Whether or not a registered veterinary nurse found guilty of serious professional misconduct should be removed from both the Register and the List has been discussed by the Veterinary Nurses Council, plus other committees of the College.

The general view was that, in an ideal world, such nurses would be removed from the List, meaning they could no longer carry out Schedule 3 tasks.

However, the latest legal advice suggests this is not advisable, and agreement on whether to compromise with removal from just the Register was not reached.

We have therefore agreed to seek further legal advice. It is important to get it right and to minimise the risk of a legal challenge. We will also consider the extent to which we can use the Guide to Professional Conduct to strengthen advice to veterinary employers about factors to consider when delegating to listed veterinary nurses, including their registration status.

Plus, and at the particular request of the VN Council, we will consider to what extent we could identify – to the public and potential employers – de-registered nurses who remain on the List.

The legal advice will be sought over the coming months and is scheduled to be discussed again by VN Council and committees in October, and RCVS Council in November. If agreement can be reached then, we will still be on target to launch the new disciplinary mechanism early in 2011.

Welcome advice?

A call was made at a recent meeting of the VN Council for the library of Advice Notes that is available on RCVSonline to be better publicised to veterinary nurses.

The purpose of the Notes is to amplify certain aspects of the Guide to Professional Conduct – for both vets and veterinary nurses. There is currently a series of 31 Advice Notes online (www.rcvs.org.uk/advicenotes), with topics including who can carry out the vaccination of companion animals (no. 11) and the role of veterinary nurses in the maintenance and monitoring of anaesthesia (no. 19).

The Notes are drawn up by the RCVS Advisory Committee, which has a representative from VN Council – Andrea Jeffery. If there are topics on which you would like to see further advice being made available, please do let us know by e-mailing l.lockett@rcvs.org.uk

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 25 • No7 • July 2010 •