On Thursday 28 July, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) held its first in-person Veterinary Nurses Day for three years at the University of Manchester’s Whitworth Hall to celebrate the achievements of over 130 veterinary nurses (VNs).
Joined by friends, family and fellow veterinary nurses, the day was an opportunity for newly-qualified VNs to be formally welcomed to the Register of Veterinary Nurses, and for those who had achieved their Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing to be presented with their certificates.
The formal proceedings of the Veterinary Nurses Day started with a welcome address from Matthew Rendle, chair of VN council, who congratulated the VNs and outlined the landmark achievements the profession had made over the past couple of years, including celebrating its 60th anniversary, welcoming the twenty-thousandth VN onto the Register and launching a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing. Matthew then led the newly qualified veterinary nurses through their professional declaration, before inviting each VN onto the stage to receive a scroll.
Dr Kate Richards, RCVS senior vice-president, followed up with a speech that encouraged collaboration and making connections with fellow veterinary professionals. The Veterinary Nurses Day keynote speech was given by former VN Council Chair Andrea Jeffrey, RVN, with a talk that explored the reason she had asked “why?” throughout her career and the various paths that questioning how things were done had taken her on.
Matthew Rendle said: “It was an absolute pleasure to welcome so many VNs onto the Register and to celebrate those who have passed an advanced qualification. Being a veterinary nurse is something I’m extremely proud of and I hope that everyone who attended today has left with the same feelings of pride in their achievements.
“One of my favourite parts of Veterinary Nurses Day is hearing everyone take their professional declaration together, and I felt honoured to be able to lead our most recent cohort of new VNs through their declaration. It was a great opportunity to meet so many veterinary nursing colleagues in-person and I’m confident that the future of the veterinary nursing community is in extremely safe hands.”
Sarah-Jayne Richards, an RVN who was celebrating receiving her Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing, said: “Today has been absolutely amazing. The venue is beautiful and it’s such a proud moment to be able to celebrate the achievements of something I’ve been working on for two and a half years.
“I did the Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing, where I enjoyed being able to dive in a bit deeper into medical and surgical skills. You can choose from a range of areas, but I chose to focus on medical, surgical and anaesthesia. I’m now a surgical RVN at a referral practice which I love.“
Katie Sproull, an RVN who made her declaration at Veterinary Nurses Day, said: “It’s so good to be able to celebrate today with my fellow RVNs. I passed my OSCEs in September and I was so happy when I got the email six months later to let me know that I’d been invited to attend today.
“I really enjoyed the speech from Andrea Jeffery and have been able to speak to people involved in the day’s presentations at the reception. It helps to bring the community together, especially taking the declaration together as a group.
“I work in practice and have done some CPD on Schedule 3 procedures and I hope to develop those in practice. I’ve got two bunnies at home and I’m a rabbit enthusiast, so I want to implement rabbit clinics and doing some CPD in that area to help support the many people in my area who also have rabbits.”