Emergency care providers Vets Now has welcomed four new nursing scholars onto its annual scholarship, which helps support people from ethnic minority backgrounds to start their career as veterinary nursing professionals.
The Ethnic Diversity Nursing Scholarship, now in its third year – is open to people from ethnic minority backgrounds applying to enter one of the UK or ROI veterinary nursing colleges.
Sara Al-Ethawi who is attending Royal Vet College, and three other scholars who have started at nursing colleges around the UK have each been awarded an annual £2,500 grant, mentoring from the Vets Now Ethnic Diversity Scholarship board members, and a support network to help them through their studies.
Vets Now’s head of clinical nursing, Racheal Marshall, led the set-up of the Ethnic Diversity Scholarship three years ago Racheal said: “We’re so pleased to welcome our four new students onto the scholarship programme this year. Encouraging diversity is greatly important to us and this scholarship is part of our commitment to embed a culture of diversity and inclusion within our teams to reflect the wider communities we serve.
“It helps remove financial barriers to that crucial first step into higher education and ensure vet nurses from all backgrounds are able to benefit from the wide range of opportunities that exist both in our company and the wider profession overall.
“This is another step towards building a culture that respects diversity and inclusion and improving conditions for future generations.”
Nursing scholar Sara Al-Ethawi added: “Coming from an ethnic background, I have always struggled with finding people within my community with the same passions for veterinary as I had. This scholarship has allowed me to feel included and find people who have experienced the same issues I’ve had. I’ve always loved the topic of animal Emergency and Critical Care and this scholarship will allow me to pursue this passion.”
The scholarship is already funding seven other scholars through their nursing studies. One of whom is Venus Tamjidi, a 19-year-old, from London, who is two years through her veterinary nursing studies. In Venus’s case the financial backing has been pivotal in helping her take up her place at the RVC Hawkshead campus.
Venus said: “At my school, very few chose the veterinary profession. It was even rarer for someone from a minority ethnic background. You don’t see a lot of people from ethnically diverse communities. It’s important to change that and see people from all backgrounds.”
Racheal chairs the Ethnic Diversity Board, which the majority of members are nurses from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
“The board’s remit is to provide advice and guidance on the scholarship scheme and develop additional initiatives such as mentoring and placement schemes to support diversity in our business and the veterinary nursing profession.
“The board selects candidates each year who demonstrate an enthusiasm for vet nursing, outstanding potential and subject knowledge to benefit from the scholarship.”
Three years ago, IVC Evidensia also launched its own scholarship scheme to fund vet school undergraduates from ethnic minority backgrounds.
For more information on the scholarship scheme, email [email protected] or visit https://www.vets-now.com/careers/ethnic-diversity-nursing-scholarship/. Applications for 2024’s scholarship will open in early 2024.