An Interview with Kelly Eyre – Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month 2024

1 May 2024

This week marks the start of Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month 2024, which is also the 20th anniversary of this awareness campaign, spearheaded by the British Veterinary Nursing Association. We spoke to Kelly Eyre RVN, who is our new Vice Chair of the Congress Committee, which is a huge milestone for BSAVA as she is the first Vet Nurse who will become Chair of Congress.

How did you decide that you wanted to become a vet nurse?

I always knew I wanted to work with animals since I was a child, wrapping up all my teddys in ‘bandages’ and treating them for tummy bugs. After college, I worked in a pet shop for a short while, and then for Cats Protection for a number of years, but I still felt I could do more for the welfare of animals. I then had the opportunity to start my nurse training with a practice linked to the Cats Protection branch, and I snapped it up. I didn’t start my veterinary nurse training until about 8-9 years after leaving education, but it all fell into place for me.

What’s the best part about being a vet nurse?

I’m not sure I can pick one thing! I find it incredibly rewarding when a client returns for another visit, or reaches out to share how the advice given has positively impacted them and their cats’ lives. It can be challenging, as there’s often situations that push our own boundaries, and require us to really think outside of the box. However, having the opportunity to constantly educate ourselves and learn is very enriching, and provides great job satisfaction.

How long have you been a volunteer for the BSAVA?

I’m currently in my third year of volunteering for BSAVA, so started in the September 2021, halfway through preparing for the hybrid Congress!

What do you enjoy the most about being a volunteer for us?

I love having the opportunity to use my knowledge and experience within my career to educate veterinary professionals about the things I’m so passionate about. I’ve also learnt SO much from other volunteers and gained so many additional skills over my time volunteering so far. I know I’m going to gain so much more too! Volunteering for BSAVA has also resulted in finding new opportunities that I didn’t know was possible.

What are your plans for Congress now that you’re Vice Chair and will be Chair?

To be taking on this role as a veterinary nurse is a significant milestone, and I really hope I can use this position to encourage nurses to challenge themselves more than ever before.

The veterinary nursing community feels so different to how it did 10 years ago. The ability to connect with one another is much easier now. We are all fighting for the same thing, to be heard and recognised for what we are. Not just by the veterinary profession, but the public too. There are also so many opportunities for nurses outside of general practice, and I wish I knew this when I worked in first opinion practice. I felt like certain aspects of the job just weren’t for me, and I felt ashamed of this, but I now know that’s ok!

I’m excited to encourage nurses to push their boundaries and use their skills, knowledge, and compassion to their true potential. The veterinary nurse case studies we have ran over the last 3 years have really showcased this, with the incredible skills and compassion of the veterinary nurses shining through. It feels like an exciting time, and I’m looking forward to pushing nurses to the forefront and encouraging them to challenge themselves.

If you’re considering a change in direction, or just looking to expand your possibilities, volunteering for BSAVA as a vet nurse will really expand your opportunities.