VN Council Chair, Matthew Rendle, talked of a bright future for the veterinary nursing profession at the RCVS AGM last week. 

Matthew's address looked at the significance of 2021 as veterinary nursing’s Diamond Jubilee – representing 60 years since the first RCVS-approved Auxiliary Nursing Assistant course.

He spoke about how this was likely to be a year of firsts for the profession, including the awarding of the first Certificates in Advanced Veterinary Nursing, the recruitment of the first VN Practice Standards Scheme Assessors and the first time there would be 20,000 veterinary nurses on the RCVS Register.

He also spoke about the planned activities to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee including webinars, podcasts and the publication of an eBook about the history of the profession.

Matt said: “For my own first podcast I interviewed Jean Turner who – I don’t think she’ll mind me saying – has been a member of the profession for a good chunk of the last 60 years.

“She’s a real professional hero of mine and I had a fascinating conversation with her about what has changed, what hasn’t changed and what really needs to change!

“Speaking to Jean reminded me that we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Where we are as a profession is down to those who came before us and we owe it to them, and future generations of veterinary nurses, to make sure we are always progressing and improving.”

Matt said that with RCVS Council’s adoption of the proposals for legislative reform in June this year, the veterinary nursing profession had a bright future ahead of it, with protection of title and a bolstered role in areas such as anaesthesia being included in any future legislation.

“I still sometimes hear my veterinary nursing colleagues refer to themselves as ‘just a veterinary nurse’. Whenever I hear it said, I challenge it.

“With the Diamond Jubilee celebrations this year I think we will be making a very big challenge to that mindset, and it will remind all veterinary nurses that we are brilliant professionals, with a long and proud history and that we are a force for good in society.”

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