Dear Reader

Somebody, a Frenchman I believe, once said that the more life changes the more it stays the same, and although it sounds rather contrary, in my experience, the statement contains at least a kernel of truth. After working on the VNJ for over a decade,

I am planning to step down within the next 12 months and a review of today’s journal show that, although its appearance has changed, it is still fundamentally the same publication that was circulated to members when I started working on it. Of course it has altered to take into account the changing nature of veterinary nursing and many of today’s articles are written with a level of knowledge and insight that was hitherto unknown. Kelly Druce’s second article on Feline Hyperthyroidism is a prime example, whilst the article on the domestication of the cat by Claire Hargrave provides a detailed account of the path taken by the cat to become today’s well-loved pet. Her discussion of the factors that can lead to increased stress and resultant ‘antisocial’ behaviour provides an insight that the modern-day RVN can utilise to improve both nursing care and client education. Although nursing is the core activity for most of our members, many do fulfil a wide diversity of roles, including management, on a day-to-day basis and Sarah Day considers the essentials of the recruitment process.

Whilst on the subject of change, we have recently seen a major leap forward in the professionalization of veterinary nursing with the new Charter, as well as a move towards protection of the title. How different things were back in the 1990s when the idea of graduate veterinary nurses was something of a novelty in the veterinary community, today veterinary nursing degrees are very much part of the landscape. Another important milestone along the path to professional status has now been reached in that veterinary nursing has its own set of dedicated Benchmarks, which have been accepted and ratified by the Quality Assurance Agency(QAA) for use by degree providers as a framework for both honours and foundation degrees. Full details can be found at Documents/SBS-vet-nursing-15.pdf

The introduction of dedicated Benchmarks along with the work that the RCVS is doing on such issues as the identification of Day One Skills provides a clear indication of how far the profession has progressed since the days of the RANA!

A true profession must also have a history and a sense of longevity for, as well as it’s young and enthusiastic members, it must also include more senior individuals to lend stability. Although we have not quite reached that point, we do have a cadre of senior nurses who have worked hard over the years to promote veterinary nursing and animal welfare. As a previous recipient of the RCVS Golden Jubilee Award I can certainly relate to the sentiments that Dot Creighton has expressed on hearing the news that she had been selected to receive this year’s award. I would like to add my congratulations to the many that Dot will have already received, she has been a staunch supporter of the BVNA in the past and I have no doubt that she will continue to be one for a long time to come. Finally, Joy Howell, another well established veterinary nurse who is well known to many within the veterinary community, has written an article about her recent trip to Turkey and she takes the opportunity to reflect on her own professional journey over the years. ‘Plus ca change…’, to quote that Frenchman!


Sue Badger MEd CertEd RVN 

Commissioning Editor

DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2015.1071452


• VOL 30 • September 2015 • Veterinary Nursing Journal