A horse and person walking on a green ribbon

Description automatically generated

The latest Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month (VNAM) video from IVC Evidensia has been launched, with the aim of providing a celebratory video that also helps pet owners understand the broad range of responsibilities vet nurses have in caring for animals.

In line with this year’s VNAM theme of ‘Progression’, the video sets about portraying the impressive variety of jobs performed by an RVN, whilst showing the many roles within vet nursing as a whole, including vet nurses in equine, small animal and exotics to name a few. You can watch the full video here.

Filming for the video took place at The Neighbourhood Vet in London, Oakham Equine Vets in Rutland, and Pengelly and Mizen Vets in Peterborough, with vet nurses performing vital tasks such as diagnostic tests, consultations and administering medications.

The concept for the video is based on the popular viral video trend “Of course I can”, as a way of empowering vet nurses, whether they are a part of IVC Evidensia or not. Ultimately, the purpose of the video is to generate pride for the vet nurse role and highlight the part that RVN’s are playing in driving progression within veterinary.

At one stage the narrator summarises the mindset of our talented vet nurses by saying, “Progression isn’t just about moving forward; it’s about evolving, adapting, and embracing new challenges.”

Each vital function, highlighted in the video, will help in pushing the dial a little further to help the next generation of vet nurses to find their way into an exciting career and give them a platform for success.

Liz Cox, Group Veterinary Nursing Advisor, commented:

“We have put a great deal of work into creating career pathways for vet nurses to progress within our own group, but as a whole the profession is becoming a much more attractive prospect for RVNs to flourish and progress.

“This new video not only emphasises the amazing jobs done by RVNs, but also what they are capable of doing if they are given the opportunity to develop their skills in a supportive environment.

“Vet Nurse Awareness Month is an ideal opportunity to celebrate their vital role in our industry and give future vet nurses a platform to thrive.”

This new video is a follow up to the veterinary group’s 2023 VNAM video entitled ‘Always a Vet Nurse’, which garnered over 7.5k views on YouTube, given its empowering and celebratory tone.

Prioritising progress for vet nurses

Progression has long been a core consideration for IVC Evidensia, with many internal resources available to help RVN’s develop extra responsibilities, including Clinical Coaching, IPC Ambassador, Sustainability Champion, Nutrition Champion and Wellbeing Champion.

These are positioned alongside several training programmes that have been launched in the last 12 months for the sole purpose of ensuring vet nurses are able to progress within their role.

The VCA Development programme (Veterinary Care Assistants) has had 116 people register since October 2023 and Dental team training has had 123 RVNs attend since January with more booked for later this summer. The latter is clinical training that included a practical day in Dublin featuring dental staging techniques enabling burses to be skilled across teeth cleaning, dental radiography and equipment maintenance, all using the latest technology.

A monthly Nursing Hour webinar series open to vet nurses within the group has featured many novel and innovative topics such as consulting, lavage and wound debridement, sustainability, wellness screening and chemical free cleaning, all for the purpose of encouraging vet nurse progression and learning on a frequent basis.

During May there is also further CPD sessions planned at Blaise Veterinary Hospital on 27 May, as well as a competition in partnership with CEVA for vet nurses to enter to raise awareness of Feline Hypertension Month, which will be launched soon.

Carrie Pulsford, Chair of the IVC Evidensia Nursing Board, discussed the current programmes in place:

“Our current Vet Nurse training programmes are indicative of the current efforts of the group to ensure that RVNs have the best possible learning opportunities and avenues to explore when it comes to career progression.

“I’m privileged to be in a position as Chair of the Nursing Board where I can support and work with a huge range of talented vet nurses, seeing them progress to senior and specialist roles. I believe that we’re in a good place to provide Vet Nurses with everything they need to excel in the profession.”

“Of course I can”

The vet nurses featured in the new video are all at various stages of their careers, but all have their own stories about how they progressed in their role and what they think progression looks like within veterinary.

The tag line “Of course I can,” was inspired by a current social media trend but has a deeper meaning when applied to the role of the vet nurse. In this context it emphasises the huge range of responsibilities they have, as well as how versatile RVN’s can be in picking up other roles within practice that are often above and beyond their station.

Luyanda Tebele, who featured in the video, is a vet nurse working at The Neighbourhood Vets, but she has also been working in the profession for 7 years with most of her career to date spent in South Africa. She only registered with the RCVS last month but is now looking forward to progressing in her role. She commented:

“It gives me joy working with patients on a daily basis and I hope to specialise in anaesthesia in the future.

“Progression for me means stepping out of my comfort zone, facing new challenges and growing as a vet nurse.”

Watch the full video here or find out more about Vet Nurse careers at IVC Evidensia. Or, if you would like to learn more about the Nursing Board, head to their page here.

Join us to celebrate #20YearsOfVNAM!

Visit our website here for more information on how you can get involved this year; https://bvna.org.uk/blog/your-vnam2024-your-way/

This year, the campaign theme is ‘Progression’ – with the aim of highlighting the diverse range of skills, abilities and career pathways of veterinary nurses. We’ll also be raising awareness amongst the public about why protecting the ‘veterinary nurse’ title is so crucial.