One in four vet nurses planning to quit their jobs

One in four vet nurses planning to quit their jobs

A quarter of veterinary nurses are planning to leave the profession due to poor pay and a lack of career progression opportunities.

Those are the findings in the VN Futures Interim Report 2021 – a joint initiative from the RCVS and the BVNA.

The study found that 24.8% of nurses surveyed said they planned to leave the veterinary sector in the next five years with their reasons including poor pay and a poor work-life balance.

Eight in 10 of those intent on leaving cited pay as their main reason, while 60% said they would quit because they felt unrewarded or unvalued.

Responding to the report, Veterinary Management Group president Rich Casey, above, said: “While salary is certainly an issue, given that the second most important reason for RVNs leaving the profession is that they don’t feel valued, it’s possible that a perceived avoiding of conversations about pay may be making things even worse.

“What we don’t want is a situation in which RVNs are paid more, but continue to leave the profession because it turns out that the cumulative effects of not feeling valued and challenged, limited career progression and a poor work-life balance are also root causes of their dissatisfaction.

“I don’t believe it’s an impending crisis. If so many RVNs are feeling this way, then that’s their reality and we are already in a crisis.”

BVNA president Alex Taylor, above, said: “The VN Futures report sums up which areas of the profession needed to be highlighted and then looked for ways to make change – it’s not just about looking for problems, it’s about looking for solutions.

“A lot of what we have covered in the past five years has shaped part of what we are going to focus on in the next phase of VN Futures. Two of the aims of the previous phase included creating a more sustainable workforce and a confident, resilient, healthy and well-supported workforce.

“Veterinary nurses are key members of staff in practice, but sometimes their skills are not properly utilised; however, this is starting to change as people are becoming aware of just how valuable we are.”