Dear Reader

As Veterinary Nurses we are striving for recognition and protection of the title. However, alongside this is Professional Conduct. We need to be more aware that our conduct – both inside and outside the workplace – has an impact on the profession overall.

Each Registered Veterinary Nurse is aware of the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses and since April 2012 each RVN has made a declaration to pursue the work of the profession with integrity and to accept responsibilities to the public, clients, the profession and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Fitness to practise means having the skills, knowledge, good health and good character to do your job safely and effectively. Everyone is aware that in order to be fit to practise you must have the knowledge in your area of expertise and you need to maintain this knowledge by undertaking regular CPD. But did you know that your personal life counts too? Your behaviour and conduct could have an impact on your fitness to practise.

Good health is necessary to undertake practice as a Veterinary Nurse. Good health means that you must be capable of safe and effective practice without supervision. This does not mean the absence of any disability or health condition. Many individuals with disability, and those with health conditions are able to nurse effectively with or without adjustments.

Good character is based on your conduct, behaviour and attitude. It also takes account of any convictions, cautions and pending charges. This does not necessarily mean only the extremely serious convictions, for drug abuse, for instance. It could mean any verbal, physical or mental abuse or bullying that is carried out. So avoid rudeness to people or colleagues and always treat people equally, free from discrimination.

Professional misconduct extends to applying for positions using fraudulent CVs, application forms or other documents and misrepresentation of qualifications. Any drink-driving conviction could have an impact on your professional ability.

For student Veterinary Nurses and others studying towards further qualifications, remember that cheating in examinations, plagiarism or passing off other people’s work as your own is not acceptable behaviour for a professional.

During four months in 2012, the RCVS received 61 complaints involving poor communication skills and consent! Ensure as a professional you are communicating clearly and effectively, whilst maintaining compassion and empathy, where appropriate.

Finally, to ensure you are maintaining client confidentiality do not post details on your social networking sites/blogs or any websites. Be aware clients, staff and managers can see your images and comments on these sites – so think before you post.

Veterinary Nursing is a profession of which to be very proud. To maintain this, it needs to comprise nurses who maintain this professionalism, both inside and outside the work environment.

On a lighter note, in March the BVNA attended Cruft’s 2013, and council members and office staff were available at our stand near the main arena. Council member, Lucy Hayne, wrote: “The stand proved popular throughout the four-day event. The majority of the visitors were people seeking careers advice and it was a great opportunity to bring to the forefront the work we carry out within veterinary practice and the avenues to take to enable qualification to become a veterinary nurse.

“Overall, I found it a very positive experience; being able to share my knowledge and passion of veterinary nursing to a captive audience, and it was also fulfilling to gain encouraging feedback from pet owners about their own experiences at the vets!”

Enjoy this edition of VNJ and here’s hoping our ‘summer’ will begin to shine through soon.


Sam Morgan, CertEd DipAVN [Medical & Surgical] RVN 

Executive Editor

To cite this editorial use either

DOI: 10.1111/vnj.12029 or Veterinary Nursing Journal Vol 28 pp 144

• VOL 28 • May 2013 • Veterinary Nursing Journal