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EORNA is the representative organisation for Operating Room Nurses Associations in Europe. Its governing body is the EORNA Board in which the OR nurse associations in each member country have voting rights.

EORNA’s missions are multiple and one important aspect of these is the promotion of standards/guidelines in the field of perioperative practice written by experts in different European or International operating room nurses associations all around the world.
EORNA wants to promote the existing standards/guidelines/recommendations and also wants to collaborate with the associations to facilitate the promotion.
EORNA collaborates with industries to promote, for example, good practices in non woven drapes and gowns.

EORNA follows a definition of standard accepted by all members of the European association which is: “Nursing Standards are accepted and valid norms which define nursing care activities. They are the means or tools measuring the level of nursing care quality. The standards must be dynamic in order to be adapted and altered to reflect development of new ideas and approaches.”
EORNA bases its work on this definition and will publish guidelines for advanced practice through different media (website, poster, conferences).

EORNA and its educational committee worked on standards for operating room practices and education in order to facilitate advanced practice for the operating room nurses in Europe. A curriculum of education was established (1997) to have a minimum level of European education for the operating room nurses. The curriculum has been translated by the members of EORNA in the different languages of the EORNA member countries.
The curriculum has four modules: Principles of perioperative nursing care (minimum 300 hours), Surgical competencies in perioperative nursing care (minimum 475 hours), Nursing care in anaesthesia (minimum 300 hours), Development of the person to become a professional (minimum 185 hours).

EORNA built a European competencies framework for perioperative nurses. The aims are: to extend harmonization, to address the requests of harmonization of the training programs and of the jobs as part of the Bologna’s reform, to guarantee, in Europe, that professionals are able to adapt to the important stake of a job in an operating theatre.

EORNA identified the following six key competencies for the perioperative nurse: nursing care; clinical judgement; communication; research and education; leadership and management and professional development

Structure of the EORNA ACE

The EORNA Executive Board of Officers elects an EORNA ACE executive committee consisting of the President and / or the Vice-President or one other executive officer of EORNA and three or four other EORNA board members. EORNA established the EORNA ACE in 2008 and it will operate from October 2008.

The EORNA ACE is governed by the EORNA ACE Executive Committee who are appointed by the EORNA Executive Board of Officers and is accountable to the EORNA Board .
EORNA ACE is the EORNA Advisory Council for continuing professional development (CPD) and education (CME) .

The day to day management of the EORNA ACE is performed by the EORNA ACE Executive Committee.

The EORNA ACE will request its mandate from the national regulatory bodies, with the following conditions agreed by both:

- The autonomy of the National Authority must be respected. EORNA ACE would not become a supranational body, but a link and clearing-house between the national regulatory bodies.
- The final decision on recognition of accreditation of each activity must thus rest with the national regulatory body in that country where the activity takes place.
- There should be no accreditation of commercially biased activities.
- Recognition of long distance learning is developing on the basis of individual modules separately assessed. So providers are not accredited for series of activities stretching over years. (http://www.eorna.eu/ACTION-PLAN-2004-2009)
- Administrative expenses of the EORNA ACE should be borne by the providers of activities applying for European accreditation. (See Fee table on EOPRNA ACE reference guide 2008 V1 – p2-3)

Only within the framework of these conditions will the national regulatory bodies be asked to recognise EORNA ACE credits obtained by nurses and other health care professionals in their country.


The EORNA ACE continues working strictly within this mandate. This means that the procedure is as follows:

- The provider of a CME / CPD activity requests European Accreditation of that event with the EORNA ACE. Full details concerning the activity must be provided together with the application. This will be judged against the EORNA ACE Quality criteria.
- The EORNA ACE may request professional advice from a professional body or professional persons experienced in the field of the event or activity being evaluated, which may not be the provider itself.
- The number of credits is then based upon the "credit-hour" system following the ECMEC (European CME Credits) rules (1 hour equals one ECMEC with a maximum of 3 ECMEC’s for a half day activity and 6 ECMEC’s for a full day activity).
- The EORNA ACE also may request approval from the national regulatory body of the country where the activity is taking place.
- If satisfied that all criteria are met the EORNA ACE grants European accreditation.

This procedure meets the political requirements of the national regulatory bodies. The added value of the EORNA ACE is the link between the professional societies, and others, who are the providers of CME / CPD and the national regulatory bodies. Any change to this procedure would need the consensus of the EORNA Board. Any deviation from this consensus would defeat the purpose of the EORNA ACE

The ultimate goal has been to develop a system that makes life easier for our colleagues and to provide them with recognised quality CME / CPD.
The system is decentralized, using expertise in quality assessment available in the existing professional structures.

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