and events centred on current topics and by sourcing speakers for the annual meeting. All of this is enhanced by the provision of scoping guidelines, the writing of articles for the newsletter and through developing masterclasses, to name a few.
The first Special Interest Groups were initiated in 2014, centred on the topics of Continence and Bladder cancer. Since then two further EAUN SIG groups have been developed focussing on Prostate Cancer and Endourology. For more details on the groups and their members please check the page Special Interest Groups
Nomination of the first Ronny Pieters Award
Looking back it cannot be missed that there is one person who has been at the heart of all these developments. This person, 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 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 and in light of the unique and lasting impact made by him the first award was awarded to Mr. Ronny Pieters himself. From now on it will be possible to nominate European nurses who should, in your opinion, win this prize because they have provided an outstanding and enduring contribution to the development of urological nursing in Europe.
For more information on the EAUN Ronny Pieters Award and to find out how to nominate your exceptionally dedicated colleague please visit:
> Ronny Pieters Award