1st European Cancer Nursing Day

18th May 2017

Recognising the Importance of Cancer Nursing 


EONS will hold the 1st European Cancer Nursing Day on 18th May 2017. This will be an annual event, celebrated on the same date every year. The event will be celebrated online through websites and social media. European Cancer Nursing Day reflects in a unique and global way the significance of each cancer nurse throughout every geographical extension of Europe. Through EONS’ voice their merit as cancer nurses will be recognised. The annual European Cancer Nursing Day will focus on a different theme each year, based on the strategic CARE plan of EONS. The inaugural European Cancer Nursing Day will focus on Advocacy.


To aim of the European Cancer Nursing Day is to celebrate cancer nursing in Europe. The celebration will stress the importance of the recognition of cancer nursing on a European level, as well as the importance of further education and training, i.e., specialisation in Cancer Nursing.  To this extent, based on available literature (ESNO 2015, CANO 2016), the following definition of Specialist Cancer Nurse will be 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”.


The project REcognising Cancer Nursing in Europe (RECaN) - led by the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) and supported by ECCO, The European CanCer Organisation – aims to consolidate evidence to clarify and effectively position the contribution of specialised cancer nursing as an essential supportive function during the cancer journey for the benefit of all patients, as well as European health systems.  


Through the RECaN project, ECCO intends to support the following characteristics of contemporary cancer nursing:   


  • Cancer nurses are core members of the multi-disciplinary 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.  ​


All EONS National member organisations are invited to join us in this inaugural event to celebrate European Cancer Nursing. 


Each member organisation will be provided with a toolkit to enable them to participate in the celebration. In advance of providing the toolkit we require from each organisation as much of the following information as can be collected and made available: 


  • Number of nurses in your country

  • Number of cancer patients / number of new diagnoses each year

  • Number of nurses who work specifically in oncology settings (e.g. Oncology Institutes, General Hospitals, R&D, Chemotherapy Units, Palliative Care etc.).

  • Number of specialised cancer nurses in your country     

  • Number of members in your organisation

  • Address and link to your website and social media channels


Please email this information to Rudi Brike at eons.secretariat@cancernurse.eu 

By 24th April 2017.


Your toolkit will be sent to you by April 2017 and will include:


  • A country-specific press release to issue to relevant stakeholders at National level

  • A copy of the EONS position statement on the role of nurses in cancer care 

  • PDF versions of relevant artwork to be used for photos and videos 

  • Suggested tweets and posts for social media

  • Suggested scripts for videos

  • A link to a dedicated website

  • A twitter hashtag

  • An email signature for your organisation and individual members to use



We are encouraging all member organisations to prepare messages which can be shared online and via social media. This message can be recorded in photo or video format, using the RECaN logo. Our aim is to share as many of these messages as possible in the build up to and on 18th May 2017.


We are also encouraging our member organisations to contact relevant stakeholders in their country highlighting this celebration. Your country specific press release will be a useful tool to highlight our message to relevant stakeholders such as;


  • Your members

  • Professional nursing organisations

  • Professional organisations for other healthcare professionals

  • Patient associations

  • National health ministries

  • National healthcare systems

  • Faculties of health / Nursing schools


Further suggestions and instructions will be supplied in your toolkit which you will receive by April 2017.

We Are Supporting Cancer Nursing Day Because...

Daniel Kelly

EONS President, UK

"Cancer Nursing needs to be better recognized! Our work has great impact on patient outcome and it is time to recognize that."

Lena Sharp

EONS President-Elect, Sweden

"Specialist care should be delivered by specialists! Cancer care is very complex and the nurses that deliver, monitor, evaluate and follow-up the cancer treatments need specific skills."

Erik van Muilekom

EONS Past-President, The Netherlands

"To be a cancer nurse is the best job in the world. You get to work closely with and effect people in very difficult situations. Every day at work you make a difference."

Maria Cristina Pires de Lacerda

EONS Treasurer, Portugal

"It is time to highlight what EU and WHO already have concluded in different reports; Nursing is under recognised and a general recognition of cancer Nursing in Europe would improve the quality of cancer care in all countries."

Aoife McNamara

Information Development Manager, Irish Cancer Society

"Cancer has a significant impact on those affected by it. The complexities of cancer symptoms, treatments, side effects and psychosocial issues require the input of skilled multidisciplinary teams. The cancer nurse is a vital member of this team, acting as a key point of contact and advocate, providing advanced communications skills, psychosocial support and conceptualising the meaning of cancer for the patient and their loved ones. Cancer nurses are the glue that holds the patients’ care together."

Paul Trevatt

EONS Executive Board member, UK

"Cancer nursing allows you to consider the patient in a holistic manner, to treat not just the disease, but the person behind it."

Patrick Crombez

EONS Executive Board member, Belgium

"It is vital that we recognise cancer nursing in Europe, all cancer patients deserve the best possible medical care and treatment, regardless of what country they are from. Cancer nursing is an integral part of that."

Birgitte Grube

EONS Executive Board member, Belgium

"It is vital that we recognise cancer nursing in Europe, all cancer patients deserve the best possible medical care and treatment, regardless of what country they are from. Cancer nursing is an integral part of that."

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