VN council approves new vet nurse role definition

2nd March 2023
Industry News

A new definition of the veterinary nursing role has today (1 March) been revealed by RCVS VN council.

Members of VN council, at its February meeting, agreed to approve the new definition to provide greater clarity to both the professions and the public on what being a veterinary nurse entails.

The new definition states: “Veterinary nursing aims to ease the suffering and pain of animals, and to improve their health and welfare.”

Providing treatment

The definition continues: “This includes providing any medical treatment or any minor surgery (not involving entry into a body cavity) to animals under the direction of a veterinary surgeon who has that animal under their care.

“Veterinary nursing can be either proactive or reactive, and autonomous or collaborative. It is carried out in a wide variety of settings, for animals at all life stages, and considers the background and needs of the animal’s owner or keeper.”

‘Art and science’

VN council chairperson Matthew Rendle said: “Although it is just a few short lines, this definition of veterinary nursing has been in the pipeline for some time.

“While we, as veterinary nurses, have always been able to define ourselves by the type of tasks we carry out, or our relation to veterinary surgeons in terms of delegation, there hasn’t necessarily been a clear statement articulating the art and science of veterinary nursing.

“With the RCVS looking to expand its regulatory remit to include other veterinary paraprofessionals over the long term, we thought it was particularly important we set out the stall for veterinary nursing and we hope this clear statement will, in particular, aid the public in understanding the role of a veterinary nurse.”

Own interpretation

Mr Rendle continued: “It should be noted that this definition is VN council’s own considered interpretation of the art and science of veterinary nursing.

“Other interpretations from other organisations – provided they conform with both Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act and the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct – could sit comfortably alongside ours, and we hope there continues to be healthy discussion about the contribution of the profession to the veterinary team as our role evolves.”


Credit to:  VN council approves new vet nurse role definition (Vet Times)

Vet Times. (2023).  VN council approves new vet nurse role definition [oniline]

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