Dear Reader

So, the time has come for me to write my very last editorial for the Veterinary Nursing Journal. I am pleased and proud of all that the VNJ team have accomplished this year. We have produced a varied and interesting journal, which is reflected again in the diversity of topics in this edition.

We have brought in multiple choice questions for some of our articles, so that they can be used as useful documented CPD, we have increased the number of Science in Shorts in each edition so that as a profession we can keep a track on some of the research going on in veterinary science. We have tried to increase the number of equine articles, something we will continue to do and we have worked with the RCVS to provide knowledge and understanding of the code of conduct.

One aspect of the journal that I am most proud of this year, was when we answered a member query. This member wrote us an anonymous letter, he or she was concerned with what they were seeing in practice, and were scared of blowing the whistle. They believed that members of staff were being deliberately cruel to their patients and using out of date methods when they were caring for them. This member was clearly distraught by the position they found themselves in and asked for our help.

They asked that we include information in our journal about whistle blowing, so that she or he could read it, learn more and hopefully help those animals. We did as they asked. We commissioned an article from Nicky Ackerley’s HR team about whistle blowing, so that the information was there in black and white. Every now and then I wonder about that RVN, wonder how they are doing. If you are out there and reading this I hope that we helped and I hope things are a little better for you now. If not, why not try ringing our member advisory service as our team will do their best to support you.

It’s at times like this when I am reminded of the aim of BVNA, which is to promote the health and welfare of animals through the ongoing development of professional excellence in veterinary nursing. By helping our members to know and understand their rights, I hope that we have not only helped that anonymous member, but we have also helped the animals in that practice.

Being Editor in chief of the VNJ has been a challenge, and I can’t lie and say it was all sweetness and light. There have been times when I have laughed, times when I have cried and times when I have been stumped as the work piled up and it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Equally, I have been continually inspired by team members and BVNA members. I have learnt valuable lessons while working on the journal, I have learnt that team work, and delegation are important, that change takes time, and that the written word is incredibly powerful. I wish our Executive editor Megan Whitehead and our new Editor in Chief Sam McMillan luck for the future.

They say that ‘Nothing worth having comes easy, and I can tell you although not always easy holding this role for the past year, was definitely worth having.


Helen Ballantyne PG Dip BSc (Hons) RN RVN 


DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2015.1102985

• VOL 30 • December 2015 • Veterinary Nursing Journal