VN Futures project launched

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) have launched VN Futures, a companion project to Vet Futures, which aims to draw up a blueprint for the future of the veterinary nursing profession.

One of the recommendations of the Vet Futures report (Taking charge of our future: a vision for the veterinary profession for 2030), which was published in November 2015, was to “encourage veterinary nurse leaders to develop a report and recommendations which are directly relevant to veterinary nurses and their future…”.

Following a joint meeting between the RCVS VN Council and the Council of the BVNA in October 2015, it was decided that a ‘VN Futures’ project would provide the relevant leadership and engagement to achieve this.

An initial meeting with a broad range of stakeholders took place at the RCVS on 7 January 2016, and, following this, a VN Futures Action Group has now been established to take the project forward, with the aim of delivering an action plan at the Vet Futures Summit in the summer.

The Action Group includes a mix of individuals involved in the training, representation, regulation, employment and management of veterinary nurses.

The timeframe under consideration for Vet Futures is until 2030, however, it was considered that a five-year timeline may be more appropriate for veterinary nursing, given that it’s a younger profession, the retention rate is lower, and the training cycle is shorter.

The VN Futures project is running a series of evening meetings to engage with VNs and those involved in the profession, as follows:

  • 14 March, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU
  • 18 April, the College of Animal Welfare, Topcliffe Close, Capitol Park, Tingley, Leeds WF3 1DR
  • 11 May, Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill Campus, Edinburgh EH11 4BN
  • 17 May, Nottingham Belfry Hotel, Mellors Way, Notts NG8 6PY, this will be a discussion stream within an RCVS Regional Question Time meeting
  • 31 May, SSE SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff CF11 9XR, this will be a discussion stream within an RCVS Regional Question Time meeting

The meetings are free to attend and will start at 6.30pm, with a buffet supper. To register visit the VN Futures Eventbrite page.

“The VN Futures project aims to deliver an action plan that will help take the veterinary nursing profession into its next phase of development. With the new Charter now in place, and a willingness from Defra to review Schedule 3, the time is ripe for us to take control of what happens next,” says Liz Cox, Chair of the RCVS VN Council.

“The key to VN Futures’ success will be collaboration – I am delighted that we are working with the BVNA on this, together with other representative bodies – and also engagement: we want to hear VNs’ aspirations for their profession to ensure our action plan is as relevant and far-reaching as possible. I look forward to seeing a good turn-out for our roadshow events,” she added.

Sam Morgan, BVNA President, says: “BVNA is delighted to be working alongside RCVS VN Council on this project. We fully believe in the importance of the veterinary nurse within practice and think this project can help shape the future of the profession. Being involved in the Vet Futures project, via BVA, was an eye-opener, and that only just touched on our own profession; we now have the chance to look at veterinary nursing specifically, and it is an opportunity not to be missed. Knowing where we want to take the profession will make it so much easier to reach the goal.”


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