The Veterinary Nurse Diversity & Inclusion Group (VN DIG) was set up as a subsidiary group of the RCVS DIG and is looking at ways in which the College can work with partner organisations and educators to encourage a more diverse veterinary nursing workforce, primarily through student intake.

The work of the group is coordinated by three members of RCVS staff: VN Futures Project Coordinator Jill Macdonald, VN Enrolments Officer Jasmine Curtis and Registration Officer Tash Goodwin-Roberts; and reports to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee.

Two vets with a ginger cat in practice

Purpose of the group

There are so many important reasons to encourage diversity and inclusion in our workforce. We must reflect the communities we live and work in and we must be an example to young people who often cannot see themselves doing this work because they do not have the role models.

People from all walks of life have animals and a diverse vet team will only encourage trust and confidence in the care of those animals. Incorporating as many different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives as possible into the profession can only benefit the team, pet owners and animal welfare.

Through the work of this group, we aim to gather current data on diversity within our profession, and through working with allied committees, such as the RCVS Diversity and Inclusion Group, and organisations such as the BVNA and BVA, develop a strategy for encouraging a more diverse workforce into veterinary nursing.

School Ambassadors

The work of the VN Futures School Ambassadors Development Group also feeds into these aims as it will develop an approach to provision of school talks that addresses diversity and inclusion and will be providing resources to enable more ambassadors to be enlisted in the long-term to broaden our reach.

The VN DIG will contribute to school ambassador development work with an aim to:

  • Ensure that widening participation and Diversity and Inclusion form part of the focus and outcomes of the School Ambassador’s Development Group
  • Support and encourage dissemination of careers information by careers advisors and online careers hubs, by offering engaging and easily accessible information on veterinary nursing
  • Open the dialogue for conversations with careers advisors to learn about the language used and understanding of veterinary nursing, to further inform our future plans
  • Continue to create a bank of images depicting a diverse workforce that can be used to promote veterinary nursing as a career
  • Ensuring we reach areas with a diverse population in provision of careers information
  • Develop and publish career case studies to highlight diverse people in diverse roles

The VN DIG believes in the principle of ‘If you can see it, you can be it’ and so we are very keen on hearing from veterinary nurses from a range of different backgrounds such as those from BAME backgrounds, from the LGBTQ communities and those with disabilities who might wish to get involved in the work of the VN Futures. This could include writing blogs, providing a career case study or becoming a schools ambassador. Please contact Jill Macdonald on jill@vnfutures.org.uk.

Data relating to ethnicity and gender for SVNs and RVNs
Group RVNs 2020 SVNs 2020
White 82% 95%
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) 2% 4%
Unknown 16% 1%
Male 2.65% 4.25%
Female 97.3% 95.1%
Unspecified 0.05% 0.65%
Veterinary nurse graduates at RCVS VN Day at London Zoo