Thinking of becoming a Veterinary Nurse?

How do I become a Veterinary Nurse?

A day in the life of a Veterinary Nurse.

Meet the nurses at Braid Vets.


Elaine Paterson RVN


I am a Registered Veterinary Nurse who qualified in 1998.  I started out working in a mixed small and large animal practice and orthopaedic referral hospital, before starting work in Dalkeith in 2001. I joined the Braid Vets team in April 2012 when they opened their new branch in Dalkeith, became Deputy Head Nurse in January 2014, and then Head Nurse in December 2015.

I have a special interest in orthopaedics, wound management and animal behaviour.

In my spare time I like to go to boot camp, enjoy socialising, and have a keen interest in rugby. I have also recently become the proud owner of an English Springer Spaniel called "Jake" that my husband and I adopted from Springer Rescue and a rescue cat called Bertie. 


Paula Coll RVN


Since I was 13 I have been working in a veterinary practice and I have loved it. I started in a small animal animal practice and I have helped out in mixed practice also. I moved to Edinburgh in 2008 to train as a veterinary nurse at Napier university. I became a kennel assistant at Braid in 2010 and then I started my placement here as a student veterinary nurse and never left. I qualified as a registered veterinary nurse from Napier in 2012.

I enjoy all aspects of veterinary nursing, no day is the same. I have a keen interest in surgery and I am currently studying towards my BSAVA merit award in surgical nursing, this will help further my knowledge and skills. I also enjoy medicine, wound management and behaviour. Along with the other nurses I help run the the practices puppy party's.

Since qualifying I have become a clinical coach to students that come to us on placement. I enjoy this role a lot as I provide support to the students to help develop their practical skills and to help them develop their knowledge in all areas of veterinary nursing.

At home I have a dog called Barney, a big loveable Bullmastiff, a rescue that my husband and I took on in 2010 and it was the best decision we made. In my spare time I enjoy socialising with friends, going to the cinema, watching rugby and heading home to Ireland to see family and friends.


Cara Hutchinson RVN


For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be a Veterinary Nurse and spent my childhood always begging my parents for more pets.

I moved to Edinburgh in 2005 so that I could study veterinary nursing at Napier University, where I enjoyed my many placement visits to Braid Vets.  I became a member of staff here in 2008 and qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2009.

Since qualifying I have become a mentor to student nurses here on placement from the College of Animal Welfare.  This role involves giving tutorials to develop practical skills and providing support to the students during their time on here at Braid Vets.  This is a part of my job that I am particularly passionate about.  I have a special interest in physiotherapy and rehabilitation and in January 2013 I was awarded a BSAVA merit award in this subject.

At home I have a cat called Molly, who enjoys sleeping, eating and the occasional mad half hour.  In my spare time I enjoy shopping, going to the cinema, socialising with my friends and visiting my family in the North East of England.

In January 2016 i became a consultation nurse which involves running clinics such as puppy and kitten chats, adolescent health checks, weight management programmes, post operative care, physiotherapy and discharging patients to their owners after surgery. This is a new role within the practice and a new challenge for me. My favourite part of consulting is seeing pets grow from puppies/kittens to adults through the clinics and developing a bond with the pets and owners.


Nicola McDowall RVN


I qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2004 having been at Braid Vets since 2002, firstly as a Student Nurse, and then as a Registered Nurse. I currently work part-time and spend my spare time looking after my three young sons and my rescue cat called Gandalf.

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360 Braid Vets, Dalkeith

Amanda Dolan RVN

I started in my first Veterinary Practice in 1989 beginning my career as a receptionist.  Although I loved my job as a receptionist, it soon became very clear that I would love to pursue a career in veterinary nursing.  I became a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2000 and have never looked back.

I enjoy all aspects of veterinary nursing but do have a particular interest in nursing consults and surgical nursing.  My goal in the future would be to pursue my Diploma in Veterinary Nursing which will allow me to further my knowledge and focus on Surgical and Medical nursing.

In my spare time I love tinkering with my motorbikes or running up yet another project on my sewing machine.  Recently I joined a Roller Derby league and am now busy learning the finer points of what is an amazingly energetic sport.

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360 Braids Vet, Mayfield Road

Hannah MacKinlay RVN

I started at Braid vets as a student in January 2012 on placement from Napier university where I studied Veterinary nursing. I then enjoyed numerous placements before graduating in July 2015 and becoming a permanent member of the nursing team.

I enjoy all aspects of my job, especially caring for our in patients and diagnostic imaging. More recently I have been working some weekends with our out of hours Evets service during which I am enjoying gaining more experience in emergency and critical care.

In my spare time I enjoy socialising, horse riding and visiting my two black labradors Jenny and Weasel at my family home (and my family too, of course!).


 Gemma Taylor RVN

I first came to Braid Vets in the summer of 2012 for placement with Edinburgh Napier University where I completed my degree. I was then lucky enough to become a weekend assistant during my studies and when I qualified in 2015 I was offered a position as a full-time Veterinary Nurse. I enjoy each aspect of my job but have a real interest in anaesthesiology and hope to work towards extra qualifications in this area. Outside of work I spend a lot of time trying to entertain my adorable Border Collie, Corrie, who has been with me since she was a very cute puppy!


Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360 Braids Vet, Mayfield Road

 Katie Finlayson RVN

I moved from Oxfordshire to Edinburgh in 2012 to study Veterinary Nursing at Edinburgh Napier University. I came to Braid Vets for my placements as a student, and to work as a kennel assistant during the weekends for the E-vets team. I graduated as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in July 2016 but started working full time for Braid in March. Since then, I have particularly enjoyed my kennel shifts, caring for the inpatients and also scrubbing into surgical operations to assist the vets in theatre. I like to work some E-vets shifts on the weekends, to see some interesting emergency cases. Whilst I am not at work, I love spending time with my elderly, but still energetic Cocker Spaniel, Jive. We enjoy exploring new areas of Edinburgh, with the aim of tiring her out.


Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360 Braids Vet, Mayfield Road

 Mairi Petticrew RVN

I graduated in 2015 from Edinburgh Napier University with an honers degree in veterinary nursing and joined the Braid Vets team in early 2016. Although I am passionate about all aspects of nursing, I have a perticular interest in emergency and critical care, as well as the nursing care of rabbits and small furries. In the future, I would love to earn a certificate in one of these areas.

At home I have a big, cuddly standard poodle called Ava and a rather mischievous rescue rabbit called Dexter.



Erika Jackman RVN

I qualified in 2015 back home in Ireland. I worked in my local small animal practice in Waterford full time for about a year. I also had two other jobs on the side as a rep for the animal food brand 'Royal Canin' and working as a waitress! I decided I wanted to become better at nursing so I up and left all three jobs and moved to Edinburgh. I moved here in September 2016 to study the top-up Veterinary Nursing course in Napier University.

A month later I joined the Braid Vets team working as a part-time Veterinary Nurse.
I find animal behaviour really interesting and I'd love to improve my knowledge on cytology and medical nursing.

In my spare time I like to horse ride, spend time with my animals and socialise with my friends. I have three cats; Bailey, Baloo and George who i hand reared from a day old. I've also recently obtained a dog after his owner passed away around Christmas 2015. Hes a 7-8 (not 100% sure!) year old yellow Labrador named Deise. Hopefully when I move into a proper flat I can bring him over here!



Stephany Maguire RVN

I qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in Ireland in 2015 and since September 2016 I have been working at Braid Vet as well as studying for a top up degree at Napier University. Ever since I was young I wanted to work with animals and always bringing sick animals home that I found,  much to my parents delight. I have a dog and five cats but I would love to adopt more furry friends along the way. I hope one day to work with exotic species and I would love to travel to Africa to work with big cats at some point in the future.