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. Apparently, working as a perioperative nurse caused similar problems all over 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 informal. It wasn’t until 1991 at a meeting held at the European Commission, which included simultaneous translation, that the organization started making some organizational progress. 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 Europe. At that time, there were 16 member countries in the European group.

The meeting held in Copenhagen in April 1992 was crucial for the future Association. 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.

Click here to read the whole history of EORNA.