Vet Nurse of the Year Margie Rutherford, BSc, BVT, shares her visions for Veterinary Nursing in New Zealand including how vet nurses can be paid more and get more job satisfaction

This is the second of two episodes where Vet Nurse of the Year 2021 Margie Rutherford and I (Julie South) chat about her visions for veterinary nursing in New Zealand.

Margie was awarded the NZ Vet Nurse of the Year 2021 .   

Margie Rutherford BSc BVT

Vet Nurse of the Year 2021

image supplied

If you haven’t listened to last week’s episode – number 63 – I highly recommend you go and listen to that show before you listen to this, as it gives context.

Today, Margie shares some of her dreams and aspirations for vet nurses.   

She talks about the changes she’d like to see to help stop the exodus of vet nurses leaving the industry, tangible and real steps that all clinics can put in place to help not only show they appreciate and value nurses more, but how they can pay them more too.

The habits that nurses and clinics need to form around patient care, the differences that show up when nurses are encouraged and supported to develop their professional areas of interest, the CPD courses she’s done and enjoyed and what’s on her horizon as well as what Margie does when she’s not working.

Margie shared plenty of ideas that you can implement in your clinic that’ll make a difference – I’ll quickly recap them for you.

Look at your bills – are you charging for your Vet Nurses?   If not, start.  If you are, are you covering all your nurse’s areas of expertise – for example:

  • Nurse time
  • Nurse consulting services
  • Nurse time for hospital patients
  • Anaesthetic fees

Do your bills truly and accurately reflect the cost of patient care – for example – have you built in:

  • Equipment costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • Nurses’ time (biggest cost)
  • Inpatient care costs

Put in place an in-clinic professional development plan for all of your nurses – encourage them to grow and blossom according to their own unique skills, values, strengths and areas of expertise.

Margie talked about two courses – Fear Free – one that everyone at her clinic has done and the Cooperative Care Certificate that she’s currently studying with her own dog.  

Find your groove and help your Vet Nurses find their own groove because you’ll both benefit from it.


Fear Free Certification

Cooperative Care Certificate

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