Remembering Louise O'Dwyer

13 May 2019

Racheal Marshall, Chair of VN Council, has made a statement regarding the recent passing of Louise O'Dwyer (pictured below with previous VN Council Chair Liz Cox), a previous VN Golden Jubilee Award winner and prominent member of the veterinary nursing profession.

Liz Cox, previous Chair of VN Council, with Louise O'Dwyer at RCVS Day 2016 "Last week I was amongst many in our profession who was devastated to learn of the passing of Louise O’Dwyer. I was fortunate to know Louise both as a friend and colleague and know the impact she had across the whole veterinary nursing profession. She was a true inspiration and leader who achieved so much and took every opportunity to use her passion and drive to raise the profile of veterinary nursing in the UK and internationally.

“In 2016 she was a very well-deserving recipient of the RCVS Golden Jubilee Award, which recognises leaders and ambassadors within the veterinary nursing profession. She received the award in recognition of her pioneering role in veterinary nursing, acting as the first veterinary nurse Clinical Director within the CVS Group and the first UK veterinary nurse to be voted on to the US-based Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians’ (AVECCT) Board. She was subsequently chosen to be President of AVECCT. Latterly I was privileged to work closely with Louise in her position as Clinical Support Manager at Vets Now.

“She volunteered for several years at the Bella Moss Foundation, worked on a variety of British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Committees, contributed to over 35 journal and magazine articles in the UK, USA and Canada, had written three nursing textbooks, contributed chapters to numerous textbooks in the UK and US and was a hugely popular and highly-respected speaker and advocate for veterinary nursing at congresses around the world.

"Louise’s infectious personality, enthusiasm and natural ability to motivate and encourage others made her a role model and friend to so many within the profession. She was always willing to get involved in projects to move veterinary nursing forwards including the VN Futures project.

“When she won the Golden Jubilee Award back in 2016 she told the RCVS that ‘nursing is about making your mark’ and I think that Louise, more than any one I have known, lived up to this ideal. She is an immense loss to the profession and to her friends and family. She will be hugely missed.”


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