As part of its recent policy statement in which the BVA outlined its vision for veterinary surgeons to lead the care provided by a variety of allied professionals, the association has made a series of recommendations for expanding the role of Registered Veterinary Nurses.

Firstly, the BVA recommends that more work needs to be done in order to clarify and communicate the duties that can already be delegated to Registered Veterinary Nurses under Schedule 3.

In addition, the Association says that:

  • there should be an expanded role for RVNs in general anaesthesia, where the veterinary surgeon maintains overall responsibility

  • consideration should be given to granting RVNs expanded rights to dispense POM-V flea and worming treatments

  • consideration should be given to expanding the role of RVNs in the management of chronic cases, including repeat dispensing

  • consideration should be given to the potential role for RVNs in dispensing contraceptives, anthelmintics and vaccines in a zoo setting

  • it would be beneficial to incorporate the Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) role within RVN training

The BVA also recommends that there should be accessible, flexible and professionally recordable post-registration awards for RVNs from all academic backgrounds, and has reiterated its call for the protection of the title of 'Veterinary Nurse.'

BVNA Junior Vice President Jo Hinde RVN (pictured right) said: "BVNA strongly supports the vet-led approach as we believe working together as a team is the best way to improve both patient and staff welfare. We are delighted to be working on this project with BVA and are using our best efforts to continue to strive to strengthen the role of the RVN.

"We have always believed the VN title needs to be protected and this is increasingly important as the veterinary profession adapts to new challenges. It is vital that owners can be confident that their pet is being looked after by well-trained and RCVS-registered staff, as well as there being more clarity surrounding Schedule 3 procedures.

"The support for the advancement of the nursing role through post-registration qualifications is a welcome development and we believe this will help enable RVNs to follow their passion for a particular subject and allow them to significantly increase their knowledge in specific areas of interest. When following the vet-led model, this would result in a strong team of individuals with in-depth knowledge that can enhance their patients’ care."

What do you think of these recommendations? Come and discuss here.

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