European Cancer Organisation

NEWS: European Cancer Nursing Day – 18 May 2018

Thousands of cancer nurses across Europe will mark European Cancer Nursing Day (ECND) on 18 May 2018, with celebrations stretching from Sweden to Slovakia and Ireland to Estonia. This important day in the cancer nursing calendar, organised by the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), is underpinned by some important objectives. ECND2018 is calling for high-level recognition of the unique contribution of cancer nursing across Europe, and focuses on the importance of education and training to support it as a recognised speciality.
To this end, ECND2018 has two major highlights: 
Representatives from the European Parliament, Commission, the WHO, patient representatives, EONS Board and Members are all invited to attend. The events will  highlight the value of specialist cancer nursing  and will share powerful data gathered in Phase 2 of the RECaN project from four European countries (Estonia, Germany, Netherlands, UK) where nursing is at different stages of development.
Marian Harkin MEP said: “Cancer nurses play important roles in the multidisciplinary team that through working together improve patient reported outcomes. I am pleased to host this event which aims to recognise this role and support their call for fully recompensed specialisations to be recognised across Europe.”
The new, updated Cancer Nursing Education Framework will be launched on 18 May on the ECND mini-site. The Framework is a highly-regarded, modular learning tool (formerly the EONS Post-basic Curriculum in Cancer Nursing) designed to help cancer nurses across Europe build knowledge and practical expertise to a recognised professional standard, measured by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
EONS President Lena Sharp said: “Our goal is that cancer nurses all over Europe will be offered appropriate education, working conditions and recognition for their important work. This in turn would have a great and positive impact on people affected by cancer in all countries. The presentation of the latest RECaN results in the EU Parliament on 16 May and the launch of the EONS Cancer Nursing Education Framework on 18 May will be two major landmarks for the status of cancer nursing.”
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Notes for Editors:
May 16 European Parliament, Room 5G1, EONS/MAC Meeting is from 6 to 8pm followed by a cocktail reception. Journalists welcome . A photographer will be present and photos will be available on request.

European Cancer Nursing Day is part of the Recognising Cancer Nursing in Europe (RECaN) project led by the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) and supported by the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO). The project is being delivered over three years with the goal of increasing recognition of the value and contribution of oncology nursing across Europe, based on the following principles:

  • Cancer nurses are core members of the multi-professional team
  • Cancer nursing should be a recognised speciality across Europe based on a mutually agreed educational curriculum
  • Education for specialist cancer nurses (across all tumour types and phases of care) should be made available
  • Enhanced free movement of cancer nurses across Europe should be promoted and facilitated to help address rising demand.
Specialist cancer nurse
Based on available literature (ESNO 2015, CANO 2016), the following definition of a specialist cancer nurse is used: “On an international level, specialist cancer nurses are expected to be educated to a degree level (or higher), have a formal training in cancer, and to care for cancer patients as a specialised population, and this across different cancer types and the entire cancer care continuum.”
For more information contact: EONS Communications Manager Helen Oswald at


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