Our new supplemental Royal Charter came into effect on 17 February 2015. This was an historic event, as the last Charter was granted in 1967 and because it changes the way the veterinary nursing profession is regulated.
The new Charter clarifies the role and objectives of the RCVS and confirms the College as the regulator of veterinary nurses, representing a huge step forward for the profession. This means instead of keeping a Register of Veterinary Nurses and a separate List of Veterinary Nurses, the RCVS now keeps just a Register of Veterinary Nurses.
The Register itself opened in 2007 and at the time marked a significant step forward in the regulation of VNs. It was the first step towards statutory regulation for veterinary nurses. All VNs that joined the RCVS since 1 January 2003 either transferred automatically from the List to the Register in 2007, transferred voluntarily or were automatically transferred on the 17 February 2015.
Professional recognition, as in other professions, brings with it obligations and registered veterinary nurses are accountable for their conduct and subject to the standards set by the Veterinary Nurses Council. These standards may be found in the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses. They include a requirement to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and make relevant disclosures to the RCVS.
RVNs are required to complete an average of 45 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) over a three-year period. You can download the CPD Record Card for Veterinary Nurses from the 'Related documents' box, which explains what counts as CPD and how to record it.
RVNs also follow the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses and, should there ever be an issue of serious professional misconduct, undergo a disciplinary process, similar to that for veterinary surgeons (introduced on 1 April 2011).
A full explanation of the terms and conditions of joining the Register can be found in the Veterinary Nurse Registration Rules 2014, available to download from the 'Related documents' box.
If these documents don't answer your questions, please contact the Veterinary Nursing Department on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7202 0788.