Veterinary Nurses Council celebrates its 10th anniversary

9 October 2012

The RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council (VNC) will mark its tenth anniversary today. Since its inception, the VNC has worked in the interests of animals and the public by guiding and supporting veterinary nursing in becoming a profession that is recognised and accountable within the veterinary team.

VN Council meeting in progress

“The VNC has achieved outstanding work to initiate and advance the veterinary nurse’s role as a professional and accountable member of the veterinary team,” says VNC Chairman, Kathy Kissick RVN (pictured above, right).

“This has been a significant journey over a relatively short period of time and is all credit to the VNC over the past ten years.

"The most satisfying element of this progress for the VNC, both past and present, is the positive impact that a veterinary team that includes regulated nursing input will have on animal welfare.

"The future challenges for VNC will include engaging all veterinary nurses with the practicalities of professional regulation and what it actually means to all of us as veterinary nurses, regardless of the role we undertake,” Kathy continues.

“In particular, we have ambitions for VN to become a protected title and will shortly be putting formal proposals on this to DEFRA.

"We must also continue to be fully engaged with the veterinary profession as colleagues.” 

Since its foundation in October 2002, the VNC has supported the development of veterinary nursing as a profession. Some major milestones include:

  • 2002 First veterinary nurses elected to join the newly formed Veterinary Nurses Council.
  • 2003 RCVS conducts the first ‘manpower’ survey of the veterinary nursing profession.
  • 2007 The opening of the non-statutory Register of Veterinary Nurses in 2007. This move signalled accountability for registered veterinary nurses, including maintaining their skills and knowledge through continuing professional development, and meeting standards for professional veterinary nursing practice, through the first Guide to Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses.
  • 2008 Period of Supervised Practice requirement introduced for RVNs, and guidance given to support RVNs returning to work after five years or longer away from practice.
  • 2011 The VNC launches a disciplinary process for RVNs. This signifies the willingness of registered veterinary nurses to accept professional accountability. The first disciplinary hearing against an RVN is likely to be held this year.
  • 2012 Registered veterinary nurses make their first ever declaration upon registration. This was introduced through the new Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses, which was drawn up in agreement with the VNC to be the successor to the Guide.


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