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For years operating room nurses have been travelling around the world for conferences, studies, study tours or for visiting each other, hoping to get support from colleagues and to find solutions for professional problems and challenges.

At the 2nd World Conference of Operating Room Nurses in 1980, in Lausanne, Switzerland, many nurses from different European countries met to discuss the possibilities of meeting and exchanging ideas relevant to perioperative nursing in Europe. Obviously, working as a perioperative nurse caused similar problems all over the Europe!

The first meeting of the informal European group was held in Brighton in 1981. The initial challenge for this group was to organise the first European day for operating room nurses in connection with the 1982 Annual Congress of National Association of Theatre Nurses (NATN).

Even though this European day was a great success, and the informal European group very enthusiastic, the co-operation stayed disorganised. For example, the countries sent different representatives to each meeting, thus the continuity of the group's work was jeopardised. Finally, in 1990 in Mannheim, the group decided on the following five points to make its work more organised:
- only two persons can represent their national association at one meeting,
- the representatives should be the same persons as long as possible,
- one of the representatives should attend the meetings for at least two years,
- a summary of a meeting should be sent to all the countries as soon as possible,
- the topics of the next meeting should be circulated.

Based on these decisions, the co-operation was better organised, although still informal. In 1991 a meeting was held at the European Commission and included simultaneous translation. Because there were no language related problems this time, some real progress took place at this successful meeting. The representatives discussed the formalization of the group and the evolving financial and constitutional issues.

In 1991, National association theatre nurses began to produce the European Newsletters to be circulated all over the Europe. At that time, there were 16 member countries in the European group.

The meeting held in Copenhagen in April 1992 was a crucial one. There were 17 countries present, and they all wanted to formalise the European group in 17 different ways. There were several suggestions for the groups official name, and the representatives chose the proposal "European Operating Room Nurses Association". EORNA was born!

However, at this stage there were no officers, no money, and no constitution, thus a lot of hard work needed to be done. Hopefully this web-site will give you an idea what EORNA is like today, and what are its biggest achievements and future challenges. We in EORNA enjoy the European cultural diversity - it has been both the enrichment and the excitement of this co-operation. We hope that you will enjoy the story and the current view of EORNA, the European voice of perioperative nursing.