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European Specialist Nurses Organisations

The goal of European Specialist Nurses Organisations (ESNO) is to facilitate and provide an effective framework for communication and co-operation between the European Specialist Nurses Organisation and its constituent members in order to represent the mutual interests and benefits of these organisations to the wider European community, for the interest of the public health. 

ESNO members - click to enlarge




The ESNO Summit page and with registration is now online, view page

This will be the celebration of 10 years of development of the specialist nurse in EU context. Resume of what we have reached together in the past years, have a good view where we are, set long term goals with activities.

    We hereby invite you to join us in this event.

    summit logo


EU commission publishes report on health workforce in Europe, great relevance for nurses.

European Commission, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, Healthcare systems, Workforce & Patient Safety & Patients' Rights team

the European Commission published today the report on the Recruitment and Retention of Health Workforce in Europe.The study identifies and analyses effective strategies for recruiting and retaining health professionals to serve as inspiration for the development of organizational strategies and human resources policies in Europe.

The ESNO regard this as significant for our profession and justifies the ongoing Continuing Professioanl Developments with the development of the ESNO Continuing Traing Framework and Accreditation program.

To read the study in full including the executive summary in all EU languages:

EU flague


ESNO report of meeting DG SANTE Health Workforce.

The presentations of the last meeting DG Health, Expertgroup meeting on European Health Workforce is now online.
For ESNO members, the ESNO report of that meeting in available at the ESNO 'members-only' section.
DG SAnte


ESNO, 10 Years of European Specialist Nursus Organisations

Exactly today 10 years ago, the first ESNO meeting took place in Brussels.

We thank so much all those enabling us to shape our profession, position and role in European context.

At our Summit in November we will mark this special occasion with all those involved, in the current situation and follow up towards the future.

             10 years ESNO



ESNO surveys

In the process towards the harmonization and development of common training framwork for Specialists Nurses, the ESNO developed a series of Surveys to get a clear view about the Specialists Nurses in Europe. See page 'Activities, Harmonization and Traing''. 

ESNO survey logo


International Nursing day 2015

The International Nursing Day, what an important day to underline the role of the nurses in the Healthcare Arena and the change!!!! Aging population, increase of chronic disease and the decreased medical demography are such big issues we have to deal with, that it gets more and more important to work hand in hand. ESNO representing the nurse specialist is aware of those challenges and moves forwards by getting more and more visible in the European healthcare arena, by creating commitment among nurse specialist organizations and concretely by defining all together the core competences of nurse specialist: unity is strength.

The ESNO wishes all nurses a great Nursing week, celebrating the birthday of Florence Nightingale.


ESNO meeting April 2015

The ESNO was last week in Brussels with nearly all members present. Fruitful discussions took place concerning the different challenges the specialist nurses are facing. We are actively preparing our first summit and improving our recognition by EU authorities and stakeholders. It is a big step for nurses in the specialty fields en health in EU context. We work on evidence of the benefits for having well qualified specialized nurses for better health services provided to the population. Key issue in the ESNO agenda are the Common Training Framework, ESNO as future European Accreditation body, ongoing ESNO Survey and the E-Book. The E-books on nursing covering all domains of nursing at an international level, embracing research, advanced practice, specialties, management ..... this purpose is to develop E-books with a focus on European references and references from other continents. We dedicate an E-book for each specialty like "the principle of nursing in... for example in anesthesia, operating room, diabetes, in oncology , in psychiatry and mental health etc. The added value will come from our nurses specialty organisations such as educators, management and research, development an information technology.

Our expectation is that within five years time the ESNO will be in a high level position with strong visibility and credibility in the field of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and this with a positive impact of its members and more over the safety and quality of good healthcare in Europe.

brussels 23 4 2015

Present: ACENDIO, Walter Sermeus; EfCCNa, David Waters and Heike Strunk; ENDA, Iris Meyenburg-Altwarg; EONS, Francoise Charnay/Sonnek; EORNA, Christine Willemse and Merja Fordell; FINE, Anne Lekeux; FEND, Anne Felton and Ed Harding; IFNA, Pascal Rod; Chair European Conference on Mental Health, Heike Ellila, European Accreditation Network-EAN, Benjamin Martin and Jean Baptiste Rouffet (in Skype) and Ber Oomen.


French order of nurse is threaten to be eliminated.
             "position statment"

The FINE and ESNO composed a joined position Statement of because the French order of nurse is threaten to be eliminated with the new law on health in France. The both organisations raise the awareness of this very of this matter of great concern. Pleas share this into your network. STATEMENT


FINE EUROPE, European Federation of educators in nursing sciences and ESNO meeting at the European Commission on the Annexe V of the Directive 2013/55/EU

martin Frohn

FINE EUROPE, European Federation of educators in nursing sciences and ESNO meeting at the European Commission on the Annexe V of the Directive 2013/55/EU

The European association of educators in nursing science (Fine Europe) represented by Jane-Laure Danan, Carol Hall, Cécile Dury and Christophe Debout, as FINE executive, accompanied by Françoise Charnay-Sonnek and Ber Oomen from ESNO met Martin Frohn, the Head of the unit “Free movement of Professionals” DG internal market and two of his adjoins, in Brussels on March 13th 2015.
The aim of this meeting was to offer FINE contribution to the refinement of the annexe V of the modernised directive approved in 2013.

See website FINE Europe


The ESNO Summit 2015 program now online.

It s our great pleasure to have our program online. View the page of the summit to find all information with information how to join this meeting.

Venue RoC


ESNO announces Ms. Francoise Charnay-Sonnek as New President.

FRancoise Charnay-Sonnek  The General Assembly of the ESNO is happy to announce that Ms Francoise Charnay-Sonnek has been elected as the new President of ESNO. The membership of ESNO extends warmest congratulations and every success to her in her new position.

During her term of office as vice president Francoise showed great dedication to the task and role. We witnessed firsthand her loyalty and passion for our association. She expressed her intention to build on past successes, to strengthen the unique experience of specialist nurses and to continue the advocacy for the recognition of nursing specialties. Francoise has the tenacity, talent and leadership skills to address the goals and mission of ESNO towards a new era of healthcare delivery, research and education in the context of nursing specialties.

We are very grateful to have such a successful and highly qualified leader to follow Pascal Rod our immediate Vice-President. ESNO will be in wise and experienced hands during her term of office. Together with Francoise the Executive committee will work collaboratively to ensure the success of ESNO. Special announcement



The ESNO was invited by Nathalie Chaze (Head of Unit, Healthcare Systems unit) to discuss the issue of both interest with emphasis on Registration process with Common Training Framework, Accreditation and coopreation with stakeholders within the same field of interest. See slide show presented by the ESNO.


FLTR: Ber Oomen (Executive Secretary), Nathalie Chaze (Head of Unit, Healthcare Systems unit), Caroline Hager (Teamleader Health Workforce & Patient Safety), Leon van Berkel (Policy Economist), Françoise Charnay-Sonnek (ESNO Vice President) and Anne Mary Felton ( President FEND, Eur. Diabetes Nurses)



A joined open letter on medical products and health technology

We have been aware on the decision of European Commission President Elect Jean-Claude Juncker to move the competence for medicinal products and health technologies from the Commissioner in charge of Health to the Commissioner in charge of Internal Market and Industry within the new Commission. We as ESNO like to draw your attention to this open letter by the organisation in the field of health. In the next ESNO meeting will decide how to respond. See letter

13-10-2014 : Follow-up, latest news on Junckers proposal, we just received this tweet: According to @MicheleRivasi the EMA remains under the supervision of DG SANCO (@EU_Health). More at website TheGreens|European Free Alliance
22-10-2014 : Follow up. From speech Jean-Claude Juncker '....Responsibility for medicines and pharmaceutical products will stay with the Directorate-General for Health because I agree with you that medicines are not goods like any other. The relevant policy will be developed jointly by Vytenis Andriukaitis and by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, who showed her incredible talents in her hearing' See full speach.


ESNO agenda

ESNO Event 2015 6-7 November, Brussels
In 2015 the ESNO will hold its first event and marking the 10 year anniversary. It will be a combination of a congress and forum, to address the issues on specialist nursing in European context and shall highlight:
-which role the specialist nurses play in the healthcare arena,
-which impact specialist nurses have in caring for patients with chronic diseases (oncology, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases…etc.)
-how they contribute to efficient and sustainable health systems and
-how they facilitate access to better and safer healthcare.
Mark this day in your agenda and keep updated at the ESNO website at page Event-2015.

Common training Framework
The ESNO will take the opportunity for developing a ´Common Training Framework´ for different nursing specialties. It is a unique opportunity for having our specific specialist curriculums, professional guidelines etc.., that we have already developed within our respective organizations to be officially recognized. The proposal of ESNO is to work on these Training Frameworks, each specialty group preparing its own and the challenge is to adapt what has been already developed to the EU training framework model. This is the reason why we are also establishing close contacts with Medical Specialists and Hospital Pharmacists, for sharing models and present to the EU commission the same type of frame. We have now an open canal of communication with EU officials and we try to use every opportunity. We can be satisfied that in past 2 years we are recognised as the voice of nursing specialties. If you want to be involved, contact the ESNO office.


The ESNO and the Drugshortage issue

ESNO is involved in the ongoing endeavor to find a solution for drug shortage, together with patients , pharmacists, and physicians professional organizations in order to raise EU commissioners’ awareness on this important issue and on the need to develop actions at EU level. See the Common Position with the EMA.


The ESNO endorses the IPF Patient Charter

What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis? Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, irreversible chronic disease of the lungs. It is a type of interstitial * lung disease. Do you also sign the for the IPC charter?
The first chapter in line one shows the high relevance for nursing specialist roles:
1. Ensure early and accurate diagnosis
Raise awareness of IPF amongst healthcare professionals by
- Including IPF training in healthcare professionals’ curricula and accreditation systems, so that also general practice physicians become familiar with the early signs and symptoms of IPF

Read full chapter


 Ber2 Ber2 ber3



EAHP, Patients and professionals agree the future of hospital pharmacy.

The ESNO congratulate the EAHP, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, setting the standards across European health systems to ensure safe, effective and optimal use of medicines in collaboration with multi-disciplinary teams with the 44 statements of practice. The ESNO was proud to be able taking part in the proces. See website and information.


Third EU Health Programm 2014-2020

On 26 February the European Parliament had adopted the Commission proposal for the establishment of the third Health Programme 2014-2020:
More on this programm

Programm 2014-202 in PPT


The ESNO has signed the position paper on the medication shortage.

'supply shortage of medicine may be defined as a situation in which the total supply of an authorised medicine or of a medicine used on a compassionate basis is inadequate to meet the current or projected demand at the patient level. The shortage may be local, national, European or international.
Read full position paper


ESNO Event-2015

At Thursday 5 and Friday the 6 November 2015 the ESNO will celebrate the 10 years anniversary with a special 2 day conference in Brussels.

Make sure you have blocked this in your agenda to be at this event taking about the role and opportunity of the specialist nurse in Europe within multidisciplinary context.
Follow the developments at our page Event-2015.


10 th European Conference of Nurse Educators

Nursing Education and Nursing Care: Which Future?
This conference will take place from 24 till 26 September 2014 in Nancy, France
Call for abstracts, new deadline for abstract submission, June 15th 2014



ESNO at Focus Group on the European Proffessional Card

The ESNO is formal invited to take part in the next meeting on the European Professional Card, which is related and one of the main element in the modernised Dirctive DIR 2005/36/EU and for the position for Specialist Nurses this is a major step.

For nurses, the revised Directive foresees the introduction of a common list of competences which would complement the already existing knowledge and skills and training subjects for the studies. Such competences should ensure an equal outcome for all nursing training irrespective of whether the training was carried out at university or vocational school level, and irrespective of whether the nurse training started after 10 or 12 years of general education.

The European professional card is a project aimed to facilitate the free movement of professionals in the EU under the modernized of the Professional Qualifications Directive. The card should simplify the administrative procedure for recognition, make it more transparent for citizens and increase trust among the competent authorities of EU Member States.

More information


ESNO position with roadmap on a Common Training Framework for Specialist Nurses in the EU.

The ESNO has reached the curve of taking a significant direction towards the future for specialist nurses in Europe. The new Directive 2005/36/EC addressing professional qualifications and free movement some issues opening the door to the recognition of nurse specialties in Europe.

In the past years we often addressed the added professional value of the higher educated nurses in the spectrum of health care professionals, to meet high  standards of care for the European public but we also experienced the lack of recognition of our specialties since only general care was addressed. We have been quite disappointed by the contain of the new article concerning nursing education and competencies, but we can be satisfied that there is now an opportunity for developing a "common training framework" for different nursing specialties. It is a unique opportunity for having our specific specialist curriculums, professional guidelines etc.., that we have already developed within our respective organizations to be officially recognized.

The proposal of ESNO is to work on these Training Frameworks, each specialty group preparing its own. The challenge is to adapt what has been already developed to the EU training framework model. This is the reason why we are also establishing close contacts with Medical Specialists and Hospital Pharmacists, for sharing models and present to the EU commission the same type of frame. We have now an open canal of communication with EU officials and we try to use every opportunity. We can be satisfied that in past 2 years we got more for the recognition of at least the voice of nursing specialties than in the previous decades.

The ESNO is not a separate entity, but the emerging and visible part of the Iceberg of nursing specialties. Nothing is imposed to members but we propose to facilitate the procedure and work on tools that each association member could use with this common training framework. The ESNO choice towards this direction meets our aim and goals as mentioned in our constitution. This issue will be addressed in the next meetings of 2014 and highlighted at a special ESNO-event in Friday 5th of June 2015 celebrating the 10 years ESNO’s history in Brussels. For more information or in case you are interested in one of the meetings, please contact our office.

‘The more we are working together the best we will get for each other’.


Pascal Rod, President
Françoise Charnay-Sonnek, Vice President


Seasonal Greeting

The season of warmth, joy and good cheer is here and reach out to all your friends, family and loved ones.

At the members only section you find the last ESNO update of this year with very special news for all of us and already thank you for support and we like to continue this for a long period of time.

We wish you a very nice Christmas period and a happy, healthy and successful 2014.
Pascal Rod, president
Françoise Charnay-Sonnek, vice president.


Special briefing on the Directives issue

The Directives 2005/36 in the current status is adopted in its current status and we as ESNO with advise of the EHPA have done great influencing the debate and took a very good look at this an used the latest online version and can be read is all languages: Directives2006/36 see link

We thanks our colleagues Medical Specialists UEMS with Veterinarians doing this together and but most of all our partner EHPA, European Hospital Pharmacist by Richard Price, conveying information and promote our voice in this process.

ESNO analysis of the directive 2005/36 adopted by the European parliament the 9th of October and after analyzing the document, we may identify strength and weakness regarding the nursing issue.
The point 20 of the preamble point out that “the profession has significantly evolved during the last decades: community-based healthcare, the use of more complex therapies and constantly developing technology presuppose a capacity for higher responsibilities for nurses”, but doesn’t mention explicitly any evolution of ‘specialism in nursing’. So ESNO decided to write a letter to Mr Barnier and Chair H.v. Rompuy raising the need to take this issue in consideration.
The article 49a on the Common training framework , stipulates, that all profession of Chapter 3, which includes the profession of nursing can use this tool to make recognized a specialty within the profession. The common training framework should be based on a common set of knowledge, skills and competences agreed by at least 9 member states. This decision opens a window for specialist nurses to make recognized their profession at EU level and it is now up to us to be productive in making proposal to the commissioners. ESNO would like to propose to its members to think together on a common framework based on criteria like knowledge, skills, and attitude or based on the Canmeds system.

For completeness, the Council (national governments) also approved the trilogue changes to the PQD, including the amendments we supported that enable Chapter III professional specialties to use the common training framework recognition tool. See link
The text once - see recital 25 on p18, and Article 49a (7) on p118. See link


EHPA, a high level meeting on reducing medication error in hospital practice.

"The importance of bedside scanning and how we can achieve it across Europe"
Monday, 14 October 2013, 09.30 - 16.00
Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven, Leuven, Belgium



Last week the ESNO received the formal Confirmation of membership in the Healthcare Professionals Working Party. We are officially member of the European Medicines Agency Human Scientific Committees Working Party with Healthcare Professionals’ Organisations (HCPWP). At the EMA website the is a online PowerPoint with goals and structure.


Press release: European specialists call on Commission and national governments to improve qualification recognition procedures.

Organisations representing professionals with specialised qualifications in the fields of veterinary surgery, pharmacy and nursing have made a joint appeal to the European Commission and national governments to support proposals from the European Parliament that would improve the possibility of specialist qualification mobility across Europe. See Press release.

12-May 2013

Today it is International Nursing day

The European Specialist Nurses Organisations is proudly celebrating International Nurses’ Day on 12 May.

Today it is 12 May, the day was chosen to celebrate the day as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing.
Nurses in Europe have many stories to tell about their profession and the way it is preformed in their nation. They inspire and engage people to improve their health and help the public understand what is possible through nursing from a specialist perspective.

Being a Nurse isn’t only about grades, it‘s about being who we are doing the job we chose for with the highest possible knowledge and the greatest dedication.

The ESNO supports specialist nursing innovations and applauds the innovators and the organisations releasing the potential of nursing to improving Europeans citizens health.

We wish all nurses around Europe and beyond a happy International Nursing Day.

5-April 2013


In April 26 the ESNO will meet again and a public summary will be published on the website and updated about the issues and projects. For members all documents can be found at the ‘Members-only’ section. 

In this current stage. the ESNO has contacts with the IMCO and send a strong request with motivation of the ESNO position, to take part in this Trialogue meeting 24 Aril.

From IMCO newsletter issue 40 - March 2013, Amendment of Directive 2005/36/EC Following the adoption of the mandate to enter first reading negotiations, Members will start to negotiate with the Council and the European Commission. The dates for the first Trialogues are set for 20 March and 24 April. The first Trialogue is likely to cover horizontal issues such as partial access and tacit recognition. The second Trialogue will deal with the sectorial professions benefitting automatic recognition.

6 February 2013

Information on congresses and events of ESNO members and associates

At the page of 'members' an overview is available for this year 2013. There is also a 'members only' section in process for data such as Office Updates and Reports. Members will be informed and will receive their Login and Password,

09 December 2012

ESNO Petittion - Very urgent call

On behalf of ESNO we ask you for your support in the interest of the sick patients within the European Community.

Right now, politicians in Brussels are close to adopting a modernisation of the Directive 2005/36/EU, which refers to the recognition of professional qualifications. The EU Commission’s proposal was that the “admission to training for nurses shall be contingent upon completion of general education of 12 years”, which is already minimal requirement for all EU Member States except for two countries. Yet, the EU Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety ENVI (ENVI) voted on 6th Nov. 2012 in opposition, stating “a general education of at least 10 years” would be sufficient.

Therefore, we ask you to sign the petition, to reject all amendments that would propose 10 years instead of 12 years as prerequisites for Nursing education.

You can download the petition in English or German, complete the form and send it to our office before 14 January 2013. If you have download problems, do not hesitate to contact the office - now inactive, date for submission has passed.

Contact our office for questions
Thanks in advance for you support.

Pascal Rod, President
Françoise Charnay-Sonnek, Vice President

09 November 2012

New board positions

During the general assembly the officers are elected by a unanimous votes for a two year period.

  • President, Pascal Rod
  • Vice President, Françoise Charney-Sonnek
  • Executive Secretary and Treasurer, Ber Oomen

All information of the meeting will be released at the minutes (at least within 6 weeks) but will be published earlier in an office update at the end of November.

24 September 2012

ESNO General Assembly 9th November in Hanover, Germany

The concept agenda is published at the ESNO 'Meetings' page.

13 April 2012

Lung and Respiratory nurses

The ESNO has a variety of specialists nurses organizations as members but in this stage no groups or alliances on the Lung & Respiratory field. Last month the ESNO was invited to take part in the launch of the COPD –Coalition more information can be found at:

As ESNO organization we are interested to get in contact with nurses involved in Lung and Respiratory care. If individuals, networks or organizations on this specialty get in contact with us, we are able to support building an alliance. We would welcome their professional view and input to the spectrum of the present specialist in our association. If you are interested, please contact our office.

20 April 2012

Change of meeting location

The location of this meeting is changed, more information at section meetings. This is the half year evaluation meeting for members only.

19 November 2011

Results meeting soon published on this website

At Friday the 4th of December a general meeting took place in the centre of Amsterdam with good result. It has been agreed that there will be annual a general meeting in November and half way, in April an evaluation meeting. Soon the members will receive up Office Update, the Report of the meeting and an overview in Excel -organsiational chart- with information about all organizational aspects and the process. The results of the meeting with aims and goals will soon be published on the website.

15 June 2011

Executive meeting

In June 2011 the executive meeting took place in Brussels. Based on the outcome and positive feedback of the members a General Assembly in planned at the 4th of November central Amsterdam. Prior to this meeting the office is communicating with members. Documents are exchanged such as a letter from the president, report of the meeting in June, Constitution and a questionary to its members.

For all questions and remarks please contact the office.



European Specialist Nurses Organisations (ESNO) is the recognized and unified voice of specialist nurses in Europe. Members of ESNO consist of individual European specialist nurses organizations.

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