Topics in focus


Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month

In 2005, BVNA first started the National VN Day to highlight the importance of veterinary nurses in practice. This progressed into National VN Week and then in 2012 the campaign became the Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month (VNAM).

In 2015, RCVS launched a short film animation to help raise awareness among the general public of the vital role played by veterinary nurses within the veterinary team.

VN Awareness MonthGet involved with VNAM

For more information about the history of the campaign and to become involved with VNAM.


A brief history of veterinary nursing

  • The early years [PDF 218KB] from 1888 to 1961. As far back as 1888, J.H. Steele (a prominent early veterinary scientist) wrote that nursing required, "strict attention to the animal's comfort and well-being in matters of warmth, quietude, cleanliness, pure air and diet".
  • The BVNA was formed in 1965 and we have seen an immense change in the role of the veterinary nurse


VN Futures

In 2015 BVNA and RCVS VN Council joined forces to set up VN Futures Action Group to consider the vital role played by veterinary nurses within the veterinary team.

View the report and action plan - VN Futures - Taking charge of our future [PDF 9 MB]


 A career in veterinary nursing

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) regulates the veterinary nursing profession. Learn more about the role of veterinary nurses, training routes and if you are interested in becoming a veterinary nurse.

The British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) is the representative organisation for veterinary nurses and other veterinary support staff in the UK. For more useful information on a career in veterinary nursing, including hints on finding training placements and other careers information.

  • IVNTA - International Veterinary Nursing Technician Association. Linking up veterinary nurses and veterinary technicians worldwide to promote their profile and raising the standard internationally.


Continuing professional development for VNs

Learning resources for RVNs

Sign up to the free Veterinary Nursing subject alert service! An example of this alert is available to donwload from the 'Related documents' box on the right.

The RCVS Knowledge Library has a wealth of electronic and print resources to support your CPD, postgraduate study and to help you keep up to date with the latest research. Anyone is welcome to visit us and use our resources.

If you would like to access our electronic resources and access full-text journal articles then RVNs can join the library for a small, heavily subsidised, annual fee.


A selection of articles highlighting the roles of veterinary nurses

  • Eye on EBVM - first in a series of articles, RCVS Knowledge offer advice and ideas to VNs on how to ensure EBVM is adopted in clinics.

           Belle, J. (2017) Top tips on how to run a journal club, VN Times, 17(3), p. 4

  • O'Dwyer, L. (2017) Challenges of EBVM as a RVN in a practice setting. Veterinary Evidence, 2 (1)  [Podcast]
  • Marshall, L. (2016) The RVN's role in educating and supporting clients in managing behavioural problems in their pet. Veterinary Nursing Journal, 31(8), pp 245-247
  • Ballantyne, H. (2016) Beyond the nursing care plan: an introduction to care bundles. Veterinary Nursing Journal, 31(2), pp 43-46
  • Nelson, D. And Welsh, P. (2015) Using the ability model to design and implement a patient care plan. The Veterinary Nurse, 29(11), pp.365-368
  • Garrett, J. (2013)  A new era for veterinary nursing. Veterinary Nursing Journal, 28(9), pp.302-303.
  • Banks, D. (2010) Evidence-based practice in veterinary nursing. The Veterinary Nurse, 1(3), pp 136-139
  • Badger, S. (2005) The good old days...or were they? Veterinary Nursing Journal, 20(3) pp. 30-31


Veterinary nursing content in Veterinary Evidence

Badger, S. and Jeffery, A. (2017) Don't be afraid to ask the question: a simple guide for veterinary nurses to conducting evidence-based research in clinical practice. Veterinary Evidence, 2(1) [Podcast]
Buckley, L. A. (2016) Are dogs that eat quickly more likely to develop a gastric (+/- volvulus) than dogs that eat slowly? Veterinary Evidence, 1(4)
Buckley, L. A. (2017) Are dogs that are fed from a raised bowl at an increased risk of gastric dilation volvulus compared with floor-fed dogs? Veterinary Evidence, 2(1)
Mann, A. C. (2016) In small animal surgery are alcoholic hand rubs superior to scrubbing brushes and antimicrobial soap at reducing bacterial counts? Veterinary Evidence, 1(4)
O'Dwyer, Louise (2017) Challenges of EBVM as a RVN in a practice setting Veterinary Evidence, 2(1)

Would you like to write a Knowledge Summary? It is free to publish in Veterinary Evidence