In 1968, Alice Morel, a registered nurse at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, New York, spearheaded a meeting for those interested and dedicated to improving education for allied health professionals caring for patients with urological problems. This sparked an interest in urologic education across the country leading to many educational and organizational efforts.
In 1970, the American Urological Association (AUA) provided the first scientific program for 427 urologic health professionals in conjunction with the Annual AUA meeting in Philadelphia. The American Urological Association Allied (AUAA) was formed and the first certification exam was given the same year, a 4-hour oral exam administered by the AUA. Today, the Certification Board for Urologic Nurses and Associates (CBUNA) writes and administers the exam.
On April 25, 1995, during the Annual Conference, association members voted to change the name of the organization from AUAA to the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA). The same year, SUNA’s first textbook, Urologic Nursing Principles and Practice was published. That has led to many other significant SUNA publications authored and edited by members to include specialty publications, Position Statements, Clinical Practice Guidance, and Patient Education Fact Sheets. Research has also long been a part of SUNA’s mission. The SUNA Foundation was created in 2006 with a mission to improve urologic nursing care and the lives of people with urologic health issues through funding of urologic nursing research, scholarship and education programs. The Foundation is thriving and holds annual fundraising events, enabling the awarding of multiple scholarships.
SUNA’s great accomplishments through the years would have been impossible without the dedication, commitment, and hard work of SUNA leadership. Every SUNA President and Board of Directors commits incredible time and energy working behind the scenes to ensure the success of the association. Local chapters across the nation, are the grassroots connection to the national organization and serve as the vehicle to promote the mission of SUNA. The selfless dedication of all the many professional volunteers over SUNA’s history has ensured its success and tradition of excellence.
SUNA’s membership has always been all inclusive, meaning any health care professional trained and working in the field of urology is eligible for membership. This holistic team approach is unique to SUNA and one that has strengthened it throughout the years. SUNA is proud to be the recognized authority of urologic nursing care and education and sets the standard of urologic education for health care providers and patients.
Congratulations to SUNA and its commitment to empowering healthcare professionals to improve the quality of life for urology patients and caregivers for more than 50 years.