This year our stand will be focused around the progression of veterinary nursing, career diversification and promoting innovation throughout the profession.

Attendees to the stand will be asked to play the VN role plotting game, this involves mapping key historical milestones in the veterinary nursing profession against the correct dates. Delegates will then be encouraged to think about what the future shape of a VN role might look like.

Visitors to the RCVS stand can also receive an update on the VN Futures project and the results of the postgraduate qualification consultation.

We look forward to seeing you there!

New Chair for VN Council

At RCVS Day 2018 – our Annual General Meeting and Awards Day which took place at the Royal Institute of British Architects on Friday 13 July, we welcomed Racheal Marshall as the new Chair of Veterinary Nurses Council, replacing Liz Cox, who was in post since 2015 and will now move to senior Vice-Chair.

During her time as VN Council Chair, Liz fronted a campaign to protect the veterinary nursing title, helped lead the VN Futures project and had been involved in the crucial work around reviewing Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act.

In her outgoing speech, Liz spoke about her ‘love affair’ with veterinary nursing, how she had been inspired to become a VN by witnessing what they do first-hand at the age of 13 during the treatment of her family dog. How, a few years after qualifying as a veterinary nurse, she had become disillusioned with a lack of career progression and left the profession, only to return some years later because she missed the impact that veterinary nurses can have on clients and their pets and the satisfaction that brings.

Speaking of her years as VN Chair she said: “One of the areas I am proudest about in my time with the RCVS has been the VN Futures project. I was certain that we needed to speak to nurses in person, to travel, to engage them, to listen and understand. We have numerous working parties that, importantly, are populated with nurses that wanted to be involved, that had that passion.

One day, I hope that one of those nurses or others we have met will be standing where I am now.

“We developed six ambitions to achieve by 2020, all with ‘3 Rs’ in mind: recruitment, retention and returners. Above all, we need to ensure we have a workforce that is able to support a growing veterinary world in all of its areas, and we need to offer a career

that is sustainable, well supported, rewarding, and has a struc-ture. If we have leavers, it’s because they choose to, not because they have to.”

She added that she looked forward to an expanded veterinary nursing role, with greater scope for career progression and expanded responsibilities so that veterinary nursing can fulfil its potential as a career for life.

Before investing Racheal Marshall as the new Chair, Liz praised her successor’s positive attitude and determination and said she was confident that she would play a vital role in pushing the profession forward and encouraging veterinary nurses to stand up and be heard over the coming years.

VN CPD audit results

Our latest audit regarding rates of compliance amongst veterinary nurses for our continuing professional development (CPD) requirements show that more than one in four of those audited are still not meeting the minimum CPD requirements.

Under the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses all veterinary nurses are required to carry out at least 45 hours of CPD over a rolling three-year period in order to ensure that their skills, knowledge and areas of competence stay up-to-date and improve.

However, the most recent audit, carried out in the latter half of 2017, found that of the 784 veterinary nurses who were audited and who responded to the College’s request, 209 did not meet the minimum requirements.

Of those 209 a further 25% gave no reason for being non-compliant. However, out of those who did give an explanation, 37% said they did not do sufficient CPD because they were on maternity leave, 12% because they had family commitments, 8% because of illness, 7% because they did not have the time or opportunity and 5% because they had lost or did not have a record.

Furthermore, 69 veterinary nurses who were contacted to share their records as part of the audit did not respond to any communication from the College. Ten of these individuals had been included in two previous audits but had not responded to any requests then meaning that the cases have been sent to the CPD Referral Group which may then, in turn, refer them to the Preliminary Investigation Committee.

Further information about the CPD requirement for veterinary nurses, as well as examples of what kind of activities constitute CPD, can be found at: continuing-professional-development-cpd/

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 33 • October 2018