Every year the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) holds two ceremonies (Figure 1) to welcome newly qualified nurses onto the register, congratulate existing RVNs on completion of their further studies and also thank some long-term nurses as they approach retirement. I was invited to attend the November event as a BVNA representative, which was held in the Prince Albert Suite at London Zoo. It was a cold and windy day but that did not stop over 200 nurses from attending one of the three ceremonies that took place. Upon arrival, each attendee was given a BVNA welcome pack (Figure 2) with information on the association’s membership, benefits and welcoming them to the ‘BVNA family’. We would like to thank the RCVS for inviting us to join in with this special event.

Figure 1. Amanda Boag, RCVS President

Figure 2. BVNA Membership information packs

The first ceremony welcomed the newly registered nurses who had completed their Level 3 Diploma. The remaining ceremonies included additional attendees who had completed their DipAVN as well as highlighting two exceptional nurses for their long service awards. Jan Stevenson is still nursing after 45 years and Brenda Slade is now retiring after an amazing 47 years of service to the veterinary profession.

The whole day had such a great vibe. It was fabulous to see the excitement of the new RVNs and the proud feelings of their family and loved ones that were sharing the special moment with them. There was an almost permanent queue at the photo banner! It truly was a joyous occasion that gave thanks to the years of blood, sweat and tears that go into veterinary nurse training. I also felt that it was a nice touch to have the longevity awards and the advanced diploma holders at the event because this provided inspiration to the new nurses and highlighted the fact that this can be a career for life.

I spoke to many of the delegates and their families on the day (and played the role of photographer for many more!), all of which were delighted to be able to attend the ceremony. Overall it was seen as a fitting tribute to the conclusion of their studies and all were proud to be upstanding as they took their oath that was led by Rachael Marshall, who is the chair of the RCVS VN Council. Many attendees had travelled quite far, ranging from Dorset to Scotland and Ireland. Danielle Nicol said “I came down from Scotland, it meant a lot to me to have my family there and for them to get a little insight into the hard work we put in to qualify. I felt really proud to be able to stand there and say my oath amongst other RVNs"

Each nurse was called to the stage to collect their scroll and have a photograph taken with the current RCVS President Amanda Boag, (Figure 2) who said “you should all be very proud of your achievements” Rebecca Jane Lees was thrilled to attend and collect her certificate from the RCVS President. She said “I think it is important to be there to not only celebrate your own success but to celebrate becoming part of such an amazing and fulfilling career with our vet nursing family as a whole”

Tom Reilly, RVN and BVNA council member (Figure 3) attended after completing his Advanced Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. He said “I chose to undertake the DipAVN as it provides a strong theoretical and clinical perspective into advanced veterinary nursing and helps you to understand the importance of evidence-based nursing at a high level”

Figure 3. Tom Reilly, BVNA Council Member

The next RCVS nurse’s days will take place in May and October 2019. I highly recommend that everyone who is eligible, attends the event. Be proud of what you have achieved and take the day to celebrate how far you have come in addition to being inspired for the future.


Jo Hinde RVN

BVNA Junior Vice President

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 34 • March 2019