We celebrated the success of the first three holders of the equine Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (DipAVN (Equine)) at our AGM and awards ceremony at the Royal College of Physicians on Friday 5 July.

All three – Natalie Fisk, Kate Lomas and Marie Rippingale – had studied at Myerscough College and were presented with their awards by the outgoing RCVS president, Jacqui Molyneux. Our congratulations to them and all of the 23 veterinary nurses who were awarded their DipAVN (Small Animal) at the event.

RCVS Day also saw changes to the line-up for VN Council (VNC). Amy Robinson, who was elected to VNC in the May elections, was welcomed to Council by chairman Kathy Kissick. Andrea Jeffery’s re-election was also confirmed.

Kathy also welcomed new lay members, Alison Carr and Professor Sue Proctor, and thanked retiring VNC members, Jill Nute, Revd Tony Birbeck, Richard Hooker and Louise Glysen.

All of the new members will serve for four-year terms. Look out for information in the autumn about how you can stand for election and contribute to the future of your profession!

At the event, Kathy Kissick was also presented with a new VNC chairmans medal by RCVS past-president Jill Nute, a long-term supporter of veterinary nurses within the College. Jill had kindly commissioned the medal, as well as pins for past-chairmen of VNC –   Liz Branscombe and Roger Eddy were present to receive theirs.

The three DipAVN (Equine) holders – Natalie Fisk. Kate Lomas, Marie Rippingale – with (centre right) VNC chairman, Kathy Kissick

CPD audit

We have recently written to nearly 1,000 registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) as part of our fourth continuing professional development (CPD) audit. These include some 270 RVNs who responded to the last audit but did not meet the requirement, plus 116 who did not respond at all.

We also included a random selection of around 600 nurses (8%) who have registered for at least three years without a break.

Committing to keep your skills and knowledge up to date is a critical part of being a regulated professional. You only need to think about the level of skill and knowledge you would demand of someone looking after your own animal – or indeed members of your family – to realise how important it is.

The RCVS Code of Professional Conduct requirement is not just that RVNs carry out CPD – an average of 45 hours over three years – but that it’s recorded. Recording is important as it is part of a ‘plan-do-record-reflect’ loop which ensures that CPD is useful and valuable.

The online Professional Development Record (PDR) makes planning, recording and reflecting on your CPD easy – and it lists a large number of possible activities that ‘count’ – the majority of which are free of charge. Check it out at www.rcvs.org.uk/vnpdr.

Meanwhile, if you receive a letter from the College asking for your CPD record, please do reply. You can send us a photocopy of your Record Card or share a link from your PDR.

Vectar project conference

In August, the Vectar (Veterinary European Clinical Training and Assessment Record) project team will be holding a final one-day open conference in Finland to launch the new web- – based veterinary nurse student clinical experience log and the electronic package for clinical mentors.

This conference will provide plenty of opportunity to explore the many issues surrounding clinic-based placements, ensuring that vet and VN students get the best out of this very valuable experience.

The project partners will be explaining the development process and the benefits that the experience log has already brought to the schools during the two-year project. Delegates will be able to try out the system and consider how it might benefit their college or university.

The conference is free to attend, and will be held in Helsinki on Friday 30 August.

If you are interested, please contact the project team for more information, on info@vectar.org or 020 7202 0788.

For further information about the Vectar project, you can download our newsletter, Vectar Voice, from www.vectar.org. 

Jill Nute (left) presents Kathy Kissick with the new VNC chairman's medal

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 28 • August 2013 •