The VN Futures Board Members present at the meeting were: Jo Oakden, BVNA President and Board Chair; Alex Taylor, BVNA Junior Vice-President; Nikki Ruedisueli, BVNA’s Head of Leadership & Development; Jill Macdonald, RCVS VN Futures Project Manager; Belinda Andrews-Jones, Vice-Chair of RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council; and, Julie Dugmore, RCVS Director of Veterinary Nursing. Apologies were received from Matthew Rendle, Chair of RCVS VN Council.

Ending of Phase One of VN Futures

The first item discussed was the date for the closure of phase one of the project and it was decided to adhere to the original timeline for this first five-year phase of the project, with an end-date of July 2021.

The Board will, over the coming months, devise a strategy for formulating an action plan for the next phase of the project. This will include drawing upon feedback gained during BVNA This Is Us 2020, BVNA Congress 2021, the 2019 Survey of the Veterinary Nursing Profession, and additional feedback and input from the profession.

VN Futures plans to celebrate its achievements at BVNA Congress 2021, which will include a celebratory, interactive ‘wall’, and interactive discussions.

The VN Futures Board Membership & Terms of Reference have been updated (date of adoption to be decided) and the Board will now have a Student Veterinary Nurse member to ensure that input from this important membership of the profession is obtained.

Phase 2 of the project

The scope of the next phase for VN Futures was initially explored, noting that many of the ambitions for the first period of work are still ongoing or require additional focus.

The new edition of the VN Futures e-News was shared by the project coordinator with the Board, and includes a variety of new career case studies, blogs and articles, as well as an update on the School Ambassadors Development Group, and publication of the School Ambassadors Pilot Report.

Widening Participation & Diversity & Inclusivity within the VN profession are going to be key discussions for phase 2 of the VNF project and as BVNA and RCVS, we will work together on this important initiative.

Actions arising

The key actions arising from the Board meeting include:

  • continuing to plan for 2021 BVNA Congress in October
  • updating the Terms of Reference for the Board
  • formulating a working group on the specific issue of Veterinary Nurse Diversity & Inclusion
  • collating current feedback from the profession to assist with the formulation of the Phase 2 Strategy and Action Plan
  • document the areas of work that require ongoing input; and
  • continuing the creation of the VN Futures Interim Report.

Next steps

The Board now aims to published the Interim Report for Phase One of VN Futures later this year.

Members also reflected on how much the profession has developed and how much involvement VN Futures has had in this progression, for example, through the development of the Certificates in Advanced Veterinary Nursing and the enhancements to the profession that form a key part of the legislation reform proposals.

Members also reflected on the many ways the profession has changed and evolved, and how its needs and requirements since the launch of VN Futures five years ago may have altered. We still have so much more to do, but we have achieved a lot, and it’s really important to reflect on the positive outcomes be proud of what has been achieved so far. Watch this space!

VN Futures Report cover - Taking charge of our future together