BRUSSELS and DUBLIN, February 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On the occasion of the 6th European Day of Perioperative Nursing, to be celebrated on 15 February 2011, the European Operating Room Nurses Association (EORNA) calls for the urgent implementation, at EU level, of a minimum basic level of perioperative nursing education, a credit-based continuous education system, and the mandatory rotation of student nurses into the operating department in order to expose students to this critical care area and encourage recruitment. This crucial nursing specialisation is facing a labour shortage exacerbated by the lack of uniform training programmes and diplomas recognised at EU level by fellow Member States. This creates a barrier to mobility within the EU, contributes to keeping salaries low and hinders recognition of a key nursing specialisation.

EORNA, which represents 50,000 members, is lobbying for greater equity across EU countries, and points out that even continuous education based on a credit system (as offered to its members via the EORNA Accreditation Council for Education, or ACE programme) pre-supposes a common level of initial training. In order to address the growing shortage of perioperative nurses in Europe, EORNA also emphasises the need to encourage the perioperative nurse training pathway, through the mandatory rotation of student nurses through operating theatre departments.

Perioperative Nursing Day 2011

The 6th European Day of Perioperative Nursing theme "Effective Team Communication improves Patient Safety" aims to draw attention to the critical role that perioperative nurses play in ensuring positive patient outcomes in surgery. In line with the WHO 'Safe surgery saves Lives' initiatives, they ensure all identified aspects are checked and verbalized as accurate and correct by each relevant team member.

"With this initiative we want to obtain more recognition for our profession. We also want to draw the EU's attention to the barrier to free movement which is the result of such a disparate approach to education among other issues," explains Caroline Higgins, President of EORNA.