European Cancer Nursing Day (ECND24) – Saturday 18 May

From Knowledge to Action: Shaping the future of cancer nursing


Cancer nurses across Europe celebrate ECND24!

European Cancer Nursing Day – Saturday 18 May

Cancer nurses across Europe used ECND24 to spread awareness of the work they do and advocate for the recognition of specialist cancer nurses.

This year’s theme—From Knowledge to Action: Shaping the Future of Cancer Nursing—reflects and celebrates EONS’ 40th anniversary.

At our social media campaign – hashtag #ECND24Shapethefuture – cancer nurses posted pictures and key messages, using a toolkit of banners, printable templates and key messages provided in the Further Information column on the right of this page.

Let’s shape the future of cancer nursing across Europe together!

The theme of European Cancer Nursing Day this year – From Knowledge to Action: Shaping the future of cancer nursing – reflects and celebrates the fact that 2024 is EONS’ 40th anniversary*. This presents an opportunity to look back at all the incredible things our organisation has achieved over the last four decades, but more importantly to look to the future and how, together, we can continue to shape cancer nursing in Europe. We believe that well-educated and well-supported cancer nurses can bring down the cancer burden and provide better patient care. It’s time to recognize specialist cancer nurses across Europe: their resilience and expertise are the keys to success in an era when healthcare is changing rapidly.

EONS President Virpi Sulosaari said: “It’s going a wonderful day when we all come together on social media to spread important messages about the future of our profession.”

The EONS Working Groups (WGs) and the EONS Board gathered on Friday 17 May at the Kupittaa campus of Turku University, in Finland, welcomed by our Finnish President Virpi Sulosaari to review our work and plan our objectives for the year ahead.

This was preceded by a joint event with the Finnish Oncology Nursing Society and EONS during the afternoon of Thursday 16 May. (See programme in Further Information column).

The overarching theme of the conference was ‘Multiprofessionality and digital innovations in everyday cancer nursing: diversity in patient care and guidance’. Among the high-level speakers was EONS President Virpi Sulosaari who examined ‘The State of cancer nursing in Europe’ and Leena Koponen, Finnish Oncology Nursing Society, on ‘Career pathways in cancer nursing in Finland’.

The vital work of cancer nurses throughout Europe was hailed by European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. In her video message she talked about the key role of cancer nursing in improving the patient experience and paid tribute to the profession at the heart of cancer care.

European Cancer Nursing Day 2024 – Making an impact in Cancer Nursing Award

Winner announced – Congratulations Cindy Kenis!

This award celebrates the unsung heroes in cancer care by nominating outstanding individuals or teams for the “2024 Making an Impact in Cancer Nursing Award.”

Cindy Kenis is a registered nurse who achieved her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the College of Nursing in Leuven, Belgium (1999-2002). Afterwards, she accomplished her Master in Nursing Science (2002-2005), finished her Academic Teacher Education in Medical-Social Health Sciences in 2007 and did her PhD in Biomedical Sciences (2013-2015), all at the KU Leuven, Belgium.

In 2005 she started working as a nurse at UZ Leuven where she is currently a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in Geriatric Oncology.

As CNS in geriatric oncology she works to to optimise the care for older cancer patients by design and implementation of innovative ((inter)national) research projects and the further expansion of the geriatric oncology care programme in UZ Leuven.

She is affiliated as an external scientific collaborator with the Academic Centre of Nursing and Midwifery at the Catholic University of Leuven. Her main areas of research are: the implementation of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) in the care of older patients with cancer and the development of (inter)national guidelines to improve care within this specific population.

Over the years, she has given many (inter)national lectures and presentations on this topic and has published in many scientific journals (H-Index = 24).

Within the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG), she was one of the founders of the Nursing & Allied Health (NAH) Interest Group in 2014, of which she was a governance member from the beginning and chair from 2016 till 2020.

Launched by EONS, the award recognises those who have shown extraordinary dedication and creativity in shaping the future of cancer nursing through innovative initiatives and who actively working in a clinical cancer care setting whose efforts have substantially improved patient care, advanced nursing practices, or fostered a healthier working environment.

Cindy will receive free registration for the EONS17 Conference.

European Cancer Nursing Day 2024 – Competition

Winner announced!

We are delighted to announce that the team at The Medical Oncology Unit, the Unit of Kind People in Slovenia, is the winner of the ECND24 Competition for their video on their innovative workshops. Many congratulations!

Shpresa Sopaj and Anela Muratović said:

In our unit, we deal with the systemic treatment of patients with thoracic organ cancer, particularly lung, pleural and thymus cancer. In the era of rapid development of new medicines, we offer the patient the most modern and tailored treatment by systemic therapy, both in routine clinical practice and in international clinical trials.

There are currently seven registered nurses in the unit. We are part of a multidisciplinary team, including oncologists, trained nurses, a clinical pharmacist, a psychologist, a social worker, a dietician and a mobile palliative team.

We treat each patient as a whole and individually. We participate in the first examination, in the administration of systemic therapy, in the school of systemic therapy, in the follow-up of patients after treatment and in clinical studies. Intravenous administration of systemic cancer therapy takes place in a single large space, allowing continuous monitoring and individualised drug administration.

Systems therapy schools are provided individually and tailored to the patient, for each type of system therapy. In the school, patients are taught about possible side effects and advice on how to deal with them.

We are also involved in the production of materials for patients and other nurses. We were involved in the publication of 12 patient booklets on how to deal with the adverse effects of systemic therapy, and we made two films as educational material for other nurses – On the way to treating cancer (film on the adverse effects of systemic therapy for cancer) and Handling with subcutaneous venous valvular – Port. We are continually in education, and we also take part in external lectures. We teach at seminars, congresses and workshops for other nurses. We’re also on the Executive Committee of the Nursing Oncology Section, and we care about the development of nursing in oncology.

Under the theme “From Knowledge to Action: Shaping the future of cancer nursing”, cancer nurses throughout Europe were invited to participate and illustrate their impactful work. The ECND24 competition invited both individuals and teams to submit a short movie (45 seconds to 1 minute in MP4 format) or a photo montage (up to 10 images in a PDF), accompanied by a brief description (maximum 300 words) of their innovative initiatives.

This year’s focus was on introducing new ideas, methods, technologies, or approaches involving the public or patients in cancer nursing. The winner receives a free registration to attend the EONS17 conference in Barcelona, 14th-16th September 2024.