May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month, a whole month dedicated to raising awareness of the veterinary nursing profession and the vital role they play in animal care and treatment.

What was started as an awareness day by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) in 2005 quickly grew into a week and expanded even further to a month in 2012.

Helen Bye is a veterinary nurse at Cave Veterinary Specialists and kindly took time out to tell us about life as a vet nurse.

Helen ByeHow long have you been a vet nurse and what training did you have to do to achieve your qualifications?

I have been a qualified Veterinary Nurse for 15 years, passing my NVQ in 2005. I studied Veterinary Nursing and Practice Administration at the University of Bristol, graduating in 2006. My training involved four years of study and block placements at a variety of primary care practices and rotations at Langford Small Animal Referral Hospital.

What attracted you to a career as a vet nurse?

I have always loved animals, the only one in my household growing up. I had to beg for my first pet but soon had a menagerie of small furries. I was lucky to get a great work experience placement and met some fantastic vets and nurses who only encouraged me to follow my dreams.

What are the best things about being a vet nurse?

Not many people say they love their job but most veterinary nurses truly do, including me. I love the variety, the challenges, the passionate team I work with and most of all the patients who make it worthwhile.

Helen Bye with DogWhat kind of attributes do you need to be a good vet nurse?

Flexible and adaptable – no one day is the same and having the ability to change your mindset to a different challenge is extremely beneficial.

You need a caring nature, be able to work independently and as part of a team, have good communication skills and a strong stomach! Oh, and not to forget high standards of cleanliness!

What advice would you give someone thinking about a career as a vet nurse?

Get as many work experience placements as possible and experience the role first-hand.

What are the best things about working at Cave Veterinary Specialists?

The team, hands down. The job can be tough, it is a busy hospital but having a great team to work alongside everyday makes it enjoyable. For more information on Vet Nurse Awareness Month, visit