How a veterinary nursing career opened doors for Ben

How a veterinary nursing career opened doors for Ben

VetPartners is led by members of the veterinary profession, including former veterinary nurses, who understand what is important and put the care of people and animals above all else.

As a former RVN, Ben Walsh is steeped in knowledge about practice life and is putting that to good use as one of our Business Development Directors.

Here, as we celebrate Veterinary Nurse Awareness Week, Ben discusses what makes the veterinary nursing profession so special….

BEN Walsh fell into a career as a veterinary nurse almost by accident after his mum spotted a job advert in a newspaper – but it was the lucky break that turned out to be his calling all along.

Ben admits he didn’t really know what he was letting himself in for when he applied for the role at a practice in Blackpool, although for a teenager with a lifelong love of pets it seemed like a perfect opportunity to do something he enjoyed.

Back then, there were few male veterinary nurses and he could never have imagined that nearly 20 years later, he would have been a shining example of the career progression now available to nurses.

Ben is now a Business Development Director (BDD) for VetPartners, where he uses his voice and influence to champion the veterinary nursing profession he still feels so passionate about.

“Becoming a veterinary nurse opened up so many doors for me,” said Ben.

“Whether you’re running clinics or nurse consults, assisting in theatre, working in pharmacy, physio or a busy referral hospital, veterinary nursing is so rewarding and provides a great opportunity to progress.

“When I began my career as a vet nurse at the age of 17, I didn’t have a clue that there was even such a profession as veterinary nursing. Like human nursing, there were hardly any males so it was never something I’d considered.

“I am enjoying such an enriching, fulfilling career, and I have seen the positive ways that the role has developed so that veterinary nurses feel valued within the profession. We come with so many skills and are an integral part of the team and are building our own client base.

“Sometimes I receive an email or speak to someone in practice and they’ll say, ‘I’m just an auxiliary nurse,’ and that simply isn’t true. They’re fulfilling such an important role and are highly valued by VetPartners.”

Ben joined VetPartners in 2022 as a BDD – the sort of role he had envisioned for himself as his career gradually progressed into a more business-oriented focus after 10 years as a practice nurse working in Lancashire and London.

At the start of his career, he completed an apprenticeship at a practice in Blackpool and had a great grounding by learning all aspects of the veterinary nursing role before qualifying as an RVN.

Ben said: “On my first day in practice, the head nurse showed me how to clean a kennel and maintain good hygiene and standard of cleanliness. I still hold the upmost respect for her to this day. It was a highly organised practice, and each nurse has their own area of responsibility.

“I learned about good husbandry, experienced what it was like on reception, learned about vaccine protocols and developed my skills.

“When I qualified, I was able to develop my consult skills and run weight clinics, advise on flea and worm treatment, rabbit dentistry and general care of pets. I really enjoyed the client education side.”

The seeds of working in a business-focused role were sown during his four years in a practice in Parson Green, Fulham, where his role involved overseeing areas such as stock control, finance, marketing, client reminders and client communications.

He was also able to influence the culture of the practice as he helped with recruitment and wanted to ensure new vets and nurses were the right fit for a collaborative and supportive workplace – like the one fostered by VetPartners.

“It was a small team and, on my first day, I discovered both vets were pregnant, with the other nurse falling pregnant shortly after,” recalled Ben.

“The practice was soon going to be run by locums so it was going to be sink or swim. I matured very quickly and had to help grow the client base, as well as recruit and train receptionists and a veterinary nurse.

“I fell into leadership – and loved it. I made sure we recruited the right locums and we had a really nice team and a nice culture.”

After returning home after four years in London, he had a spell working outside of veterinary practice, first as a territory manager for Virbac and then as a business support manager with another veterinary group.

He jumped at the opportunity to join VetPartners and feels at home in our culture of warmth and belonging. Based in the North West, he oversees Rutland House Veterinary Hospital and Referrals, Stanley House Vets, Parker & Crowther Vets and Littlecroft Vets.

As a BDD, his role is foster a caring and supportive work environment. By focusing on exceptional customer service and encouraging high clinical standards, our BDDs help to build value. They also help to facilitate local networking, collaboration among clinical teams and promote our culture and values.

“At VetPartners, we all have the same goal of creating a great place to work,” said Ben.

“We support our practices and leadership teams which is the great thing about VetPartners as we all get to lean on each other for support. I have never felt so settled in my career since joining VetPartners. I’m now fulfilling one of my goals by working for the group because its culture is well known throughout the veterinary industry. It is regarded as the friendly group with a CEO who is present and really cares about people.”


For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners PR and Communications Director at or 07970 198492