Job description


Head Nurse (Vets) (1569)

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  • Salary:
    £32,879 per annum
  • Poscity
  • Poscountry
    United Kingdom
  • Area:
    Equine Operations
  • Vacancy Type:
  • Full or Part Time?:
    Full Time

The Donkey Sanctuary is an international animal welfare organisation, offering care and protection to donkeys worldwide. Our vision is a world where every donkey has a good quality of life, and our mission is to improve the lives of donkeys every day. We will achieve this by transforming the lives of donkeys in need worldwide by fostering greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting, mutually life-enhancing relationships. 

We have an excellent opportunity for a self-motivated and professional RCVS qualified nurse to join our Veterinary Department at our fully equipped veterinary hospital at Brookfield Farm, near Honiton. The veterinary team are responsible for the clinical care of all our donkeys and mules that are resident on our seven farms within a 30-mile radius of the hospital. As Head Nurse (Vets), you will provide leadership and management to the nurses and grooms in an organised and proactive manner and a high standard of care to animals in the hospital, assisting Vets with all medical and surgical procedures.

About you:

  • Registered veterinary nurse.
  • Experience of leading a team of nurses.
  • Experience of delivering a high standard of care and nursing.
  • General equine experience.
  • Good communication and IT skills
  • Able to make good decisions under pressure.
  • Able to organise structured work rotas to provide an efficient nursing service.


About the role:

Your principal duties and responsibilities will include –

  • Day to day management of the nurses and grooms in an organised and proactive manner.
  • Leading, Inspiring and motivating the nurses and grooms to ensure that a high standard of nursing and husbandry care is provided to hospital patients.
  • Developing and maintaining work schedules and rotas for the nurses and grooms to enable efficient running of the hospital.
  • Carrying out nursing duties, where appropriate making clinical decisions independently in accordance with the code of professional conduct.
  • Ensuring the hospital facilities are well maintained, providing an optimum environment for donkeys, staff and visitors.
  • Ensuring equipment is well maintained, regularly serviced and replaced as required.
  • Ensuring information is effectively communicated between the nursing, groom and veterinary teams and that nurses and grooms are kept up to date with departmental and organisational information.
  • Developing and providing/supporting education and training for nurses, grooms, new and existing farm staff and for external student and qualified nurses.


What we offer in return:

This is a full-time, permanent contract starting as soon as possible, working 37.5 hours per week, 08.00-16.30, Monday-Friday, plus evening and weekend work as part of the on-call duty rota.



  • Competitive pension.
  • Life assurance.
  • 31 days holiday (including Bank holidays), rising to 34 will each full year of service.
  • Wellbeing team.
  • Recorded Pilates classes.
  • Long service awards.
  • Healthshield plan –
    • Reimbursement of some medical expenses up to the specified limits per membership.
    • Offers, discounts and cashback on shopping, travel and entertainment from participating outlets.
    • Access to a 24/7 GP and counselling service.
  • Free parking.
  • Subsidised restaurant and shop on main site.


Closing date for completed applications: Sunday 25 February 2024.

The Donkey Sanctuary is a Disability Confident Employer.

The Donkey Sanctuary is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people (children and adults), and expects all staff and volunteers to undertake this commitment. Applicants will be subject to safer recruitment processes, including an application for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check where required for the post.

Please note: The Guaranteed interview scheme is only applicable to candidates who consider themselves to have a disability applying for roles based within the United Kingdom.

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Brookfield Farm
Brookfield Farm, Farway Common Road, Honiton, Devon, United Kingdom, EX14 9SU
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