Every year during May, the veterinary profession celebrates Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month (VNAM), proudly spearheaded by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA). In 2024, BVNA will celebrate 20 years since the campaign began – from its early beginnings as Veterinary Nursing Awareness Day in 2004, and since 2012 BVNA have been leading the campaign for an entire month.

The purpose of VNAM is to champion the veterinary nursing profession to the public and pet owners. The vital role of veterinary nurses in upholding animal welfare is highlighted – both in and out of clinical practice. To maximise the spread of awareness to the public, BVNA invites every member of the veterinary profession, along with pet owners, to support the campaign.

Progression

This year, the campaign theme is ‘Progression’ – highlighting the profession’s diverse range of skills, abilities and career pathways. Whether showcasing roles in first opinion or referral practice; with small animal, equine, farm or exotic species; or in a clinical or non-clinical setting – VNAM seeks to truly include, champion and celebrate the entire veterinary nursing profession. BVNA will also be continuing to drive awareness amongst the public about why protection of the ‘veterinary nurse’ title is so crucial.

Veterinary Awareness Month Banner May 2024

How to get involved in this year’s campaign

BVNA’s popular annual VNAM competition makes a return this year, with the overall brief of “Your #VNAM2024, Your Way”. Two winners and two runners-up will be selected – each winning a prize worth either £100 or £50.

At a time when veterinary teams are stretched and time may be limited, individuals and teams are given the opportunity to take part with complete flexibility over how. To enter the competition, participants are asked to submit evidence of any activities being carried out during May to educate the general public about the VN profession – and vitally, why the ‘veterinary nurse’ title needs to be protected in law.

Entries are invited from:

  • Individuals, nursing teams or whole practice/workplace teams
  • Those working with any species and in any role within the veterinary profession – whether in or out of clinical practice.

To be eligible, entries must:

  • Include any evidence of the activities delivered during May – whether photos, links to examples of materials, recordings, campaign schedules
  • Acknowledge BVNA within these activities, making use of this year’s VNAM logos and artwork where possible
  • Show how the activities incorporate education on why the VN title should be protected
  • Where materials are shared on social media, BVNA is tagged and the official campaign hashtags are used: #VNAM2024 | #WhatVNsDo | #20YearsOfVNAM
  • Be submitted by 23:59 on Friday 31st May 2024.

More information about this year’s VNAM competition is available here. BVNA have also listed some initial ideas for VNAM activities – but creative alternatives are also encouraged!

VNAM May 2024 - Progression

Message from BVNA President, Lyndsay Hughes:

“I am really excited to launch BVNA’s milestone 20th year of raising awareness of veterinary nursing, and VNAM 2024 follows this year’s Presidential theme of ‘Progression’. This comes at a time when the veterinary nursing profession is standing taller than ever – our voices are being heard, we have the ability to follow our specific interests throughout our careers, and we are recognised as absolutely pivotal members of the veterinary team. In recognition of this special 20th year, throughout May we’ll be releasing interviews with inspirational RVNs who have been in the profession for 20 years or more, reflecting on the progress they have been part of in this time.

“However, BVNA also recognise there is still work to do, and especially so when it comes to raising awareness amongst the public.

“We absolutely recognise that it’s currently a challenging time for the veterinary profession – but we also fundamentally believe that veterinary nurses deserve to be championed. At such a busy time for us all, we hope that providing more flexibility over getting involved in VNAM this year means that everyone can find a way to take part.

“We’re continuing to push for protection of the ‘veterinary nurse’ title, and this is why it is so important to support VNAM in any way you can. Spread the word to as many people as possible about our incredible skill set, and the care we’re able to provide – whether to patients, clients, or to each other. The more we can raise awareness of the essential role we all play within animal welfare, the better our chances of finally having our hard-earned title protected in law.

“As individuals, we are all capable of paving the way for the future progression of veterinary nursing, and VNAM provides the perfect opportunity to lay the foundations.”

Find out more information about VNAM 2024 at the BVNA website.

From all at BVNA, we can’t wait to join the entire profession as we champion veterinary nurses together. Have a great May, and a fantastic Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month!

BVNS President - Lyndsay Hughes