BVNA Council is made up of a team of registered and student veterinary nurses from around the UK, who work tirelessly for BVNA on a voluntary basis.

All Council members share a common desire to represent the veterinary nursing profession, and with complete belief in what veterinary nursing can achieve.

In this blog, we meet Cheryl Plimmer, a full (RVN) Council member based in the West Midlands, currently in her first year on BVNA Council. Here, Cheryl shares her career journey as a veterinary nurse so far, which has included volunteering in Slovenia and working in Western Australia. She also discusses why she put herself to become a BVNA Council member.

Find out more about how we’re working to represent the veterinary nursing profession at:

“My name is Cheryl and I have been an RVN for 22 years this year! I started in my first practice on a work experience placement whilst studying Animal Care, before the opportunity came up to become an SVN at an RSPCA hospital. I studied Vet Nursing during block release at Berkshire College of Agriculture which I thoroughly enjoyed, as I found having blocks of study time away from work really helped me to focus on the theory. I could then put everything into practice when I got back to work.

“After qualifying as an RVN, I remained with the RSPCA for most of the following 10 years with a couple of breaks in between to try referral nursing and to volunteer at an animal shelter in Slovenia. I worked my way up to Staff Nurse, which included increased responsibility and managerial duties, however, I eventually left to move to Western Australia with my family. I spent over 2 years as a locum nurse in the busy ECC department of a large referral hospital whilst enjoying the beautiful weather and nearby beaches with my husband and daughters.

We made the difficult decision to return to the UK to be closer to our loved ones in 2016, and I began working in a local, multi-branch hospital. I have been here ever since and am now a Lead RVN after having the opportunity to undertake additional qualifications in my area of interest, anaesthesia. After completing the NCert Anaesthesia with Improve in 2020, I went on to gain the RCVS Graduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Anaesthesia) with Harper Adams University last year. This is what I am most proud of as the degree level qualification was not an option when I qualified all those years ago!”

Why did you choose to put yourself forward to become a BVNA Council member?

“I decided to apply for BVNA Council as I had been a BVNA member for many years, particularly enjoying the VNJ and annual BVNA Congress. I thought that I would like to be more involved with the profession and felt this would be the perfect opportunity. Since being elected last year, I am currently involved with planning Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month in May which is very exciting, along with sitting on the Learning and Development committee. I hope to be involved with some of the very important campaigns such as Protect the Title, but I’m also excited to see what goes on behind the scenes at BVNA Congress!”

What excites you about the future of veterinary nursing?

“It is early days in my BVNA council journey; however, I am so proud to be representing the profession, especially during a time where we are facing so many challenges. I am optimistic about the future as there has never been so many opportunities for RVNs to progress and diversify. We are now able to look forward to a full and varied career as an RVN via many different pathways and I believe that things can only get better.”