RCVS news: Golden Jubilee Award for veterinary nurses relaunched for 2016

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has relaunched its Golden Jubilee Award, an accolade which recognises those veterinary nurses who are playing a leadership role within the profession.

The relaunch comes after Veterinary Nurses Council agreed some significant changes to the award process and criteria at its October 2015 meeting. This included restricting the award to veterinary nurses only (previously it was open to veterinary surgeons and laypeople) and making the award criteria more focused on leadership.

Liz Cox, Chair of Veterinary Nurses Council, explained: “We agreed changes to this award in order to both encourage more nominations and to ensure that those who are nominated are people who are pushing forward the profession, whether that be clinically, politically, or in terms of raising public awareness of what we do.

“Nominees for the award must be people who are proactive and passionate in campaigning on behalf of the profession and who are taking on an ambassadorial role for it – for example, speaking about current issues and initiatives at congresses, events or with local or national media.

“If this sounds like someone you know, then please don’t hesitate to put them forward for the award and help raise the profile of the profession even further.”

The award was founded in 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first RCVS training course for veterinary nurses and its first winner was Jean Turner, a member of the profession since 1971.

Speaking of what the award means to her, Jean says: “I have immense pride in the veterinary nursing profession and am still overwhelmed by receiving the very first award. I frequently look at the certificate mounted in our study and use the lovely engraved bowl. As the first recipient I look on it as an award for all the veterinary nurses who have worked with me and helped me over many years.”

Subsequent winners have been Sue Badger (2012), Hayley Walters (2014) and Dot Creighton this year.

Speaking about leadership roles within the profession, Dot Creighton added: “We are in a great position to identify those natural leaders who are clearly motivational and not only feel passionate about their own career and work, but also of their whole profession. It is these veterinary nurses that need to be supported and encouraged to consider the wider positive impact they can have on the whole profession.

“Taking further qualifications, training our students, educating our profession through publications and lecturing, developing our body of research and considering positions such as being council members on bodies such as BVNA Council, are accessible to all RVNs who want to make this difference. These are the nurses that are ideal candidates to be recognised through the Golden Jubilee Award and I would encourage VNs to consider nominating them.”

Although nominees must be veterinary nurses, the primary nominator can be either a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse and the two supporting nominators can be laypeople. The deadline for returning nomination forms is Friday 29 January 2016 and nominations will be judged by a panel comprising members of VN Council.

The award will be made at RCVS Day – the College’s Annual General Meeting and Awards Day – in July 2016. The winner will also be given a speaking opportunity at that year’s BVNA Congress in October.

From the 2017 award onwards, the nomination period will be aligned with that of other RCVS honours, such as the Queen’s Medal, meaning that it will run from July to September.

Nomination forms, which include further details about the criteria and other requirements, can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/goldenjubilee. For further information or advice about the award, please contact Annette Amato, Deputy Head of Veterinary Nursing at the RCVS, on a.amato@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0713.