On 5 November 2015, Ed Harding, co-Director of The Health Policy Partnership, facilitated the introductory session for the first-ever European Specialist Nurses Organisation (ESNO) Summit, held in the Committee of the Regions, Brussels.
The event saw over 80 specialist nurses and other relevant professional, provider and health policy organisations gather to witness a major milestone in efforts to secure greater recognition for specialist nurses, and to drive the expansion of the nurse specialist roles across Europe.
Research shows that specialist nurse roles can have an major and cost effective contribution to improving patient outcomes, and are widely considered to have huge potential in helping to secure sustainable healthcare systems. Yet the availability of nurse specialists varies enormously across countries and areas of care, and professional accreditation, training and workforce development efforts are underdeveloped or absent in the majority of countries.
The main goal of the Summit is for ESNO members and supporters to build a common vision and mission for the future of specialist nursing in Europe in terms of the scope and role of the nurse specialist, as well as leadership in research, health system design, patient safety, and person-centred healthcare. This vision will be published in the future as the ‘ESNO Manifesto.’