Racheal qualified as a VN in 2003 and worked in a busy mixed practice for three years, progressing to a senior nurse position.
After that, she worked as a lecturer in veterinary nursing and animal management at York’s Askham Bryan College. She returned to clinical work in 2008, joining emergency and critical care specialists Vets Now, where she has been ever since.
At Vets Now, she started as an RVN in one of the clinics before becoming a senior nurse. She then became a district manager before taking up her current position in 2014. As head of clinical nursing, Racheal is responsible for driving and ensuring consistent nursing standards across the company.
Why is she standing?
Despite veterinary nursing coming a “long way” in the 12 years since Racheal qualified, the emergency and critical care specialist believes there are still “battles to be fought” to ensure the RVN is “fully recognised and appreciated”.
“I wish to use this opportunity to work for greater understanding and clarity of the VN role to allow our wide range of skills and experience to be recognised and valued,” she said. “[I also want to] help empower nurses with career progression so they can reach their full potential working alongside vets.”
Racheal believes her working background has given her a lot of experience in practice and leadership, giving her good understanding of the inner workings of business, which helps her “understand the challenges we face and be able to consider these from all angles”.
“Veterinary nurses are a valued and essential part of the veterinary team, and to enable our profession to continue to grow and evolve, we need to ensure we speak out and continue to be heard,” she said.
“I would consider it an honour and a privilege to be your voice on VN council and will work to ensure the voices of all RVNs
are heard – whatever career stage you are at or pathway you have taken.”
Racheal discussed issues of retention of VNs within practice in her video.
“This year almost 500 nurses have been removed from the register, and this is at a time when employers are struggling to recruit RVNs,” she said. “My aim would be every veterinary practice only employed RVNs, but if we haven’t got the number of nurses out there, this isn’t going to be possible.”
She said she also feels veterinary nurses have the right to undertake additional skills post-qualifying as “we’ve all worked hard to achieve our qualifications and should be able to use all of the skills and knowledge we have to be able to work to our full potential”.