Dear Reader

Last year, we celebrated 25 years of the VNJ and this year we will celebrate another exciting landmark for veterinary nurses.

2011 will mark the 50th anniversary of the veterinary nursing profession. In this time, the profession has developed significantly from its roots, when the title of Animal Nursing Auxiliary was used to describe what we now call Veterinary Nurses. We should be proud of the excellent reputation which VNs have deservedly built over half a century. So much has changed in the world over the last 50 years and in veterinary practice there have been developments which those working in practice at the time would never have been able to predict. When a colleague recently asked me how long I had been working in practice, I was astounded when I realised that the answer is 15 years (I had, subconsciously, stopped counting at 10!). This personal revelation may go some way towards explaining why I can now reel off a list of equipment which I had heard about – but only dreamed of having access to – at my first job in a relatively small branch surgery, but which is now found routinely in even the smallest of branches, to my students. I suspect that this list will increase in length over the years and it will eventually include items which were not even thought of when I started as student VN.

Following this reflection, I read Ali Deas' article in this month's edition of the journal with interest. It details her experiences over the last 35 years and gives a fascinating insight in to the growth of the veterinary industry – both the changes and the continuities within the profession. The thought of having to manage the laundry generated by a practice without a washing machine fills me with horror, yet this was routine to at least a generation of RAN As!

Fifty years ago, the very idea of social networking sites would probably have been branded as science fiction but yet in 2011, such sites are used by practices for advertising and as a source of information. The flip side of social networking is that many employers monitor their staff's use of social networking sites – to check if they are being accessed on work computers during what should be working time and to check what information employees are posting. A breach of confidentiality or an inappropriate comment relating to the practice or its clients may result in disciplinary action being taken against an employee. Nicky Ackerley's article this month focuses on the use of social networking sites and gives advice on how to use them in a circumspect manner. 

Elsewhere in the journal, there are interesting and informative articles on canine and feline reproduction and on equine reproduction by Victoria Aspinall and Ian Cameron, respectively.

Sian Norris has provided an article which reviews canine hip dysplasia and this is complimented by Julia Riches- Tomei's article which discusses the latest information on both hip and elbow dysplasia screening schemes.

Matthew Garland's article is on common morphology changes seen in canine and feline haematology and Claudia Busse writes about the canine lens – cataract surgery and lens removal.

This year sees the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the RCVS training scheme for veterinary nurses and to celebrate this the VNJ will be including a number of retrospective pieces throughout the year starting with the article by Ali Deas that looks back on her life including her experiences as a veterinary nurse and BVNA Council Member.


Helen Field Cert Ed RVN

Executive Editor

To cite this editorial use either

DOl: 10.1111/j.2045-0648.2010.00010.x or Veterinary Nursing Journal Vol 26 pp 34

• VOL16 • February 2011 • Veterinary Nursing Journal