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Registered Veterinary Nurse

Bute & Cowal Vets
Argyll and Bute
Salary from £26,000 to £30,000
Closing date
1 Dec 2023
Phone number

Job Details

Are you looking for a better work-life balance, with a great team and beautiful scenery?

About us

We are a truly mixed independent practice, committed to improving the health & welfare of companion and farm animals across the Island of Bute & the Cowal Peninsula. We are a family-run practice caring for a wide range of species, including wildlife, and we have an interesting and varied caseload.

We are an RCVS approved nurse training practice with a great nursing team. RVN Emma joined the team 13 years ago, bringing a wealth of experience. She is also a Registered Animal Medicines Advisor (RAMA/ SQP) meaning she is able to prescribe certain veterinary medicines under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations. Amie joined us 8 years ago, originally working as a receptionist before going on to start her RVN training. After several years of hard work and study we were delighted when she was the first nurse to complete their RVN training with us. Amie enjoys mentoring and will eventually take over as clinical coach. We also have two ACAs, Gwen and Lesley, and trainee ACA Kimberley, who is just starting her nursing career. We also have a fantastic team of receptionists, admin and cleaners. At Bute and Cowal we are all one team, and we need each other to make the practice tick.

We value our nurses and appreciate they are essential to the smooth running of the practice; whether they’re monitoring anaesthetics, taking X-rays, managing fluid therapy, performing minor surgery such as stitch-ups, or triaging emergency cases. Our nurses have been developing and extending the services we can offer to clients through our Nurse Clinics which include day-to-day pet care, nutrition advice, weight management, arthritis, diabetes and wound management, postoperative care, dental care and 2nd vaccine clinics.

Bute & Cowal Vets“I started at Bute and Cowal Vets as a receptionist/animal care assistant. I have worked my way up to become an RVN after the practice was approved as a training practice. We enjoy our coffee/tea and biscuits which we often receive from our lovely clients. We are a tight-knit team and are always there for each other inside and outside of work. Once a month we like to meet outside of work for dinner and a quiz night at one of the local pubs or at one of the staff’s houses. The practice is set in a beautiful area of Argyll and there are plenty of hill walks, forestry walks, and beaches for your days off.” Amie RVN

“I enjoy working with the wide range of species we see at Bute and Cowal Vets.  It had given me the opportunity to develop my nursing skills.  I enjoy living and working in such a beautiful area.” Emma RVN

“Bute and Cowal Vets is a family-run practice over two beautiful locations, Dunoon, and Rothesay. Dunoon has now expanded into ideal new premises with so much space and it is a pleasure to work with staff and see the clients and their animals.

The practice although expanded is still at the heart of the community in the most stunning scenery.  You need to come and see it for yourself.” Gwen ACA

I have worked For Bute and Cowal Vets since they took over from the previous owners in 2008.  I also worked for the previous owners.  Cowal is a beautiful place to live and work.  There is something here for everyone from outdoor activities to a thriving arts community and it’s a wonderful place to bring up children. We have lovely clients who are always showing their gratitude by supplying the staff with wonderful things to eat!!  Our farmers are also a good bunch, and we have a small community of horse owners.  I have loved working and living here for twenty-six years and would recommend living here to everyone, except for the midges!!” Lesley ACA

We have a fantastic team of 7 vets, working either full or part-time. Duncan, one of our owners, has spent most of his career on the Isle of Bute after joining Bute Vets in 1979. He loves both the working life of a true mixed vet and being part of the island community. Catriona grew up on the Isle of Bute and having regularly tagged along with dad, Duncan, on farm calls she soon knew she wanted to be a vet, going on to graduate from Bristol University in 2001. When the owners of our neighbouring practice in Dunoon retired in 2008, we decided to expand and Bute & Cowal Vets was formed. Catriona moved to Dunoon to head up the new surgery and we’ve continued to progress. Kathrin recently joined the team on Bute from South Africa and brings with her twenty years of experience. Both John and Neil originally joined us as locums before becoming a permanent part of the team. Hugh enjoys the variety of mixed practices and splits his time between both practices, whereas Kate works exclusively with the smallies.

Bute & Cowal VetsAbout the role

Due to our continued growth, we are expanding our team and are looking for an RVN or experienced 2nd-year student to join the team, working with the small animal side of the practice. We really value our team’s work-life balance and with both our clinics closing at 5pm during the week and no routine consultations on the weekends, you’ll have plenty of free time to enjoy this beautiful part of Scotland.

We have daily morning rounds where we all get together to make a plan for the day, and we also have a protected lunch break between 1pm and 2pm, when the surgery is closed. We have all the usual kit including digital X-ray and ultrasound, which we are in the process of upgrading. We’re also happy to invest in new equipment to support your interests.

We are proud to still offer our own out-of-hours care for our clients and this is shared between the team. As the vets look after any inpatients, you’ll only be called in for the exciting cases where your skills are needed. The nurse on-call rota is just 1:4 weeks and the on-call is not busy (we won’t use the dreaded Q word!) and you’ll receive a stipend for being on call, plus any time is paid if you are called in.

About the local area

Located on the west coast of Scotland, Argyll & The Isles is an idyllic place to live with stunning scenery from tranquil sandy beaches to rolling hills and heather-covered moorlands. It’s also one of the best places in Scotland to see wildlife, including golden eagles, red deer, otters, seals, puffins and more. This area is fantastic for outdoor activities including walking, cycling, sailing, and water sports, or you could take a boat trip for a spot of dolphin & whale watching. In her spare time, Amie is completing her open-water diving qualification! The Isle of Bute was The Sunday Times' 2022 winner of the annual ‘Best Places to Live’ guide and is one of the most accessible Scottish islands, just a short ferry ride across the Firth of Clyde.

We’d love you to join our pub quiz team ‘The Gannets’ and help us continue our new winning streak (not that we’re competitive!).

Bute & Cowal VetsThe Package:

  • Salary of £26,000 - £30,000 plus retainer for on-call rota and overtime paid
  • CPD encouraged and certificates supported
  • Professional fees paid for RCVS, Veterinary Defence Society and BVNA
  • Practice membership for Webinar Vet
  • Holiday increases with length of service
  • Costs covered if travel between the practices is needed
  • Employee Assistance Programme for all the team and their families

If you would like to know more about us then please call us for an informal chat, we’d love to hear from you, or if this sounds like the job you’ve been searching for then just apply now


Bute & Cowal Vets was formed in 2008 when Bute Vets bought the neighbouring veterinary practice in Dunoon, previously TM & JA Black.  The merged practice now covers the Isle of Bute and the Cowal Peninsula as far north as the A83 Rest & Be Thankful Road, with branches in Rothesay and Dunoon.

The practice is a family run, mixed general practice with 5 full time vets.  We see a variety of companion animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, birds, horses & donkeys, and deal with beef, dairy, sheep with occasional pigs, camelids, poultry, game birds and even fish!

Although we are a small practice in modern day terms, we run our own emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.  We feel it is important that such vital services are provided locally with minimal travelling for worried owners and sick animals.  If your animal is ill at night or at the weekend, the last thing you want is a long drive and a fight with the SatNav!

The majority of small animal cases are best seen at one of our surgeries, however we are able to offer house visits when appropriate.  Please bear in mind that since a house visit can often require 2 members of staff to be away from the practice for over an hour, we would ask that visits are kept for times when they are really needed.

Although you will occasionally see lambs, sheep and calves being treated at one of our branches, most farm and equine animals are examined and treated on the farm or yard.  It involves a lot of driving for vets, but we have the added bonus of living and working in a really beautiful area!

Company info
17 Argyle Street
Isle of Bute
PA20 0AU
United Kingdom

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