The protection offered to the veterinary nurse title by the RCVS Code of Conduct is very important and the veterinary community need to work together to uphold the code.
As its Vet Nurse Awareness month in May this is a timely reminder to value your vet nurses.
In this blog I suggest how to avoid breaking the code when it comes to job adverts and practice websites…
Read the blog here…
While highly sought after by intelligence agencies Code Breakers in the vet nursing world aren’t as sought after. The Code of Conduct is not there to be broken, it’s the one written piece of guidance that protects the title ‘Veterinary Nurse’.
Check the Code of Conduct for VS or VN – under the section “and the profession”point 3.5
This means that when referring to ourselves or colleagues we need to use the correct terms. The code of conduct states we should not be referring to those not on the register (RVN) as a veterinary nurse. This period as referring to anyone caring for animals as a “nurse” is over. There is a difference.
There are still people with misleading and incorrect information on their profiles on social media and are posting under that guise for advice. This is potentially very complicated, serious and dangerous.
The advice given to a fellow RVN with differ from that given to a lay person as there will be assumptions about the legality of certain actions.
Using the incorrect title when job hunting – either permanent or locum – has huge implications. There have already been successful cases of fraud against individuals working as RVNs when they are not on the register. These involve possible prison sentences, financial fines and a criminal record.
As many vets will employ lay staff with titles such as Care Assistant consider using these titles instead of nursing titles. Working in a vets is a sought after position, take pride in having that position. If you are a student then use SVN, it’s a highly coveted course to say you are on and the title carries legal responsibilities too. Take pride in being an SVN. If you are an RVN then shout about it! But only once you are on, and stay on the register.
Can I be a VN?
The post nominal VN is no longer in use. If you have previously been an RVN then you can put that on your CV but make it clear if you are no longer on the register. Using VN post nominals creates confusion as people assume you mean RVN and thus may use this title and describe you as a veterinary nurse. This may lead people to put you in situations you shouldn’t be in.
What can I do?
You can make sure you use the correct title for yourself, check your employer has the correct details on their website or any data they have for you. Be the industries eyes and ears on social media, websites and job adverts.
The RCVS professional conduct department are always happy to advise you if you aren’t sure of anything. If you wish to discuss an issue then screen shot the issue or find out the evidence. Email Prof Con firstname.lastname@example.org
Or directly contact the people on this list:
While the RCVS cannot regulate non-vets or RVNs they can advise you on the best course of action. Be polite, always bear in mind it might be a genuine error and present yourself as a professional to be listened to, and don’t be the one to Break the Code.