On Tuesday 13 January members of VN Council gathered at Belgravia House for a ‘strategy day’ to consider the key priorities for the Council over the coming years and how it could do more to reach out to the profession.

When, at last year’s BVNA Congress, we asked veterinary nurses to vote for what they thought VN Council’s main priority should be, they overwhelmingly voted for raising the profile of the profession with the public. So, naturally, the need for more engagement with the public was a key theme of the day. This included increasing the understanding of what being a registered veterinary nurse entails – for example, in terms of the clinical care they provide for animals – as well as the education and training required to be a member of the profession and the fact that it is now fully regulated.

On the other hand, it was also acknowledged that VN Council needed to do more to engage with the profession itself. This was both in terms of demonstrating the impact that decisions made by the Council – and its subcommittees – can have on veterinary nurses, but also in persuading members of the profession to play a more active role in veterinary politics – for example, by standing for VN Council, taking part in consultations or simply providing feedback on its decisions.

Julie Dugmore, RCVS Head of Veterinary Nursing, organised the day and commented: “It was fantastic to get beyond the immediate, day-to-day concerns of VN Council and look at the bigger picture of where we want the profession to be in 10 years’ time and the part that VN Council can play in getting there.

“Lots of ideas came out of the day and we are now in the process of developing these into an action plan. With the new Charter bringing the recognition and regulation that the profession deserves, it is clearly a very exciting time for veterinary nursing and we want to capitalise on this by promoting the profession far and wide!”

VNs and the law

On 23 February we held a webinar looking at veterinary nurses and the law and, in particular, what Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act means for all members of the practice team in terms of the procedures and work that can and can’t be delegated to registered and student veterinary nurses.

Kathy Kissick, Chair of VN Council, presented the webinar which was hosted by the Webinar Vet. You can listen to the presentation again by visiting www.rcvs.org.uk/webinars – and remember, it can count towards your CPD!

Signed, sealed, delivered

The new RCVS Royal Charter has now been signed and sealed by Her Majesty the Queen meaning that all those who were formerly listed veterinary nurses, have become registered veterinary nurses.

Shortly before it was brought into effect in mid-February, we wrote to all veterinary nurses (both listed and registered) to explain the Charter and the impact it would have on the profession. For a handy summary of these changes please consult our Charter FAQ at www.rcvs.org.uk/rvn

Registration ceremonies

Our veterinary nurse registration ceremonies, where we formally welcome new members of the profession on to the Register, are going from strength-to-strength with increasing numbers of VNs (and their family and friends) coming to Belgravia House for this special occasion.

This year’s remaining ceremonies will take place on 25 and 26 March, 1 and 2 July and 28 and 29 October. If you are a newly registered veterinary nurse and wish to attend one of the ceremonies please contact Sophie Jamieson, VN Admissions Officer, on s.jamieson@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0711.

• VOL 30 • March 2015 • Veterinary Nursing Journal