European Oncology Nursing Society –
Strategic Plan, 2018 to 2023


The EONS Strategy 2018 to 2023 was developed by the EONS board and members in workshops and meetings that took place from February to May 2018. The strategic content and goals have been developed in response to the findings of the ongoing research project Recognising Cancer Nursing (RECaN), current European healthcare challenges and the extensive knowledge and experience of EONS’ cancer nurses who attended the strategic planning meeting.

A note on terminology

To be inclusive, the term ‘cancer nurse’ is used to describe nurses1 working with people affected by cancer, nurse teachers and researchers regardless of whether the individual has a specialist qualification relating to oncology. As an organisation, EONS strives for all cancer nurses to receive specialised training and qualifications, and continuous further education and training to keep up with developments in cancer care. However, in some countries where EONS has members this is not the case or not yet possible; therefore we aim to be as inclusive as possible in our definition of ‘cancer nurse’.

EONS has members in 31 countries across Europe. When the terms Europe or ‘European continent’ are used, this refers to the 53 countries in WHO Europe2. The European Union (EU) refers to the smaller block of 28 nation states.

EONS’ mission, vision and values


EONS is an umbrella organisation providing leadership in all areas of cancer nursing, research, practice, continuing education, communications and advocacy for better recognition of cancer nursing across Europe . Our mission is to ensure that all people affected by cancer benefit from the care of highly educated, well-informed and competent cancer nurses.


Our vision is that cancer nursing will be recognised by the cancer community, national and European level policy makers, as a profession with specialised training and qualifications available across the continent. Working conditions for cancer nurses will be optimal, providing a commensurate financial income as well as protecting and promoting individual well-being. We anticipate that this will produce a relatable improvement in the health and clinical outcomes for people affected by cancer. Finally, we envisage that all our members will become confident and empowered cancer nurses operating as leaders in research, practice and education within multi-professional teams.


The core strength of EONS comes from our members. We recognise the diverse aspects of nursing across Europe and strive for equality for all cancer nurses regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or disability. The improvement of patient safety and better clinical outcomes for cancer patients and their families is central to our work. The society firmly believes in working in partnerships across sectors and professions who share our goals and values.

The strategic C A R E plan

The CARE strategy will be implemented by the EONS Board, management team and our four working groups who focus on:

  • Communication
  • Advocacy
  • Research
  • Education

The core strategy can be read below.

The finalization of working group plans will take place in November 2019 when a fuller document will become available.

Strategic goals:

All strategic goals are equal and assume no hierarchy. By the end of 2023, EONS will have achieved the following:

  1. Cancer nursing is recognised across Europe for its positive impact on the lives of people affected by cancer through C.A.R.E. – Communication, Advocacy, Research and Education.
  2. All cancer nurses have access to specialised education that is aligned with the EONS Cancer Nursing Education Framework.
  3. All cancer nurses gain official recognition, reward and respect as a result of the RECaN and advocacy campaigns.
  4. All cancer nurses are connected in order to exchange and share information and support for their work.
  5. EONS facilitates, leads and promotes collaborative cancer nursing research across Europe.
  6. EONS leads EU-wide advocacy initiatives at EU policy level.
  7. EONS provides evidence-based advice to people and organisations affected by cancer on healthy lifestyles and cancer prevention

Organisational goals:

By 2023, EONS will have:

  1. Achieved financial sustainability
  2. Established a collaborative system for each working group to be engaged in helping to achieve EONS’ strategic and organisational goals
  3. Integrated the Young Cancer Nurses network fully into all EONS’ work
  4. Engaged all our members to work on our mission
  5. Provided support for all nurses caring for people affected by cancer through working towards our strategic goals.

Monitoring and evaluating the EONS Strategic Plan

The EONS Strategy will be monitored by the EONS Executive Board and Chief Operating Officer (COO) with the support of the EONS staff and working group chairs. A mid-term evaluation of the strategy will take place against the indicators developed by the board and COO one year after the strategic and organisational goals have been approved.

Each of the CARE working groups have formulated their own objectives under the umbrella of the EONS’ goals outlined in this document. It will be the responsibility of the working groups to develop their own indicators for the mid-term review and subsequent analyses.

1 EONS members are normally nurses who at the minimum have received nursing qualifications and are working with people with cancer; the EONS Young Cancer Nurse network may also include student nurses.