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Veterinary Nurse of the Year

NZVNA, in conjunction with Hill's Pet Nutrition, realise the importance of veterinary nurses. The Hill's Veterinary Nurse of the Year Award has been launched to recognise veterinary nurses who advocate and significantly contribute to the care of their patients and who are an integral part of the veterinary health care team
Click here to find the Nomination form for 2017


The nominated person must be a qualified veterinary nurse working under the supervision of a registered veterinarian in New Zealand for a minimum of 16 hours per week they must also be a current member of the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association. Closing date for the receipt of entries is 5pm, 18 August 2017. No responsibility will be taken for entries not received by the NZVNA by that time or that are otherwise lost, delayed or incomplete. The panel of Hill’s staff and NZVNA council members will decide on the finalists from all completed entries received by no later than 5pm 1st August 2017. The NZVNA reserves the right, at any time, to request verification of age, identity, residential address of nominees and any other information relevant to nominations. Verification is at the discretion of the panel, whose decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into relating to the award of Veterinary Nurse of the Year 2017. All finalists will be notified by phone or e-mail by close of business, 22nd September 2017. The NZVNA reserves the right to revoke its decision in relation to a finalist if that finalist cannot attend the award presentation lunch. The award winner will be announced during the presentation lunch at an advised location in Auckland on 13th October 2017. At the NZVNA’s sole discretion, prizes awarded to finalists are subject to change without prior notice and are not redeemable for cash. By participating, award and prize winners consent to their names and photographs being used in promotional materials, media and web sites. Finalists are responsible for bearing the costs and organisation of travel to and from their closest airport. The award sponsors will be responsible for the cost of domestic economy fare flights from the finalist’s closest airport to Auckland, transfer from Auckland airport to hotel selected at the discretion of the sponsor, one night’s hotel accommodation, transfer to the lunch venue, the cost of lunch and transfer costs from the lunch venue back to Auckland Airport. Sponsors will not be responsible or liable to pay wages or the replacement of a vet nurse for the day that the finalists are absent from their clinic due to their participation in this award and travel to and from Auckland. Further, sponsors will not be responsible for any loss, injury or damage suffered by participants during travel to or from or during the stay in Auckland, or whilst attending the award activities. Entries remain the property of the NZVNA and will not be returned.

Privacy Statement: Details from nomination forms will be collected and used to notify participants of future educational events (which may include disclosure to third parties for this purpose) and for purposes surrounding this event. By participating, each entrant consents to the use of his or her information as described and agrees that the NZVNA may use this information for future promotional purposes (unless otherwise notified by the nominee in writing to the NZVNA). To access, change and/or update your personal information, contact 0800 868 773 during office hours. Participating and entry signifies acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.


2016 Kate Leveridge
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Kate Leveridge has worked at the Massey University Pet Emergency Centre for three years where she is a veterinary nurse in the Intesive Care Unit (ICU).
Patients in the ICU are prone to sudden deterioration and Kate is quick to speak up if she has any concerns, even if this means ruffling a few feathers, as she feels passionate about Best Practice patient care.
Working at Massey University means that Kate is teaching both veterinary and veterinary nursing students on top of her veterinary nursing duties. This can be stressful as Kate is not only accountable for her own actions but also the actions of any students that are under her charge. But Kate remains calm and even in the most challenging of situations her standards of care for her patients and her students remains faultless.
Because of her passion for learning, Kate is always undertaking continuing education and this passion has extended to organizing an emergency and critical care practical conference. 
Kate's passion and support of others, whether they are veterinarians or veterinary nurses, has been invaluable for their future careers and she is the veterinary nurse that everyone at her work looks up to.
In her spare time, Kate helps to fundraise for guide and special need dogs within the Palmerston North community. She has also spent her holiday's voluntaring for a spey and neuter clinic in Ecuador and has recently applied to volunteer for similar work in Tonga. She is also on the NZVNA Executive Committee.
2015 Wendy Jarnet

Wendy Jarnet photo (2)

2014 Lisa Jamieson

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2013 Tania Fernandez

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Tania Fernandez wins NZVNA & Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inaugral Veterinary Nurse of the Year 2013
Auckland, New Zealand  – October 11, 2013 To celebrate Veterinary Nurse Day 2013, the New Zealand Veterinary Nurse Association (NZVNA) and Hill’s Pet Nutrition are thrilled to congratulate Tania Fernandez  as the NZVNA & Hill’s™ Veterinary Nurse of the Year.

Veterinary Nurse Day celebrates veterinary nurses around New Zealand and recognizes their dedication and commitment to the industry. NZVNA and Hill’s Pet Nutrition launched the Veterinary Nurse of the Year Award to honour these highly skilled professionals, who are an essential part of any veterinary practice.

“I am totally overwhelmed,” said Tania Fernandez, the award’s first recipient. “It is such a privilege and honour to be nominated.  I wouldn’t be here without the support of my team, so this is also a big thanks to them.”
Tania was nominated by her colleagues at The Straven Road Veterinary Centre in Christchurch, her local wholesaler Business Account Manager and tutors from the Christchurch Polytech. A highly motivated and enthusiastic nurse, Tania provides exceptional care for her patients and shows empathy to their owners.  Tania helped design the clinic’s website and Facebook page, works tirelessly with veterinary nursing students and continues her own professional development. She goes above and beyond her nursing duties and responsibilities.  

Julie Hutt, President of the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association said, “I was thrilled to see such a high standard of nominations and recognise the contribution of veterinary nurses to both the veterinary team and their patients.  I was impressed by the variation of work, from mixed practice, small animal clinics, senior nurses working in practice management, vet nurses working with exotics, running nursing clinics, mentoring student nurses and also writing articles for the NZ Veterinary Nursing Journal.  The letters of support came from veterinarians, clients, educators and industry.  All candidates strive to provide the highest standards of veterinary nursing care and exceptional customer service.”

Jan Bedford - Vet Nurse Manager,  Hill's Pet Nutrition said: ‘We are thrilled to have received so many outstanding nominations  from all around New Zealand .  It is wonderful to see veterinary nurses receive the recognition they deserve but sometimes don’t get.  The 2013 candidates were all exceptional and it was tough to choose a winner. Tania showed an excellent contribution to the veterinary profession.’
Other finalists for the 2013 award were:

• Melissa Shuttleworth from Waikiwi Vet Services in Invercargill
• Marie Yorston from Pet Doctors at Animates Mt Eden in Auckland

The NZVNA and Hill’s Pet Nutrition would like to congratulate Tania, the finalists and all of those nominated for 2013.
To nominate a veterinary nurse for the 2014 Veterinary Nurse of the Year Award please contact Hill’s HelpLine on 0800 344 557.

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The NZVNA strives to protect, promote and provide the highest standards of veterinary nursing care.

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