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XLVets aims to support vet nurses in leadership roles within the community

Lyndsay Hughes RVN MBVNA, Operations & Nursing Manager at Drove Veterinary Hospital in Swindon, is putting in place a programme of support for veterinary nurses in leadership roles

01 October 2019, at 9:00am

The group is open to head and senior nurses across the XLVets community and will initially gather online. The membership is currently being surveyed to identify needs. In 2020 the results will drive a programme of CPD focusing on the development of clinical skills and sharing of best practice by vet nurses with expertise in specific areas.

Lyndsay, who has been a veterinary nurse for 18 years says her "lightbulb moment" came when she was driving home following an XLVets first line leadership programme, “I was very lucky because when I first took on a Head Nurse role, a friend on the opposite side of the country had also taken on the same role in her practice. It meant we could share experiences and ideas about how to get the best out of the people we were managing. It’s a very tricky transition and so different from our previous roles that the support we provided for each other was invaluable. I realised that not everyone was able to benefit from that kind of support and it would be great if we could find a way to provide it.”

With the help of the XLVets office team, Lyndsay has set up a Facebook group which will become the hub for Head Nurses in the XLVets community. A CPD calendar is also being developed that will not only support head nurses but also help them recognise the expertise of vet nurses within XL practices and provide a mechanism for them to share their skills and knowledge with others.

As someone who manages 35 nurses, Lyndsay believes that the plans will be good news for the whole nursing team in XLVets independent vet practices, “On the management course I was able to meet vets who were already directors, young vets moving into partnerships and nurses moving into head nurse roles. We all face similar challenges but some are specific to nursing, so I’m really pleased to see the group coming together and supporting each other, as well as putting in place a roadmap to excellence for all XLVets nurses.”

Jane Simpson, People Enabling Manager at XLVets says that the community is very supportive of this new initiative, “Anything we can do to support upskilling and sharing of best practice is good for practice performance and the people who work there. We are very pleased to provide the resources needed to get Lyndsay’s idea off the ground and look forward to her presenting her programme at our next national meeting.”