During my VN career, I have experienced the ‘good, the bad and the ugly’ sides of veterinary nursing.

It was this experience that led me to consider being a BVNA council member but I was worried as I thought I needed to have extra qualifications, and be ‘someone special’ to fulfil the role. To my surprise after being elected on to the Council I found that there are a wide range of backgrounds and experience filling the seats from all parts of the profession. It is this diversity that ensures the council represents distinct views of the veterinary nursing profession. The BVNA truly is the voice of the veterinary nurse.

I was in awe of the hard work and dedication that each and every council member before me had given and the massive contribution to our profession that this opportunity can bring every year. I got stuck in straight away and joined various committees and working groups as well as taking on the role of the BVNA Animal Welfare Representative. it’s an absolute joy to be able to meet and represent nurses at so many different and varied events.

By joining committees and working groups, the Council members are able to contribute to decisions being made about the profession, animal welfare and public education. We liaise with the RCVS, BVA, BSAVA and other prominent organisations as well as getting involved in multiple campaigns (which have been focused towards a mix of audiences including the public, the profession and the government).

During my career I wanted to make positive changes for both animal and human welfare and sitting on Council gave me an opportunity to pursue this on a much greater scale and from my very first Council meeting, I knew I wanted to apply to be BVNA President.

First, I applied for the Junior Vice President role and was thankfully accepted. This was the start of my journey down the Presidential road. From here I was able to dedicate even more time to the association and start setting out my ambitions and goals for my Presidential year, as well as providing support for the existing team. That is one of the challenges faced by Council members, having time to read reports, attend meetings and still manage to hold down your ‘day job’.

Fast forward to October 2019 and there I was being sworn into office and giving my first official Presidential speech, such an amazing opportunity and one that I feel humbled by daily.

I chose ‘welfare in the workplace’ as my theme for the year as this is a subject that is close to my heart. I am working on ideas to improve the access to practical mental health training as well as looking into the more physical side of our jobs and how a nurse’s health can be safeguarded more effectively. I continue to hold the Animal Welfare Representative position as well as being the chair of the Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month campaign; patient welfare will always be of vital importance to myself and the BVNA.

I am also keen to celebrate the diversity that sits within the VN role as well as look at life outside of the clinic too. Being inclusive for all VNs regardless of what career they chose is very important to me and I wish to highlight the wide range of career paths that become available once you qualify as an RVN.

I am truly thankful for the opportunity of being the President of the BVNA Council and represent the VN profession. I highly recommend that you consider joining council as it is a wonderful experience to be a part of something that really does make a difference.


Jo Hinde

• VOL 35 • April 2020 • Veterinary Nursing Journal