Nurse's fobwatch
Where are all the RVNs?

I have perused VN Times, Veterinary Times, recruitment websites, and spoken to those in practice, but am left with one question: where are all the RVNs?

A recent issue of Veterinary Times had 20 vacancies for the south-east of England alone!

In 2008 the BBC stated there were 16,000 “nurses” in practice (Lantra 2008 survey), yet the RCVS only has 7,500 listed/registered. So what qualifications/job roles have the remainder got?

A lack of nurses can have a tremendous impact on patient care and mean legal issues for employers. For example, a lay person cannot carry out schedule III procedures. Therefore, employing an SVN and an “experienced” nurse to run your prep room is breaking the law.

There have been reports of non-RCVS vets being employed to “nurse” while they prepare for their boards. Again, this has a huge legal impact on employers that they may not realise.

My last blog discussed Hayley Walters’ amazing trip to China to help vet students understand welfare of patients. I think it helps show the non-UK standards that some vets entering the country may have, and that help and support is needed – in particular in nursing care!

I have already commented on the double standard in finding work to fit in for nurses post-child birth. Are we losing you all too soon? Or are we simply not training enough nurses?

Comments welcomed!

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Where are all the RVNs?"

Notify of

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
3 years 6 months ago

[…] those who value their veterinary nurses (thanks Will!) then this structure is scary. However, if there is a shortage of nurses, it may be a structure we see in the […]


related content

Former vet Warwick Seymour-Hamilton has had his fifth attempt to be restored to the register dismissed by the RCVS disciplinary committee.

2 mins

Veterinary professionals and academics from across the globe are heading to the college today for the 30th General Assembly of the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education.

4 mins

Two leading courses in animal welfare education at The University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies have received awards for their innovative approaches.

3 mins

Not a penny of Scotland’s £2 billion agri-food output could be realised without vets, according to BVA president Gudrun Ravetz.

2 mins

Stephanie Lalor qualifies after carrying out a one-year rotating internship and four-year residency, studying under the only professor of feline medicine in the UK Danielle Gunn-Moore.

3 mins

Susan McKay spoke to ACD Projects founder Alex Darvill about upgrading practices – and why now could be the perfect time to get started.

15 mins