A highly-respected emergency and critical care VN has been named as the fifth recipient of the RCVS’ Golden Jubilee award.
Louise O’Dwyer – a clinical support manager at Vets Now – is the first to receive the award since its relaunch in 2015 to make it more leadership-focused and exclusive to VNs. It is bestowed in honour of outstanding achievement.
According to the RCVS, Miss O’Dwyer won the award in recognition of her “pioneering” role in veterinary nursing. She was the first VN clinical director in the CVS Group and the first UK VN to be voted on to the US-based Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians’ Board.
She has also:
- lectured around the world
- volunteered for several years at the Bella Moss Foundation
- worked on a variety of BSAVA committees
- contributed to more than 35 journal and magazine articles in the UK, the US and Canada
- written three nursing textbooks
- contributed chapters to numerous textbooks in the UK and the US
VN Kathryn Latimer nominated Miss O’Dwyer for the award, saying the Wigan-based VN demonstrated “exceptional abilities” as a leader to VNs and vets, and “personal commitment” to patient care by pursuing a “remarkable range” of qualifications.
On winning, Miss O’Dwyer said: “Nursing is about making your mark, about being there for your patients, and for me that’s what my career has been about. It’s a bit of a cliché, but we really are the voice of our patients, so when people ask me ‘why do you spend so much time with getting extra qualifications?’, it’s about making sure I’m better able to help my patients.
“As I get older it’s also about educating the next generation of VNs, helping to train them to do the same and to spread our knowledge and training. Our training is something British vet nurses can really be proud of, and it’s humbling to receive this award when I know just how many other dedicated, passionate VNs are out there.
“I am truly grateful the RCVS, and my colleagues, think I am a worthy recipient.”
VN council chairman Liz Cox, who was on the selection panel, said: “Speaking on both national and international stages, Louise has widely influenced nursing practice, particularly with infection control and patient care.
“She is a true pioneer for veterinary nursing, and her passion for pushing our profession forward clinically makes her a most deserving winner.”
Miss O’Dwyer will be presented with the Golden Jubilee Award at RCVS Day on 15 July. A limited number of tickets are available for vets and VNs. To order, email Emma Lockley at the RCVS on firstname.lastname@example.org