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Roundtable on Nurses Education

by efn efn

On the 16th October 2012, MEP Mario Pirillo and MEP Bernadette Vergnaud, in collaboration with EFN, held a Roundtable, that brought together around 75 key policymakers and politicians, to discuss on the Directive 2005/36/EC and in particular the nurses’ education and to get those for and those against the entry requirement to the same table to discuss the implications for the nursing profession. 

The Hungarian and Dutch Governments, together with the German Trade Union – Verdi -, stressed the fact that their national educational systems provide the nurses already a high level of competences, giving more attention to the quality rather than to the length of studies. They argued that their nurses are not only high qualified, but also that they are very welcome by the other Member states, who suffer shortage in this field. In addition, they are worried about the consequences in the labour market, meaning an increasing level of unemployment.

 On the other hand, the Cyprus Presidency supported the EFN position, arguing that the modification of this Directive is a good occasion to move on in order to have at the same time a higher level of quality delivery of health care and a higher mobility of workers around the EU Member States. 

In support to the extension to the 12 years entry requirement, Mr Thierry Lothaire, from the Fédération Nationale des Infirmières de Belgique (FNIB), a member of EFN, taking the example of the Belgian case, pointed out that a system with two levels of nurses does not make sense at EU level to face the health system challenges. In addition, Ms Unni Hembre, EFN President, highlighted the RN4CAST project results that show the positive impact of higher qualified nurses on patient safety. Finally, Ms Monika Kosinka, from the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) stressed the vital role of nurses, calling for higher competent workforce for a better patient safety & quality of care. 

In conclusion, the MEPs urged all the key players to find a good solution for nurses as they are the cornerstone of any health system, being near the patients and citizens 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.