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!

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2 years 11 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 […]


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