1st Edition

Veterinary Nursing Care Plans
Theory and Practice

ISBN 9781498778664
Published February 23, 2018 by CRC Press
138 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

USD $42.95

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Book Description

This book is the first veterinary textbook dedicated to nursing care plans. It offers a broad overview of the theory and practice of care planning in veterinary nursing, answering three key questions:

  • What are nursing care plans?
  • Why should nursing care plans be used in practice?
  • How should nursing care plans be used in practice?

Author Helen Ballantyne provides basic definitions and explanations which will be useful to those unfamiliar with nursing care plans. For those veterinary nurses and technicians who are using nursing care plans, the content stimulates debate and discussion, by covering some of the philosophical and theoretical aspects of nursing and drawing comparisons and contrasts between the veterinary and human nursing roles and contexts.

There is a pressing need for veterinary nurses to establish themselves as professionals and develop their unique role within the veterinary care team. Nursing care plans are a core tool to support that development. It is hoped that veterinary nurses may borrow tools from the pages of this book or use it as a resource design their unique care plans: either way, this practical guide will support the application of care planning, no matter the species of the animal kingdom for whom you are caring.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: History

Chapter 2: The Nursing Process

Chapter 3: Nursing models

Chapter 4: Veterinary nursing care plans

Chapter 5: How to write a care plan.

Chapter 6: Nursing care plans and the patient

Chapter 7: Nursing care plans and the profession

Chapter 8: Nursing care plans and education

Chapter 9: Nursing care plans and research

 Chapter 10: The future - are they useful or not?



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Helen Ballantyne, after graduating with a degree in Pharmacology in 2002, qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2005. Combining her passions for veterinary nursing and travel, she began a 8-year stint as a locum nurse working nationally and internationally, developing experience in referral medicine and surgery, charity practice, emergency nursing and exotics. During this time, she spent five years on the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) council in a variety of roles, culminating in her being awarded honorary membership in 2016.

In 2013, she qualified as a human-centred nurse taking up a position at the United Kingdom’s largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital, Papworth NHS Foundation Trust. After two years working in intensive care, she moved to the transplant team. Within this role, she supports the ongoing care of patients, pre and post-transplant. She is also a member of the National Organ Retrieval team, on call to facilitate the collection of organs from deceased donors.

Helen remains a Registered Veterinary Nurse and has developed a strong interest in the principles of One Health, supporting collaborative practice between the medical and veterinary professions. She regularly lectures and writes about ideas and ways of working that may be shared between the professions to support clinical and professional practice.

As she goes to work, her friends and family take great delight in asking her, ‘Is it humans or animals today?’


Nursing Care Plans are now becoming an essential part of nursing animals in our care. They are embedded into the syllabus of Veterinary Nursing students and this knowledge should be developed through a RVN’s career. Helen manages to take the important points for care plans and put them into a useable format that any veterinary nurse or student can learn from and develop their knowledge. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who wants to enhance their nursing skills and documentation with patients.

Sam Morgan Cert Ed DipAVN(Medical & Surgical) RVN, BVNA President 2015/17


Helen Ballantyne has done an excellent job: the book is appropriately referenced, takes wonderful comparisons from human nursing, addresses common concerns and questions about nursing care plans, and above all makes the concept of these plans very relatable to the daily practice of veterinary nurses and technicians.

Liza W Rudolph, BAS, RVT, VTS (CP-CF, SAIM), Manager of the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (AVTCP) and Maryland Veterinary Technician Association, USA


Veterinary Nursing Care Plans: Theory and Practice does a thorough job in defining nursing care plans. Although veterinary nursing plans are not commonly used in current practice in America, the author makes a convincing argument for their implementation. She highlights the importance of providing holistic care, improving client communication, promoting collaboration among the veterinary team, and instituting clinical governance and asserts that the use of veterinary nursing plans can facilitate those aims and increase the bottom line of a practice.

Lisa L. Eller, DVM, Arthur Veterinary Clinic, USA in JAVMA, Vol 253, No. 6, September 2018


This book is well structured. It begins by introducing care plans – what they are, and why and how they should be used. The author includes examples of different types of plan, such the Roper, Logan and Tierney model and also Orem. This makes it ideal for students like myself who are learning about care plans and how to implement them effectively in practice. It would also be a great read for those wanting to optimise their use of such plans in practice. I believe this is a fantastic book; it has greatly expanded my knowledge of care planning and its successful implementation and I would recommend it to anyone seeking to learn more about care planning.

Charlotte Evans, student vet nurse, in Vet Record, December 2019

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