The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has published its Surveys of the Veterinary and Veterinary Nursing Professions 2014.
- For the first time, this year more than half (53.8%) of respondents were women – in line with the long-term trend towards the “feminisation” of the profession.
- Since the 2010 survey the share of respondents employed in mixed animal practices has declined from 22.1% to 15.8%, while the proportion of respondents employed in small animal/exotic practices has increased from 48.9% to 53.6% in the same period.
- Although more than half (52%) of recently qualified veterinary surgeons went straight into practice work, some 17.8% reported they were unable to find employment after graduation – compared to 13.6% in 2010.
- Although almost 90% of respondents stated veterinary work is stressful, a similar proportion said veterinary work gives variety and more than 80% said it provides job satisfaction.
- There was a noticeable decrease in the proportion of veterinary nurses who are employed full-time – from 74.7% in 2010 to 67% this year.
- Veterinary nurses are generally more positive about the profession this year, compared to the 2010 survey. For example, 60% said they would choose to become a VN again if they started their career over, compared to 54% in 2010. However, poor pay and stress were highlighted as issues.
- There was a significant shift away from employer-funded CPD to free provision.
For student veterinary nurses, the proportion intending to remain employed at their training practice after qualification has fallen from 61% in 2010 to 52% this year.
Both the Survey of the Veterinary Profession and the Survey of the Veterinary Nursing Profession, together with a report that brings together common themes, can be downloaded from www.rcvs.org.uk/publications