A qualitative study of final year student veterinary nurses’ career plans and expectations.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


The limited longevity of veterinary nurse’s clinical careers is a current challenge faced within the veterinary industry. In order for the veterinary nurse job vacancies to be filled, it is essential for graduate veterinary nurses to be motivated to seek employment in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to explore the career plans and expectations of final year student veterinary nurses.
Online semi-structured interviews, with ten final year student veterinary nurses, were used to collect qualitative data. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.
The results revealed that there were aspects of clinical practice the participants were looking forwards to and others they perceived would be challenging and may threaten the longevity of their clinical career. An example was the demanding nature of the job role.
All participants expressed a desire to work in clinical practice following their graduation, but were aware that they were unlikely to have long-term clinical careers. It is recommended that veterinary nurse educators should support students to develop the resilience necessary for them to face the challenges of clinical practice and also help them to gain the transferrable skills they may require for alternative future career paths.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Veterinary Nurse
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Jun 2024


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