Dear Reader

The three ‘R’s

On the cusp of a new decade, the veterinary nursing profession can look back with a sense of pride on its achievements over the past 10 years, and with a great deal of excitement and eager anticipation at the prospects for the future.

One only has to leaf through the pages of this issue of the VNJ to experience a microcosm of the clinical skill, professional adaptability and sheer vibrancy generated by veterinary nurses as they prepare to face the challenges of 2011. The news sections abound with reports of success – the winning of awards and the gaining of the two big ‘R’s – recognition and respect.

But, big ‘R’s invariably come in ‘threes’ and it is vital for nurses everywhere to understand that with the advent of recognition and respect, comes ‘responsibility’. Responsibility not only for the patients entrusted to our care, but also for the people with whom we come into contact, and for the wider integrity of veterinary practice standards.

The constant thread running through most of the articles in this VNJ is one of how nurses can, and should, be taking responsibility for their own actions to provide better levels of care – through enhanced clinical knowledge expressed in the running of clinics, and shared through closer, more innovative, working relationships with our practice colleagues, especially the vets.

The arrival of the RCVS Disciplinary mechanism later this year will be further evidence of the increased recognition and respect which the profession has attained. But – and here it comes again – it will also greatly increase the pressure on all veterinary nurses, not just qualified RVNs, to take more and more responsibility for their actions and career progression.

And it is in these latter respects that we should review the results of the latest BVNA/SPVS survey into average rates of pay in veterinary practice. Clearly there is some way to go before trained veterinary nurses receive the financial recognition and respect that should reflect the skills and commitment due to them.

However, bleating about this discrepancy will not yield results. The more certain way to attain fiscal recognition and respect is to prove one’s worth beyond all doubt; by seizing and developing every opportunity to take practical responsibility for the clinical, interpersonal and nursing management scenarios which we have been trained to handle.

PS. The VNJ has been the official journal for the British Veterinary Nursing Association for the last 25 years and has undergone many developments in that time. We are thrilled to announce that from this issue onwards,

VNJ will be published online on Wiley's online journal platform, Wiley Online Library: And there is much more to come as 2011 unfolds!


David Watson BVetMed MA MRCVS Editor

DOI: 10.1111/j.2045-0648.2010.00001.x or Veterinary Nursing Journal Vol 26 pp2

• VOL 26 • January 2011 • Veterinary Nursing Journal