On 1 September 2007, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) opens its new non-statutory Register for veterinary nurses (VNs).
Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) agree to keep their skills up to date by means of compulsory continuing professional development and to maintain standards of professionalism by following the RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses.
Over 3,000 veterinary nurses will automatically achieve Registered Veterinary Nurse status – these are VNs who qualified and listed with the RCVS since 1 January 2003. Registration is optional for other veterinary nurses and 20-30 requests for voluntary registration are being received each day by the College.
From 2010, when the new Register has
had time to bed in, a disciplinary system will be introduced for veterinary nurses. This means that complaints from members of the public against individual veterinary nurses will be dealt with in a similar way to those against veterinary surgeons.
This is the first step towards full regulation for veterinary nurses and a landmark development for the veterinary nursing profession. Statutory regulation for veterinary nurses will only be possible under new legislation.
“Registered Veterinary Nurses will show colleagues, employers and clients that they are prepared to account for their professionalism and keep up to date,” according to Dr Bob Moore, RCVS President.
“Veterinary nurses play a very valuable role in the practice team and their willingness to be regulated demonstrates the increasingly high standards the VN profession is setting for itself.”
Anyone wishing to check if a
veterinary nurse is registered can do so on RCVSonline at www.rcvs.org.uk/veterinarynurses