RCVS holds VN Diamond Jubilee Evening
Matthew Rendle and Julie Dugmore gave speeches on their experience of veterinary nursing, and the future of the profession.

Event launched new video on veterinary nursing history.

Last week, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) held a special evening event to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the veterinary nursing profession.

At the event, held on 19 August, 100 people congregated at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History to belatedly celebrate the 60th year of veterinary nursing.

Hosted by Matthew Rendle, Chair of the RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council, and Julie Dugmore, RCVS director of veterinary nursing, the event was the first time members of the profession were able to formally gather to mark the anniversary.

During the event, the RCVS launched a new video celebrating the veterinary nursing profession, which discusses the history of the profession, celebrating key developments from the profession's beginning to the present day.

In a speech, Matthew Rendle discussed his hopes for the future of veterinary nursing: “Kindness is key for the future of our profession: kindness to our patients, our clients and ourselves. Kindness often trumps ability and knowledge.

“We tend to all continue to gain ability and knowledge the longer we work in any area of veterinary nursing, not just clinical. However, we can completely alter a colleague’s day, month, year, or even career just with some kind words or support.

“Sometimes just discussing someone’s worries can be very positive, especially if you feel strong enough to disclose that you share these worries and talk about your own coping mechanisms. 

“This can be extremely powerful, and in my time in nursing these kinds of conversations are becoming more common. 

“It is okay to not be the best at something, and while talking about your weaknesses can be hard, it will help others, so let’s do it and let’s make this happen now.”

Julie Dugmore talked about her career as a veterinary nurse, and the development of the profession since she became RCVS director of veterinary nursing: “In the nine years since I took this role, we have seen a new Royal Charter recognise veterinary nurses as a fully regulated profession, with associate membership of the RCVS and a statutory register. 

“I’ve seen the formation of the VN Futures project which involved holding dozens of meetings with members of the profession to discuss the challenges facing veterinary nurses, what solutions can be found, and how we can better take hold of our destinies in areas such as career development, maximising our potential and developing our leadership skills.

“We’re here with a proud past behind us, but this is not a case of remembering the good old days because, notwithstanding some challenges, we also have a great future. 

“Even in the short-term we have some amazing developments coming up such as a new clinical supervisor support course via the RCVS Academy, the development of an Advanced Veterinary Nurse Practitioner status to complement the Certificate, as well as the development of a greater support package for newly-registered VNs.”

Matthew concluded: “We have opportunities and challenges coming up in many areas of our profession and we must all embrace them, not for us, but for the future of our amazing profession. 

“Remember personal egos only ever detract, it’s not about me, it’s about us, the student, the new RVNs, the vets, the whole team, so be open, be kind, be supportive, be inspiring, but most of all be loud and proud, we are veterinary nurses, and we are awesome.”


Image (C) RCVS