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Packed programme for VN Futures at BSAVA Congress

27 March 2018

The future of the veterinary nursing profession will be high on the agenda at the upcoming British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Congress next month with a whole stream of events related to the VN Futures project.

VN Futures, a joint project between the RCVS and the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), was formed at the beginning of the 2016 to help the veterinary nursing profession prepare for and plan its future, in parallel with the Vet Futures project.

The VN Futures Report and Action Plan was published in July 2016 and, since then, a number of working groups have been formed to bring its 31 actions into fruition. The veterinary nurses leading some of these groups will be presenting at a dedicated VN Futures-related stream in Hall 6 on the afternoon of Thursday 5 April.

VN Council Chair Liz CoxThe stream starts with a panel discussion entitled ‘I’m an RVN: the future’s bright, think big!’ between 2.05pm and 2.50pm. On the panel will be Dot Creighton RVN, Chair of the VN Futures Post-registration Working Group which is looking at career and educational development for nurses; Stephanie Writer-Davies MRCVS, a member of the VN Futures Action Group; and Liz Cox (pictured right) RVN, Chair of RCVS VN Council and the VN Futures Action Group.

Between 3pm and 3.45pm this will be followed by a presentation from Helen Ballantyne, a veterinary nurse and medical nurse, who chairs the VN Futures One Health Working Group, entitled ‘One health: collaboration is the name of the game’. The presentation will look at how veterinary nurses can work with other healthcare professions, particularly medical nurses, to share good practice and ways of working and work together on public health campaigns that affect both humans and their animals, for example, smoking cessation and diet.

From 3.50pm to 4.35pm Renay Rickard, who chairs the VN Futures Career Progression Group, will give a talk entitled ‘Because you’re worth it: giving and getting more support training and recognition’. The presentation will focus on the group’s work around developing a structured and rewarding career path and how nurses can maximise their own potential through personal development and increasing the awareness of what veterinary nurses do amongst the profession and public.

Matthew Rendle, VN Council memberFinally, between 4.40pm and 5.25pm Matthew Rendle RVN (pictured right), who is a member of the VN Futures Workforce Group, will be giving a presentation entitled ‘It’s your career, own it!’ in which he will talk about his career and how it reflects the diversity of options open to veterinary nurses.

Liz Cox, Chair of the VN Futures Action Group, said: “Since the launch of the VN Futures Report and Action Plan in 2016 there has been a lot of great work going on somewhat under the radar and so we are really excited to be presenting the results of the activities being carried out by the working groups to a wider audience of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.

“At a time where there is an increasing number of veterinary nurses entering the profession yet potential workforce shortages amongst veterinary surgeons, now is a really crucial time to be discussing the veterinary nursing profession and for its members to take the reins and help guide its future.

“Therefore we would be very interested to hear the thoughts of both veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses on what the VN Futures project is currently doing and would encourage them to attend and join the debate.”

Further information about the VN Futures project can be found on its dedicated webpage.


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