This month’s board meeting took place on Sunday 8 October 2023 at the British Veterinary Nursing Congress at the International Centre, Telford. Those present were: 

  • Matthew Rendle – Vice-Chair of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) VN Council 
  • Belinda Andrews-Jones – Chair of RCVS VN Council 
  • Charlotte Pace – President of the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) Council 
  • Craig Tessyman – Honorary Treasurer of the BVNA 
  • Julie Dugmore – RCVS Director of Veterinary Nursing 
  • Nicola Ruedisueli – Editor of the Veterinary Nursing Journal, BVNA and secretariat 2023 

Apologies were given for Lyndsey Hughes, BVNA Junior Vice President, and Jill Macdonald, VN Futures Project Lead, RCVS. 

The RCVS Academy 

This meeting was used to discuss a range of ongoing activities. To begin, updates were provided on the work of the RCVS Academy, which has recently launched a range of new courses designed specifically for veterinary nurses. 

The first update surrounding the RCVS Academy focussed on the ‘RVN Starting Out’ course which was launched in May 2023 to support newly registered veterinary nurses in the transition from student to registered nurse. Following feedback from those who have completed the course, the RCVS will add additional self-assessments throughout the course in order to aid the learning process. 

The second Academy course highlighted was the launch of the ‘Nurse Return’ course – a course designed for RVNs returning to practice, which includes completion of the Period of Supervised Practice (PSP) which is mandatory for those who have been absent form the Register for five years or more. The course is also applicable to those who have been working outside of clinical practice, or who have had a shorted break from practice. 

Attention then turned to the RCVS Academy ‘Clinical Supervisor’ standardisation course, which has recently been updated to include interactive videos of tasks of small animal and equine where clinical supervisors can identify Day One Skills before checking their answers. 

All RCVS Academy courses are available to access using your RCVS My Account credentials via the RCVS Academy website at 

BVNA Clinical Coach Network 

Following Academy updates, the BVNA then provided an update on their Clinical Coach network, which they are currently in the process of launching. The purpose of the network is to provide a safe space for clinical coaches to meet and discuss best practice and any current challenges. The network aims to meet twice a year – once in person at BVNA Congress and once online in early spring. Those in the network will also have access to a resource hub, which will include different task-logging platforms, information on how to run a professional discussion, and informative coaching videos on topics such as supporting students and time management. 

BVNA Congress 2024 

Within the meeting, a half-day stream for BVNA Congress 2024 was also approved. The stream will focus on challenging communication and delegation scenarios and will be sponsored by VN Futures. 

Inclusion of equine VNs in Schedule 3 guidance 

Additionally, there was a discussion around ensuring that equine VNs are involved with any Schedule 3 guidance, as there was a recent panel with BEVA that was well received. 

The School Ambassadors Scheme 

Next, there was an update provided on the School Ambassadors scheme which is currently running well with lots of RVNs joining and using the resources available from the scheme when visiting schools. However, monitoring exact take-up and progress is difficult. As part of the scheme, ambassadors register to become STEM ambassadors. It was agreed that STEM would hold the resources and manage registration so that ambassadors can easily access everything they need on the STEM site, whilst continuing to promote the scheme going forward. This would also enable the RCVS to monitor impact. 


This meeting also marked Charlotte Pace’s last meeting on the VN Futures board. Lyndsay Hughes and Craig Tessyman will now take over as board members from next year. 

What’s next? 

The VN Futures Board will next meet on 11 January 2024 to plan the Communication stream to be sponsored by VN Futures at BVNA Congress 2024. During this meeting, the feasibility of planning a Schedule 3 and guidance discussion panel roadshow will also be considered. In addition to this, the School Ambassador resources and registration will be transferred onto the STEM website.