Two new veterinary nurse members have been elected to the RCVS VN Council: Liz Cox and Tanya Caley. Current VN Council chairman, Liz Branscombe, was re-elected, with the highest number of votes. Liz has served on VN Council for five years, and has chaired the Council since 2009.

Usually, two veterinary nurses are elected to VN Council each year. This year, as Council member Dot Creighton is retiring early, an additional vacancy has arisen. Tanya Caley, as the third-placed candidate, will take up that seat for the remaining one year of the term.

There was no VN Council election last year, owing to an insufficient number of candidates standing, so it was good to see some choice for voters this year. However, the turnout figures were markedly lower than in 2009 – at 7.6%, compared with 11.2%.

"It’s disappointing to see that veterinary nurses' interest in electing those who make key decisions about their future seems to be dwindling," says Liz Branscombe. "Nurses have worked hard to develop the Veterinary Nurses Council and ensure it gains credibility within the RCVS at large, and it is a shame if the privilege of having a say in who governs your profession is not appreciated," she adds. 


The newly-elected members will be welcomed to VN Council at RCVS Day, which takes place at One Great George Street in London, on Friday 1st July 2011.

RCVS Day, the College's AGM and Awards Presentation, is also the opportunity for veterinary nurses to celebrate the success of those nurses achieving their Diplomas in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.

All registered or listed veterinary nurses are welcome to attend the day, which starts at 10am and concludes with a buffet lunch in One Great George Street's impressive Great Hall. Tickets, which are free, can be obtained from Fiona Harcourt, on 020 7202 0773 or

Half-century, not out

RCVS Day will also see the presentation of the inaugural Golden Jubilee Award for someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of veterinary nursing or a positive contribution to animal welfare.

This exciting new award was set up by VN Council as part of celebrations to recognise 50 years since the inception of veterinary nurse training. A further event in the calendar is a seminar – ‘Looking back, stepping forward' – which will be held on Thursday 23rd June at the RCVS, Belgravia House, London.

Through a series of thought-provoking talks, the profession will look back to celebrate what has been achieved during its first half-century, and take a step forward to consider where veterinary nursing goes next.

Speakers will include pioneers from the early days of veterinary nursing, some of the trailblazers of today's profession, those involved with veterinary nursing overseas, plus a colleague from the human nursing field.

The event will start with registration at 10am and close at around 4.30pm. A small number of free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact Fiona Harcourt, on 020 7202 0773 or

• VOL 26 • June 2011 • Veterinary Nursing Journal