VN Futures initiative launches School Ambassadors Pilot for veterinary nurses
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) VN Futures initiative is launching a new School Ambassadors Pilot this November, to address the need for highlighting and supporting pathways into the veterinary nursing profession.
The pilot is the result of the VN Futures’ Sustainable Workforce Working Group and is set to run for approximately 12 months with regular review points planned for every three months following an Ambassadors’ Development Day on 18 November 2019.
“The aim of the pilot is for a group of enthusiastic VN ambassadors to inspire the next generation of potential veterinary nurses and deliver careers advice and information about veterinary nursing to primary school age children, in time for when they are starting to think about which career they may wish to pursue following secondary education,” says VN Futures Project Manager Jill Macdonald.
“We know that we need more VNs in the profession and that early advice on a career in veterinary nursing may often be lacking. Therefore, this pilot aims to support the need for VNs and fill the gap in information provided regarding VN careers. I am excited about getting the pilot underway and learning from our ambassadors about what works well with regards to promoting veterinary nursing futures, which will then support future ambassadors wishing to carry out this role.”
The pilot also aims to highlight and encourage diversity in the veterinary nursing profession, through use of diverse workforce imagery and promoting the message that veterinary nursing is for everyone.
There are currently eight VNs from across the profession, including experienced nurses through to those who have recently qualified as well as both small animal and equine nurses, set to take part in the pilot.
In addition to providing career advice, the ambassadors will work in partnership with the VN Futures project, and with the support and guidance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Learning to develop effective materials and resources for delivering career information to school-aged children. The aim is that learning from the pilot, and materials that are developed from this, will then become available to other VNs who are interested in becoming school ambassadors, so that they too can deliver information on VN careers and support pathways into veterinary nursing.
Racheal Marshall, Chair of VN Council and one of the Pilot’s School Ambassadors says “I am looking forward to the pilot getting underway, both from a VN leadership perspective and as an Ambassador taking part in the programme.
“We know that very little career information about veterinary nursing is available at many schools and so it is vitally important to the veterinary nursing profession that we are well positioned to share information and advice on VN careers – so that we can support a future generation of VNs that is diverse and inclusive.
“I am also excited about the opportunity to be a VN School Ambassador myself, sharing my personal experiences about the profession that I am passionate about. I hope that I will be able to inspire the children I work with to consider veterinary nursing as an option for their futures.”
Following the conclusion of the pilot there will then be a feedback meeting to discuss the findings and develop next steps for the school ambassadors’ programme. More information will be released on the VN Futures website as the pilot progresses.