Meet the New Council Members for 2017 - 2018 

After receiving 8 nominations for BVNA Council 2017/2018 we were delighted to be able to offer our Members a chance to select their new council members with an online vote.

Therefore BVNA are delighted to announce the successful candidates as below.

Simon Johnson is our newly elected student council member; nominations for students did not exceed the number of seats so no vote was required. 

BVNA are very much looking forward to working with the new council members, welcoming them into the team and hearing their thoughts on the profession and how BVNA should lead the way. 

For the candidates who were not successful, we wish to want thank them for standing and hope they will consider standing again in future years.

Full (RVN) Council Member 

Veronica Brandel RVN 

I have heard the veterinary nursing profession being described as a ‘lifestyle choice’ rather than a job, which shows how dedicated and passionate veterinary nurses are. Unfortunately, however, if you ask a veterinary nurse whether they plan on doing this job until retirement, a large majority will say ‘probably not’. This is a real shame, as I believe that experienced veterinary nurses are the driving force of the profession; not only when it comes to teaching the new generations, but also by spreading their knowledge to the public and supporting the veterinary profession and practices.

As a BVNA council member I would like to continue the excellent work BVNA are doing in targeted CPD for veterinary nurses and find new ways to encourage nurses to specialise in their areas of interest.

Jo Hinde RVN

I am passionate about improving welfare for both animals and humans. Veterinary nurses play a vital part in this and I am keen to help them feel more engaged and empowered.

Since starting nursing in 2007, I have experienced a range of good and bad aspects of the profession. I would like to help ensure that nurses are getting the support, recognition and quality training that they deserve – from being students, through to qualifying, general practice life & career options.

I believe that education and awareness are key to improving welfare and as such, I am dedicated to highlighting relevant campaigns to the public and our colleagues. The BVNA gives nurses the chance to use their common voice to shape their own profession and I would feel honoured to be a part of this team – especially at this pivotal time where we have the opportunity to further develop our roles.

Gareth McCormack RVN

I came into practice in my late twenties, I am currently studying the veterinary nursing of exotic species certificate and have also lectured on the diploma before returning to practice as I missed working with patients daily. 

I feel such a sense of pride every time I put on my uniform, or glance across rush-hour traffic to see a vet nurse on their way to work, I know what we do so well and want the public to know we are the unsung heroes of veterinary practice.

I am passionate about representing and promoting the vet nursing profession; our education, our development, our knowledge and our skills. I want to enrich our work-life balance, enhance our professional development and value for experienced nurses and students alike. In practice, I enjoy a range of surgical and medical work, being an all-rounder but particularly enjoy student training, exotics and consulting.

Josephine Oakden RVN

I’m asking for your support in helping me to become your voice on the BVNA Council. Having worked as a BVNA Regional Co-ordinator, I understand the purpose of our organisation and want to become more involved in helping to influence the changes we need to keep our diverse profession growing in strength and recognition. These are exciting times and VN Futures project is leading the way in bringing about reform, aligned with the ongoing battle to protect the VN title.

If elected, I will get involved in the VN Futures project; trying to increase RVN retention in practice, offering support and information on new opportunities, career pathways and maintaining your work life balance, to support the mental wellbeing of those in our profession. I already interact with so many of our colleagues but would relish the opportunity to further promote a greater use of the BVNA and its support network.

Gemma Reeve RVN

I have worked in the veterinary industry for 12 years and been qualified for nearly 6 years. During this time, I have gained vast experience in a variety of settings such as general practice, mixed practice, Oncology referral, locuming and am now the Head Nurse of a small animal practice in Essex that is soon to become a 24-hour hospital.  I have always been proactive in my role as an RVN and am committed to promoting our profession. In December 2015, I was appointed BVNA Regional Co-Ordinator for Essex and Suffolk and thoroughly enjoy this role.

I believe our profession needs to be protected and promoted as there is not enough awareness of the RVN role. I am passionate about educating others and am committed to making a change for the better within the nursing industry. If elected, I will continue to promote the BVNA and especially the VN Futures project. The next few years hold vast opportunity for positive changes within the nursing industry and I hope to be part of the driving force for this.

Tom Reilly RVN 

I am proud to be a veterinary nurse and have been lucky enough to work within many of the different areas of our industry including charity, large animal, small animal and referral work. 

I believe in advancing veterinary nursing as a profession and promoting the use of evidence based nursing. Nurturing our young profession is best achieved by promoting continued professional development and developing the opportunities available. Working to retain the highly skilled nurses within the profession should also be a priority and topic of conversation.

 With exciting times ahead for our profession, it would be a privilege to be involved in its advancement.

Student Council Member 

Simon Johnson

I joined the Veterinary world in 2013 as a receptionist, becoming an SVN in 2016. I love my job. I have found a thirst for knowledge and a passion to be the best nurse and advocate I can be. I love writing and have a special interest in research as well as the future of veterinary nursing.

I believe our history is important for us to build upon to secure our future. As someone with a degree in the arts I come with a different perspective and set of skills which I hope will benefit my work.

As student Councillor, I want to be a part of shaping this future, and be an inspiration to others entering the profession and those already a part of it. It's never too late to chase your dreams and achieve whatever you put your mind to.