Who is your current employer and what do they do?
The Royal Veterinary College, which teaches both veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.
What is your job title and what does the job entail?
Teaching Fellow in Veterinary Nursing; I teach on the FdSc and BSc degrees for veterinary nurses.
How did you achieve your current position?
A slow climb! I started as a zookeeper initially, then trained as a vet nurse. I worked in a range of zoos and wildlife hospitals, as well as charity organisations and referral hospitals. Eventually I realised I really enjoyed teaching and supporting students, so I started lecturing. I worked as a lecturer in animal science for a couple of years to gain enough experience to teach at RVC.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Teaching. It is really rewarding watching students develop all of the skills and knowledge required of a vet nurse, and seeing them go on to successful careers.
What are the challenging aspects about your job?
Time! There is so much to do, and it can be hard to give every task the attention you’d like.
What are your plans for the future?
Complete a PhD and do research that will help the profession.
What other qualifications do you hold?
As well as nursing I have an MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and I have a Diploma in Education and Training, and a Certificate in Captive Wild Animal Management.
What key piece of advice would you give to anyone wishing to follow a similar career path?
Try a few options – you never know which job is going to turn out to be the most fulfilling and exciting! For those who want to teach, get qualified as a VN, then work on supporting students in the workplace. For those interested in zoo and exotics, get whatever work experience you can with different species.