Speaking at last week's RCVS Veterinary Nurses Day, Rachael Marshall, Chair of Veterinary Nurses Council highlighted advances in the veterinary nursing profession and urged nurses to find ways of taking the lead in their career.

Veterinary Nurses Day was held at London Zoo to welcome new members of the profession, award Diplomas and celebrate the achievements of one of its longest-serving members.

During the ceremony, Rachael Marshall, Chair of Veterinary Nurses Council, led the newly registered nurses through their professional declarations while the President of the RCVS, Dr Niall Connell presented each new veterinary nurse a scroll containing the text of their declarations.

Before leading the declarations, Racheal said: "I would encourage you all to take control of your career and find areas where you can take the lead, whether this be within your practice or by contributing to the wider profession.

"Sticking your head above the parapet can be scary and often daunting, however, the satisfaction of challenging yourself and achieving things outside of your comfort zone is all the more rewarding.

"Remember this is a career for life. However you choose to use your qualification always be rightly proud to stand tall and say ‘I am a veterinary nurse’."

The College hosted two separate ceremonies, one in the morning and afternoon, and around 175 new veterinary nurses collected their scrolls, as well as nine RVNs who had achieved their DipAVNs. Also being recognised at the event with a lifetime achievement award was Deborah Holland who qualified as a ‘registered animal nursing auxiliary’ (or RANA) in 1981 and has seen first-hand how the profession has changed and adapted over the last 40 years.

Racheal added: “It was not until 1984 that a change in the law allowed the use of the title of veterinary nurse, and a further 30 years until a new Royal Charter in 2015 formally granted the status of associates of the RCVS, making veterinary nursing a regulated profession in its own right. Last year a change in the governance of the RCVS Council has allowed two veterinary nurses to become members of Council, which further demonstrates the solid recognition of the importance of the VN role, which this day aims to highlight and celebrate.”

In his closing speech for both sessions, RCVS President Niall Connell spoke of the challenges of veterinary work and the importance of reaching out to your peers and colleagues in times of need.

Niall said: “Talk to colleagues, talk to friends and support each other. More than ever our veterinary professions are closer together so you should never feel you are alone. If you need advice, seek it. There are so many people you can ask, colleagues, your associations and you will always be welcome to call the College for advice on professional conduct, CPD and other issues.”


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