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Improving animal welfare by supporting veterinary nursing

BVNA aims to promote animal health and welfare
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BVNA aims to promote animal health and welfare
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

If your pet ever gets sick, then it’s down to the vets to make them better. And just like human doctors have nurses for support, vets have veterinary nurses for support – an incredibly important role that takes years of training. Our Greenway Business Centre customer, The British Veterinary Nurses Association (BVNA), is the only organisation solely representing veterinary nurses in the UK.

Supporting veterinary nurses

The BVNA aims to promote animal health and welfare through the ongoing development of professional excellence in veterinary nursing. “Nurses join the BVNA on an annual subscription and receive a vast range of benefits,” explains Angela Mariconda, Operations Manager. “Members receive monthly journals which includes peer-reviewed articles, access to a support helpline, bursaries to help with education funding.  BVNA also represents its members within the industry through lobbying and campaigning with regulatory bodies, to enable veterinary nurses do more in practice, providing a higher level of care to support the veterinary surgeon. It takes around two to four years to qualify, through either a Diploma or Degree route.

BVNA also holds a conference each year, which is a three-day event, where around 1,300 nurses and practice staff attend. The event provides five lecture streams throughout each day, as well as an exhibition hall, specialised workshops and social events.”

A reliable base of operations

The BVNA, which was founded in 1965, began with a small group of veterinary nurses’ typing up newsletters at their homes in Harlow, which were then sent out to other nurses up and down the country. A lot has changed since then, with the organisation more than doubling in size in the 26 years since Angela started working for the association: “We now have over 6,700 members, with some of the memberships coming directly from practices which pay subscriptions for their nurses. Everything our nurses receive – all the help and support they get – is managed from Greenway Business Centre.

“We moved into Capital Space business accommodation nine years ago and chose the site because it provided everything the association needed.  Fully serviced offices, which means no need to look after utility services or building maintenance and was in an ideal location with easy access into London, great meeting room spaces, friendly management and reception services.

“When BVNA first moved to Capital Space, we had a different unit as our office and an extra unit for storage. Then three years ago we moved to a combined office – which was really easy to do with help from reception in re-networking our computers and phones.

“Everything at the Greenway Business Centre is well maintained plus there’s good meeting space for council meetings, which are held every six weeks. If the association were to have an office with the space for its own meeting room it would be an expensive outlay; here you only pay for the space when you need it, which is great. Our experience as Capital Space customers has been excellent.”

Giving nurses a voice

For BVNA, the main goal for the business is not financial return: “BVNA wants to grow its membership so that the association has a greater presence in the veterinary profession and provides veterinary nurses with a bigger voice.

“The title veterinary nurse isn’t protected as yet – anyone can say they’re a veterinary nurse – BVNA are working towards it being recognised so that it can only be used by a Registered Veterinary Nurse who has qualified. The general public aren’t necessarily aware of this so BVNA run a ‘Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month’ campaign each year to highlight and help explain to pet owners and the general public.  It’s important for everyone to be aware of who’s looking after your pet as well as the good work veterinary nurses do. We need to get the title protected and that is something BVNA are working towards.”

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