A leading Glasgow veterinary group has implemented an innovative restructure of its nursing team with the aim of creating clear career pathway development opportunities. 

Linnaeus-owned Pets’n’Vets, which has seven practices across the Glasgow area, has appointed the highly-experienced Karen Nesbitt as group nurse manager and she will oversee the clinical governance of the nursing team. 

The new structure at Pets’n’Vets has seen a number of senior roles created and Karen said these positions would allow nurses to be recognised, empowered and progress their leadership roles and skills in line with their interests. 

Karen, who has over 25 years’ experience as a head nurse, explained: “We believe it’s essential our nurses feel valued and are developed to their full potential and that’s why we’re introducing this innovative Linnaeus nursing structure across our practices. 

“The aim is to fully support the progression of our team members at all levels, aiding their career progression and providing a clear pathway from Patient Care Assistants (PCA) to Student Veterinary Nurse (SVN) to Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) and beyond, along with creating a number of opportunities across our group of practices.

“I am really looking forward to working alongside the nursing teams across all of our practices to enable this and am really excited to work with this new nursing management structure as it expands.

“My key ambition is to inspire more clinical coaches within the team. I know that our future veterinary nurses are already employed with us, currently working as our PCAs, and I am very keen to develop an upwards progression within the Pets’n’Vets team so that those who wish to can become student nurses with clinical coaches to support their training.” 

The new nursing structure will incorporate clinical nurse managers (CNM), who will work with Karen to identify and support development within their team. 

Megan Orr has been promoted to the CNM role at the group’s flagship Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital and she has been charged with ensuring the nursing team continues to provide high quality patient care, the smooth running of the hospital on a day-to-day basis and will be available to support and guide the nursing team at all times. 

The group has also appointed four lead nurses to work alongside Megan and Karen to help steer nursing teams at specific sites or in a certain areas of the hospital. 

Vikki Harvey is lead ward nurse at Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital, in Pollokshaws, while Agostina De Venuti has become lead out-of-hours RVN; Jennifer MacKenzie is the lead nurse at the Scotstoun practice, while Claire Wilson is lead nurse at the Hairmyres branch.

Part of their roles will be to provide opportunities to develop clinical and leadership skills for both the individual and practice as a whole. 

Pets’n’Vets is the latest Linnaeus practice to introduce the group’s innovative structure for its nursing team and follows a clear emphasis being placed on the nursing community by Linnaeus, which, in Chief Nursing Officer, Andrea Jeffery, has had a nursing presence on its Executive Board since 2019.  

Dr Jeffery, who has completed a PhD investigating the factors that influence retention within the vet nursing profession, has spearheaded the creation of a unique central support veterinary nursing team (CSVNT) at Linnaeus to help its nursing population develop a clear career framework to facilitate skill set development of RVNs throughout their careers.  

Dr Jeffery said: “We’re really excited to see the implementation of this nursing structure at Pets n’ Vets, which, as part of Linnaeus, is very much leading the industry with this approach to supporting career development of its nursing team. 

“We place a real emphasis on the importance our nurses play in helping us provide a better world for pets and this move really highlights the opportunities, support and work-life balance on offer at Pets’n’Vets.” 

For more information on Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital, visit www.petsnvets.org

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