An interview with the new EAUN chair

Tue, 3 May 2011

Q: Congratulations on your election. It seemed to be unanimous?A: It seemed to be, yes! There’s a very strong community in urological nursing, and it’s very nice to get together as we have today Most of the time, our communications will go through e-mail, but to get this fraternity of European colleagues together allows us to strengthen our bonds I consider being elected without opposition by this group a real vote of confidence.Q: Are you pleased with the current state of the EAUN? In your meeting, you mentioned some encouraging results from the past year, like a growing membership. Do you see any scope for improvement?A: Absolutely I have to acknowledge the previous chair, who’s now become vice-chair, Bente Thoft Jensen She really pioneered the organisation and developed international links As a result, we’ve become very successful.

The downside is that we have a lot of extra demands on our time I suppose you have to remember that most of us doing this have full-time jobs. There-structuring and expansion of the board comes on foot of that I’m hoping in time that what started off as quite a small, local and friendly organisation is going into quite a business.

Q: What are areas that really need attention at the moment?A: What we really need to develop is the helping of our colleagues in non-English speaking countries. Forinstance, we’ve had great interest from nurses from Kosovo, Estonia, Cyprus, and Turkey, and I think that’s one of the things we can focus on: encouraging

people to become more competent in English. We are also often approached by similar organisations, like the European Oncology Nursing Society and Europa UOMO, who are looking for representatives from the EAUN to assist them on projects or to have joint projects So there’s plenty of demand.

Q: You mentioned accreditation as a particular demand that’s often voiced.A: Yes, that’s something that I’m very passionate about I have previous experience in nurse education and accreditation, and I’m quite familiar with the quality assurance process that’s involved in that. But it’s not something that can happen overnight, it’s quite a complicated process.

Very much on the horizon is the European School of Urology Nursing This is part of our education and accreditation plan. We’ve had good support from the ESU in this preliminary phase The fi rst steps will be baby steps, with some sort of gentle online module, and then in future this will develop into something more structured and advanced.

One of our challenges is that different countries allow nurses to do different things So everybody comes to the table with a different ractices, responsibilities and ideas So it’s quite diffi cult to meet everyone’s needs. It’s quite obvious that on a global scale, the role of nurses has been changing Nurses are prescribing in some countries now, and they’re actually practitioners in other countries. Therefore it behooves us to provide a suitable educational resource.

Kate Fitzpatrick, RnEAUN Chairk.fitzpatrick@eaun.orgArticle from European Urology Today, volume 23, No. 2