Laura Harvey, Dip. VN, BSc, PGCert Vet Ed
Laura started in the veterinary industry as a student in 2006 when, part way through a Bachelor of Science (BSc) at Massey University, she realised working in animal health was where her future lay. She put her BSc on hold (to be finished later) and moved back to Auckland to complete her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Dip. VN). Laura has since worked in small animal practices both in Auckland and in the UK, completing a 12-month locum stint not long after completed her Dip. VN.
In 2013, Laura swapped her scrubs and stethoscope for a classroom, joining the teaching team at Unitec Institute of Technology as a lecturer in applied animal health. During this time, Laura has focused on improving the education provided to veterinary nursing students through the completion of her BSc (psychology) and the attainment of a Post Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Education. Laura is currently in her third and final year of one of the world’s first veterinary nursing specific Master of Science programmes (MSc in Advanced Practice in Veterinary Nursing) through the University of Glasgow in the UK. This will allow Laura to build on her budding research career with her research focus being in two main areas: compassion fatigue and burnout in veterinary nurses, and the utilisation of veterinary nurses in practice (along with a smaller research focus into pet obesity – the focus of her MSc dissertation)
Laura has more recently taken a step back from full-time teaching and is now the Academic Programme Manager for Applied Animal Health at Unitec, overseeing both their veterinary nursing programmes and their animal management certificates. Although the programme management is a role she loves, she still tries to get into the classroom as much as possible. There is something special about those ‘lightbulb’ moments with students that make teaching so rewarding.
In 2019, Laura was instrumental in the writing and subsequent NZQA approval of New Zealand first Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing. A huge achievement for veterinary nursing education in New Zealand.
Laura joined the NZVNA in 2013, and currently holds the Vet Nurse Awareness Week, and Health and Safety portfolios. She is also the NZVNA representative and trustee for Healthy Pets NZ, funding research into companion animal health projects (and is keen to support veterinary nurses wanting to undertake research in this area), and is a board member for South Pacific Animal Welfare, joining the board not long after starting the now annual Unitec/SPAW collaborative charity trip to Tonga in December each year.
Laura also admins the NZVNA Spoonholders Facebook page, providing support for veterinary nurses with disabilities.
Laura has a rescue dog, three-year-old Min, a staffy cross, who has her own corner of Laura’s office, and provides plenty of hugs and cuddles to Laura’s students throughout the week.
You can follow Laura’s research publications here - https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2447-2884