The first campaign of the VN Futures Diversity, Inclusivity, and Widening Participation Group in 2023 looks at veterinary nurses who have changed careers to follow their passion to care for animals and train to become registered veterinary nurses.

Read our second blog on this topic written by BVNA Council Member, Macauly Gatenby.

My name is Macauly, and I am a recently qualified RVN working in a first opinion practice. I am also currently one of two student council members at the BVNA. Before starting out as a veterinary care assistant in 2019 I had plans to conduct a PhD in primatology .My previous experience includes fieldwork studying orangutans, looking at the relationship between their laughter and friendship as part of my Masters project in MRes Science and also following Baboons around from 6am-7pm 6 days a week for 3 months studying all manners of what they got up to!

It may be a shock to many but I actually fell into veterinary after struggling with my mental health, which I know many people will find extremely surprising considering the current struggles faced by a large majority in the veterinary industry. That is because after studying primates I struggled to continue my path towards a PhD and fell into working retail full time for a year. Social media was also a big factor affecting my decision to pursue veterinary as I was seeing many people from my undergraduate degree venturing into that profession. Because of a multitude of factors I started to seriously look into the role of a veterinary nurse and felt that it aligned with many of my core beliefs.

Now (many years later) I truly believe I have found my forever profession and I am so proud of myself for biting the bullet and applying for the role as a VCA back then. It wasn’t a spontaneous application for one role, I applied for many veterinary receptionist and veterinary care assistant positions and was unsuccessful for some time, which something I think many people should be mindful – sometimes you might get knocked down a few times before you really get going but that shouldn’t stop you from reaching that goal. I am also very thankful that I was given the opportunity to become a SVN just one year into my experience of working in a veterinary practice, which I know isn’t always the case.

As someone who had previous undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, I cherish that I was able to become an RVN through the diploma route. I believe the veterinary profession, although difficult at times, is one of the most rewarding too. I have only just truly begun my RVN journey, and I am so full of hope and joy with the possibilities that I have in front of me.