Veterinary nursing had a prominent place at this year’s RCVS Day – our Annual General Meeting and Awards Day which took place on 10 July – with many members of the profession present to receive various awards and accolades.

One of those honoured was Dot Creighton who was BVNA President from 2003 to 2004 and who received the VN Golden Jubilee Award in recognition of her pioneering awareness-raising work. This included developing the concept of an annual aware¬ness day for the profession during her presidential year – an idea that has now blossomed into VN Awareness Month.

Catherine Phillips RVN, the Head of the Department of Veterinary Nursing at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, was awarded an Honorary Associateship for her commitment to improving education and curriculum standards for veterinary nurses. In addition, some 39 veterinary nurses were presented with Diplomas in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (DipAVN).

There were also changes to the Officer Team at the College, with Dr Bradley Viner replacing Professor Stuart Reid as President of the RCVS. The occasion also saw Kathy Kissick RVN standing down as Chair of VN Council, a position she has held since 2012, to be replaced by Liz Cox. Kathy will continue as a Vice-Chair of VN Council.

In her first duty as Chair of VN Council, Liz led the veterinary nurses present at RCVS Day through their professional declarations.

BVNA Congress

As always the College will be setting up stall at this year’s BVNA Congress at the International Centre in Telford from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 October.

This year, however, sees a slight difference to the normal way we operate, with a meeting of VN Council in Telford ahead of the start of the Congress on the morning of Thursday 8 October – the first time that the Council has met outside London.

This will be followed in the afternoon by a joint meeting between the BVNA and VN Councils on the Vet Futures project, a joint RCVS and British Veterinary Association initiative which seeks to help the veterinary profession (including veterinary nurses) prepare for and shape its future.

Vet Futures will also be the main theme for our stand (number B7) at BVNA Congress itself. If you have any queries or want to take part in any of our special games or competitions, please make sure to stop by as our staff will be happy to help.

We will also be holding three focus group sessions on each day of BVNA Congress looking at the functionality of our Nursing Progress Log, a free online platform that allows student veterinary nurses to keep a record of their learning and development. These sessions take place between 12.30pm and 1.30pm on Friday; 3.30pm and 4.30pm on Saturday; and 11.30am and 12.30pm on Sunday. Attendees must be BVNA delegates – for further details on how to participate contact Julie Dugmore, our Head of Veterinary Nursing, on

If you wish to attend VN Council on Thursday 8 October please contact Emma Lockley, Events Officer, on or 020 7202 0773.

Day one skills consultation

Thank you to the 303 people who responded to the consultation on our proposed new day one skills list for veterinary nurses, some of whom did so on behalf of organisations and practices. The respondents were roughly half and half veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses (49% and 48% respectively) with around three-quarters of those responding as individuals rather than on behalf of an organisation.

The updated document provided a list of those skills student veterinary nurses are expected to have gained by the end of their training, and to be competent and confident in when they first go into practice. We took the opportunity to review the day one skills to bring them closer into line with our recently revised day one competences, and to reduce the number of required skills in order to make it more relevant to clinical practice.

We will now be considering the consultation responses and drawing up a revised list which will go to VN Education Committee for approval in November and to VN Council in February 2016 for ratification.

Pre-registration examinations

Congratulations to the eight international veterinary nurses, who passed their pre-registration practical examinations in July. The nurses, who had qualified from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the United States of America, are now eligible to join the UK Register.

In total 11 nurses undertook the examination – meaning there was a 73% pass rate, the highest ever thus far. For the full results and pass list visit veterinary-nurse-pre-registration-examination/.


• VOL 30 • October 2015 • Veterinary Nursing Journal