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Valedictorian is among the first graduates of EIT’s new veterinary nursing degree

March 19, 2021

Wendy Jarnet is in the first group of graduates of EIT’s degree in Veterinary Nursing.

Wendy Jarnet is gearing up for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. The EIT graduate was selected to give a speech at the graduation ceremony as a valedictorian.

Last year, the 34-year-old completed her Bachelor in Veterinary Nursing, a degree that EIT first introduced in 2020. Since Wendy had a veterinary nursing certificate and diploma under her belt already, she just needed to add the last year. Wendy studied by distance from her home in Tauranga while commuting to work in Auckland.

A conversation with a veterinary nurse 14 years ago sparked the direction in which Wendy’s life would go ahead. Animals had always been her passion, so why not give it a go? She started as a veterinary nurse in training and was learning on the job while studying the Certificate in Veterinary Nursing. She then also completed a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and moved up the ranks.

Wendy wanted to further progress her career and challenge herself, hence the decision to do the degree. Wendy knew a few EIT veterinary nursing lecturers from previous studies, liked the look and feel of the course content, and welcomed the fact that she was able to study via distance. “That allowed me to keep on working to pay my bills and look after my ten-year-old son Lochlan.”

The pandemic certainly threw some curveballs, and Wendy admits that it was also challenging to step outside herself to critically look at her practises. Yet, gaining new expertise while learning with and from classmates was worth the effort.

Throughout the years, Wendy never had second thoughts about her career choice. “It’s so rewarding when really sick patients that we look after for weeks, finally walk out healthy and happily wagging their tails. The medical treatment is critical but our care, time, and the little things that we do behind the scenes make such a difference, for example brushing a sick cat that can’t groom itself.”

Wendy says that there are a lot of veterinary nursing jobs for the right people. “All the vet nurses that I know who are skilled and have a high-calibre attitude didn’t struggle to find work.”

Wendy has ambitious goals for the future and stresses that she is always aiming for more. This success-driven mindset is also reflected in her number one hobby, martial arts. In 2020, Wendy achieved her second-degree black belt and she is also a highly respected instructor.

Recently she has been accepted to do the certification exam offered by the Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians (AIMVT) to become a recognised Veterinary Technician Specialist. It is one of the top qualifications a veterinary nurse can gain.

Wendy is also considering a teaching role to inspire the next generation of veterinary nurses and encourage other people in the industry to aim for high standards.

“I will just continue to work on myself and try to become the best version of myself,” says Wendy.