Join us for a little insight for VNAM 2021 into how some of the BVNA council members, Jo Oakden (BVNA President), Alex Taylor (BVNA Junior Vice President), Charlotte Pace (BVNA Council Member) and Lyndsay Hughes (BVNA Council Member), have diversified within their nursing careers to involve non clinical roles. Here they discuss what led them to deviate from traditional nursing in practice and offer some advice and tips on anyone who may be considering making those changes.

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Jo Oakden RVN (BVNA President)

“Since graduating from the RVC in 2008 I have worked in a variety of small animal and mixed veterinary practice. Since qualifying I have completed the Certificate in Feline Nursing and a Certificate in Canine and Feline Veterinary Nutrition. I have two young children, and a small menagerie of animals at home that keep any ‘free’ time, busy. I have worked with the BVNA as a regional Co-ordinator since 2014 and was elected onto BVNA Council in 2017. I am incoming President for the BVNA for 2020 – 2021. I am currently representing the BVNA within VN Futures, the RCVS Legislation Working Party and Vet Sustain. Outside of BVNA I am the practice manager at a Vets4Pets, and I am clinical coach to two SVN’s.”

Alex Taylor RVN (BVNA Junior Vice President)

“Alex qualified as a veterinary nurse in 1997 and has a special interest in feline nursing. Alex has completed the ISFM feline nursing certificate, diploma, and advanced certificate in feline behaviour. Alex is currently studying towards gaining her advanced diploma applied animal behaviour (feline). Alex currently works as a locum RVN and runs her own company ‘The Cat Nurse’ where she offers CPD about feline nursing and behaviour. Alex volunteers for her local Cats Protection branch, helping to raise money for local cats in need. Alex has a particular interest in feline nutrition, behaviour and stress related diseases in feline patients. Alex has been a BVNA Council Member since October 2018. Alex is currently a member of the ISFM Feline Wellbeing Panel.”

Charlotte Pace RVN (BVNA Council Member)

“I have been a Veterinary Nurse for nearly 20 years and have always been passionate about providing a high level of care for my patients, and high quality education for qualified and student nurses. I believe it is time to use my passion, drive and experience to help veterinary nurses become the best they can be. To improve our profession and public awareness together. I have worked in a variety of settings over the years. I qualified in general practice, worked in a referral hospital for 10 years, during which time I specialised in cardiology. I have worked in education since then, teaching degree and diploma courses, and these days, I also locum in general practice to get my nursing fix. I like to think that with the experience I have gained, I have a good grounding of what being a nurse is like, wherever you work. I believe that I am approachable, willing to help, and prepared to work hard. And of course, with our job, a sense of humour is vital!”

Lyndsay Hughes RVN (BVNA Council Member)

“I am proud to have been nursing for 18 years and have seen many changes within the profession but I feel that there is still a lot to do regarding promoting and supporting nurses. I am passionate about my position as an RVN and I am fortunate enough to have had senior and management positions in practice for the last 11 years. I am currently the only nurse on a board of Directors of a very busy independent small animal practice. My key areas of interest are supporting, developing and empowering nurses as well as promoting the nursing profession.”