Vets Now’s Lesley Moore has become the inaugural winner of a bursary in memory of legendary vet nurse Louise O’Dwyer.
Lesley, a senior vet nurse in Vets Now’s Macclesfield clinic, is the first recipient of the £2,000 award which was created to not only celebrate the life of Louise but to ensure her passion for education continued to positively impact across the profession.
Lesley said: “Just to find out I was a finalist was a shock. I really didn’t think I was going to win. It’s made even more special that it is in honour of Louise and I am the first winner.
“Winning means I can really push forward in some areas in which I want to expand my emergency and critical care skills. I then want to be able to use that knowledge to develop other RVNs’ knowledge and promote our profession.”
Louise was one of the world’s leading emergency and critical care veterinary nurses and a huge influence on the thousands of vet professionals who encountered her through her lectures, practical guide books and journal papers.
Her death in May had a profound effect on the veterinary community and Vets Now were keen to remember her in a way that embodied her values of continuous improvement and developing others.
The Louise O’Dwyer bursary was announced in August.
It was to be awarded to the individual who best demonstrated a commitment to making a difference in his or her chosen discipline, while continuing Miss O’Dwyer’s passion for shared learning.
Entries were judged by Vets Now’s clinical director Amanda Boag and senior RVNs Racheal Marshall and Arlene Connor and the winner was announced at the recent Vets Now ECC Congress in Leeds.
Describing the moment she discovered she’d won, Lesley said: “I was already a little emotional when Amanda announced I’d won.
“I knew Louise and it’s still very hard to come to terms with the fact she isn’t here anymore. I think anyone who was at the gala dinner could see I was a bit overwhelmed when I got to the stage.
“I don’t think there are any nurses out there that didn’t find Louise inspirational. I chaired her at BSAVA a couple of years ago and we were both quite nervous. It was my first time chairing and she put her nerves to one side to make sure I was okay.
“She always spoke with such eloquence. Whenever you had the pleasure of listening to her she had the ability to make you feel like she was talking directly to you. We both also love vintage styling and I was regularly envious of some of her beautiful dresses. We used to speak about that as much as we did about veterinary nursing!”
Lesley plans to spend the bursary on courses in emergency ultrasound scanning and toxicology. She also hopes to use it to fund a postgraduate certificate in veterinary education.
She added: “This will give me the skills to develop my teaching and lecturing abilities so I can continue to help other RVNs who love ECC as much as I do.”
Amanda Boag, clinical director at Vets Now, said Lesley was a very deserving recipient of the bursary and one Louise herself would have been proud of.
She said: “Louise was a wonderful colleague, friend and mentor to so many vets and vet nurses and Lesley embodies everything she stood for and held dear. She is a very deserving winner of this award.”