Over 220 new veterinary nurses were welcomed to the VN profession at a series of ceremonies at London Zoo on Tuesday which also celebrated the achievements and skills of the profession.Over 220 new veterinary nurses have been welcomed to the VN profession at a series of ceremonies at London Zoo which also celebrated the achievements and skills of the profession.

The ceremonies, which took place on Tuesday, saw newly-qualified veterinary nurses being formally welcomed to the profession and taken through their professional declarations by Racheal Marshall, Chair of the RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council.

Six veterinary nurses who had achieved the Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (DipAVN) also had their achievement marked on the day. 

Racheal said: "It is very apt that this ceremony is taking place during BVNA’s VN Awareness Month, where veterinary practices are encouraged to talk to their clients and the wider public about who veterinary nurses are, what they do and why, as a caring profession, they are so important to animal health and welfare."

"With VNs like you joining our profession or continuing to excel in your careers and helping to raise awareness of veterinary nursing amongst the general public, I am positive that we will continue to progress."

Racheal also gave three pieces of advice to the new registrants: accept that there will be change in your career and life, look after your own physical and mental wellbeing, and use your voice as a veterinary nurse by voicing your opinions and ideas, voting in VN Council elections – or even standing as a member – and contributing to the VN Futures project.

One particularly special element of the day was the recognition of Surrey-based veterinary nurse Sandra Robson for her long service with a veterinary nursing career spanning over 40 years. Sandra, who now works part-time at Brelades Vets in Dorking, began her training in 1968 and qualified as a Registered Animal Nursing Assistant (or RANA) in August 1970. She has worked as a head nurse and practice manager at equine and small animal practices and has also been keen to pass on her experience to her peers being active in teaching and training many student veterinary nurses over the years.

Sandra said: "The people here should be proud of their profession because they have taken a long time to achieve their qualifications and they should be making everyone aware that it is an important achievement. There has been many general developments over the years with the introduction of the Register, the importance on veterinary nurses being professionally responsible for their own actions and Schedule 3."

Also attending the day was RCVS President Amanda Boag who presented each of the new veterinary nurses with a scroll containing the professional declaration made by all veterinary nurses on admission to the Register of Veterinary Nurses and formally welcoming them to the VN profession as an associate of the RCVS.

Amanda said: "As a veterinary surgeon, I am incredibly proud to work alongside your profession. I have been very lucky within my career to work with some amazing nurses, and I have learnt so much from being part of the wider veterinary team.

"As a young vet working in busy emergency clinics, it was very often the fantastic nurses I worked with who saved the day and were responsible for helping me save patients’ lives. I couldn’t have done it without them.

"Being a vet nurse is a wonderful vocation with great and increasing career opportunities and you are such an important part of the veterinary team."

The next VN Day ceremony takes place on Thursday 17 October 2019.

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