Click to close

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.  


The program of the ESNO Summit is online, visit page 'Meetings' for more information

summit 2017



PowerPoint Presentation of ESNO in 2017

ESNO 2017



The ESNO is working on a new template and publication is expeted end of April




Bio-Similars and Nurses Involvement

The ESNO is participating in a Bio-Similar program of the EMA and DG Growth on Bio-Similar. We aim to give input from the Nurses perspective. For a good feedback we like to get in touch with Specialist Nurses or those Specialised and familiar with Bio-Similar with preference on Clinical evidence or experiance in multy professional collaboration.

Please contact our office before 16 February








ESNO supports the Written Declaration on Heart Failure


The ESNO is proud to support the Declaration and the highly relevant actions requesting the European Commission, especially:

  • To support Member States to create comprehensive national plans on heart failure
  • To support public awareness, patient advocacy and research in heart failure
  • To support training on heart failure for healthcare professionals, including specialist nurses

The European Specialist Nurses Organisations (ESNO) asks MEP’s to support the Written Declaration number 110/2016 on heart failure. We sincerely hope MEP’s sign the Declaration and join us in promoting this important action.

About Heart Failure Specialist Nursing
Heart failure is a condition that almost all nurses are exposed to in their day-to-day practice. Heart failure specialist nurses are fully qualified nurses with specialist knowledge and advanced skills to care for people with the condition. This extra training means they are able to offer much needed continuity of care as well as personalised treatment and support. As one patient describes it - “I can’t believe not everyone has a heart failure nurse – I would be lost without mine.” Despite being shown to improve patient quality of life and adherence to treatment, too many patients do not have access to heart failure specialist nurses. Often because there is no additional remuneration for the role or there is limited training and accreditation. Yet, greater investment in heart failure specialist nurses is likely to be cost-effective in the long term, as they can reduce unnecessary and costly hospitalisations.

Link to 'About the unexpored potential of heart failure nurses'

Link to 'Written Declaration on Heart Failure' 

Link to 'Heart Failure Policy Network'



It is the great pleasure to welcome the new elected ESNO board

  • Francoise Charnay-Sonnek, President

  • Pascal Rod, Vice President

  • Patrick Crombez, new elected as board member

     Patrick Combrez

He will assiste the ESNO board as member with emphasys on science and education.

His impressive track of roles and responsebilities:
Head Nurse, Dpt. of Hematology
Expert Nursing Research & Development
Member Ethical Committee, Group of Quality Care & Working Group of Antitumoral Therapy, Jules Bordet Institute


  • Board member, European Specialist Nurses Organsiations (ESNO)
  • President of the Belgian Oncology Nursing  Society (SIO)
  • Co-founder & Member of the Nursing Committee of the Belgian Hematology Society (BHS)
  • Member of the Federal Council of the Art of Nursing (CFAI)
  • Executive Board Member - Co-chair Advocacy of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS)
  • Co-chair Sub-Study Group Cross-cultural issues & Member Multinational Association of supportive Cancer Care (MASCC)
  • Member of the European Blood and Marrow Transplantation Group (EBMT) - American Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) -
  • Eastern Mediterranean Blood and Marrow Transplantation Group (EMBMT) - Asia-Pacific Blood and Marrow Transplantation Group (APBMT)
  • European Transcultural Nursing Society (ETNA)




ESNO responding on the report,  'Investing in the Health Workforce – UN Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth'

ESNO is very pleased on the report of the United Nations High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (HEEG) which sets out a powerful, evidence-based economic case for investing in the health workforce, including 10 recommendations to advance an intersectoral agenda across the finance, labour, education, health and social sectors.

We like to express our support to Mrs Shamian’s implication  in this very important issue

We can observe a changing health care environment :
- The health care demand is rising and medical specialists alone cannot respond to it.
- The population is getting older,  the health  state is more complex with comorbidities to  take into account.
- The development of higher medical technologies and more sophisticated treatment require nurse specialists in advanced practice roles at master, post master level.
- We move more and more from a hospital care setting to a home, community, out-patient care setting with the development of ambulatory surgery, oral therapies … the hospital care setting dedicated to the acute care and home/community care to the follow up, long term care. This necessitate to review our organization where nurse specialists have a crucial role to play.

Today, there is no mention of nurse specialist in the directive 2013/55/EU on the recognition of professional qualification. And there is a huge need to make recognize nurse specialists at EU level to safeguard safety, quality, accessibility and equity of care.

ESNO’s work to make recognise nurse specialists at EU level and increase their mobility within the member states of Europe, responds to the recommendations highlighted in this statement.

LINK to full press release






The ESNO website will soon be updated.

The ESNO organisation experiences a huge increase on request for participation on European health programs, contribution working groups in European institutes and at the same time working on a restructure of our organisation. Until this stage it is still all based on voluntary base but the urge of transforming to a professional organisation is understood but this will also take some time. Beside all these activities we aim to redesign our website to the current standards and aim to have this realised in the beginning of 2017. In November there will be a general assembly and will publish the our policy with activities on the short and long term.



ESNO respond on the outcome on the Brexit referendum

The Bexit has caused a lot of confusion, sentiments and turmoil. When viewing  all responders on the first announcement, our member organisations,  politicians, EU leaders of political groups on the leave out of the European Union, it is difficult adding more to this.

For ESNO it is crucial that all nations keep interconnected.  Europe is a continent with very specific characteristics challenging to seek harmony and uniformity with its diversity and we strongly belief it is these key element, its success and strength. Our concerned about the process of rebalancing the positions the next month and maybe years will prove the true resilience of our core values.

ESNO will remain its course with its British colleagues, stronger than ever because we are convinced that the resilience of the European value with all the elements will contribute to a political healthier situation. As a true specialist nursing organisation, and by character, understanding the principles of nursing, our profession can play an essential role  in the policy process and above all contributes to high quality of care and patient safety all over Europe with all our members and partners in health.

We wish all our British colleagues success in difficult times to come.


To all nurses and those related to the nursing profession, a happy and inspiring International Nursing Day.

" So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself ".
 Florence Nightingale



Some journeys begin when you arrive

The minutes of the last meeting 21-4-2016 is avaiable at the 'Members Only' section.

Theme:  “Some journeys begin when you arrive “


Commissioner Andriukaitis on Health Workforce

The ESNO as active stakeholder in the Joined Action Healthworkforce welcomed the the wording of Commissioner Andriukaitis at the closing event, full speech.

 .... Investing into continuous professional development – or CPD – offers a high return: it ensures our health workforce is kept up-to-date and fit and safe to practice and helps to meet new skill needs.....

Commissioner Andriukaitis


The ESNO Accreditation Program is now online.

Following the contacts last year on the ESNO Accreditation Program and our relation with the European Accriditation Network (EAN), we are happy to announce that the ESNO accreditation program with website is now online and in operation. We think that this program will give a significant boost to the ensuring higher standards and quality of care in health in Europe. See the Accreditation subpage



ESNO update and long term agenda

After the ESNO Summit in 2015 many issues were addressed to work on for the next period. In 2005 the ESNO was established, in 2010 the ESNO was able to increase the numbers of members with setting vision, mission, goals and activities. With ongoing key activities the association is setting up again long term goals. This will be formulated with a policy document with a range of activities in the next general Assembly. For this year we focus on following mainstream activities keeping in mind the aim we want to reach the Recognition of the Specialist Nurse in Europe.

1) Common Training Framework :
This tool based on a common set of knowledge, skills and competences is likely to enable specialist nurse in a specific specialty to get an automatic recognition of their qualification if this CTF is agreed by at least 10 member states. ESNO has already identified a common plinth of competences for the nurse specialist. This definition is generic in order each specialty can easily take it over to develop their CTF according to their own specificities.

2) Accreditation,
The accreditation platform enable to provide high quality education program for specialist nurses with allocation of ECTS. It supports health professionals to engage into CPD

3) E-Book :
This series will provide patient centered evidence based nursing practice to each Nurses’ specialty with a focus on European references. The first one is on mental health/psychiatry with following title :European psychiatry/mental health nursing in her 21st century: a person-centred evidence-based approach. The edition is expected in December 2016

4) ESNO Survey.
There is a real need to map nurse specialist in order to get an overview on status training Status, Training characteristic (EQF level, duration in years and in ECTS credits)
This will be the basis to identify the specialities eligible for the CTF.

5) Participating in Advisory platforms:
For a good understanding what is going on in Europe and to make nurse specialist visible to advocate them, it is important to be at the right places In this stage we are active in the European Health Workforce within the DG Sante, Joined Action Europeanhealthworkforce, the Health Care assistants project (CC4HCA) , European Patient Forum  (EPF) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) . Beside this we have frequent contact with professional partners and we combine activities when possible.

6) ESNO promotion, Specialist Nurses
By publishing editorials in relevant professional magazines, presentations at conferences and using as much as possible the Social media features such as website, Facebook and Twitter.

7) Annual meetings:
A second Summit will take place in 2017 and in November 2016 an ESNO conference with a more in depth technical meeting, a peer consultation, exchange of information, technical briefing with discussions on the Common Training Framework with Accreditation shaping the recognition process of specialist nurses in Europe. Information about the meetings read further


Survey 'Drug Shortage - The Impact On Nurse Practice'

The number of reports of medicine shortages in the EU is increasing and according to them, all classes of medicines are affected. It becomes a real challenge for HCP professionals and impacts nursing practice what ever the specialty is. A lack of alternative treatments impacts patient’s safety and patient’s outcomes and may lead to adverse effects More over this can lead to potential error risk when other drugs replace other one. 
Go to LINK for mor information.


ESNO launches the ESNO manifesto


PRESS release logo


European Specialist Nurses Organisations (ESNO) calls for ‘transformation of nursing and healthcare workforce’ to drive greater patient engagement and self-management, and to safeguard future of healthcare systems across Europe.

In an important development for the future of healthcare workforces across Europe, the European Specialist Nurses Organisation (ESNO) has launched the ESNO 2015 Manifesto – a clear call to action for governments and statutory nursing bodies to expand the availability of nurse specialists across all countries and all major areas of care, starting with formal recognition of nurse specialists both in terms of professional status and as a strategic policy priority for healthcare systems.

Speaking to delegates at ESNO’s inaugural summit in Brussels, (5th and 6th November), ESNO President Ms. Francoise Charnay-Sonnek challenged governments and professional bodies to act, stating that: “We need a transformation in our health workforce if we are to cope with rising costs, the growing prevalence of chronic disease and the changing demands of more empowered generation of patients. Specialist nurses are uniquely positioned to meet this enormous challenge, yet today the issue has received little recognition at the European or national policy level. Moreover, the ESNO survey shows that specialist nurses are really interested in working in another countries Europe. But to enhance mobility of specialist nurses, to ensure safety quality of care as well as quality at work, their qualification should be automatically recognised”

Research shows that specialist nursing roles can improve patient outcomes, are likely to be cost-effective in the long-term and are widely considered to have huge potential in helping to secure sustainable healthcare systems. Anne Marie-Felton, President of the Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND) and a founding member of ESNO stated; “Diabetes has been a major test bed of how specialist nursing can deliver regular close care supervision, in reducing the impact of co-morbidities, and in empowering patients to understand and engage in their treatment. But even in diabetes we’re simply not making progress fast enough. So our choice is simple: we can have more of the same – which isn’t working - or we can start to transform the way nursing works at the heart of our healthcare. We are proud to stand together with nurse specialists from all areas of practice to launch the ESNO Manifesto – it is a vital step forward for all patients in Europe.”

View Manifesto press release


  • Automatic recognition of their qualification within Europe
  • Free movement within EU countries, Safety and quality of care

The case for change: What is the problem?


What needs to be done ?

  • Registration and regulation of specialist nurses
  • Establishment of consistent, cross-European standards and processes in training, accreditation and regulation
  • Policy makers and health providers must embrace and finance a significant expansion of the availability of nurse specialist roles

View Manifesto chart


Handbook on Health Workforce Planning Methodologies across EU countries

This morning the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting finalized the fully available: Handbook on Health Workforce Planning Methodologies across EU countries. (WP5 - deliverable D052)

JA logo

The Handbook describes and analyzes the planning practices developed in some European countries. The focus is on the planning experiences concretely realized and currently working. The practices considered as most significant and interesting to be reproduced in other European contexts were selected and described. Being specific, the Handbook describes and analyzes the planning systems developed in Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands.

The Handbook can be browsed by three reading paths as follows:
1. The implementation path: For those who need guidelines and suggestions on how to implement a new planning system starting from scratch.
2. From theory to practice path: For those who want to know the essential theoretical elements for planning the health workforce and deepen them through some practical applications.
3. The Improving path: For those looking for suggestions and ideas to improve their own planning system, benefiting from solutions implemented in other European Countries.
The Handbook is designed for wide range of target groups with various interests in planning. We believe that it will help the countries who intend to start with the planning of HWF as well as for those countries that already have planning systems in use. View full report.

This Handbook is soon available a e-book should be referred to as:

Malgieri, Annalisa – Michelutti, Paolo – Van Hoegaerden, Michel. 2015. Handbook on Health Workforce Planning Methodologies across EU countries [online]. Ministry of Health of the Slovak republic, 2015. p. 344, ISBN 978-80-89825-00-4 available at


ESNO Summit results and presentations

The ESNO Summit results and presentations are online at the Summit website here.


Competences of the Nurse specialist (NS): Common plinth of competences for the Common Training Framework of each specialty

With this document the ESNO contributed to high standard of quality of care, patient safety and professional mobility across Europe and setting the standard for nurses in the European future.

The definition of the competences of the NS should clarify the position of the nurse specialist in Europe and should permit each specialty to build its own Framework according to the specificities of their specialty. Moreover and that is the vision of ESNO, it should allow nurse specialist to move within the member states Europe easily and work there ensuring safety and quality of care because they will have the same level of competences. But they will also work in better condition and with serenity knowing that they will work with colleagues with the same level of qualification. This should impact the quality of work and may retain the workforce. See full document.


The ESNO Summit page and with registration is now online

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. Visit page.

    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

News Archive

Continue on the ESNO News Archive >>



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.

Click here to Members Only

Login and Password is refreshed at 15 April Contact ESNO office for your new Login and Password

ESNO Competences of the
Nurse specialist (NS)


ESNO Registration: 70183498905-52

Partners of ESNO





ESNO, Supporter of the
European Patient Forum 
Empowerment Campaign

 EPF empowermend

Follow ESNO on Social Media




  esno instagram

European Professional Card



ESNO | Tongerlostraat 33 | 6845 ET Arnhem | NETHERLANDS | contact
Guus Pauka | Shift-F16