A common comment when I explain to people that I am a Qualified Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN), is, “that’s amazing”, and then I listen to the perception that I play with puppies and kittens for the majority of my working day! I would love to say an element of that is true however there is much more involvement in my daily role as a RVN. It is very common for clients to know how long the Veterinary Surgeons’ training is. It is however uncommon for clients to understand the content and length of the Veterinary Nursing qualification including our options for further qualifications.
The Veterinary Nursing qualification currently involves two years of difficult studying with practical examinations, oral examinations and written examinations to qualify as a RVN. It is then common for newly qualified nurses to work alongside the Veterinary Surgeon normally in first opinion veterinary practices to gain experience and become more confident as a newly qualified nurse.
Another option that Veterinary Nurses can undertake is specialising in certain subject areas such as Medical Nursing, Radiography or Anaesthesia. The nurse would have to ideally work alongside specialist Veterinary Surgeons and partake in research and submit case reports to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) to obtain the Higher Education Clinical Veterinary Nursing and Advanced Veterinary Nursing Diploma.
This involves two and a half years of intensive study, submitting case studies, oral examinations, practical examinations, written examinations and a final written dissertation with an additional examination. This qualification is recommended and recognised by the RCVS and results in the Veterinary Nurse achieving a specialist qualification. It is considered by the RCVS the highest clinical nursing qualification available to Veterinary Nurses at this current time and is a great achievement to gain.
In the past Veterinary Nurses were never accountable for their actions or negligence if such occurred – this always fell with the Veterinary Surgeon. However recent improvements to the Veterinary Nursing profession has included Veterinary Nurses having their very own governing body and as a result RVN’s are now accountable for their actions, similar to that of Veterinary Surgeons. An addition to the title Veterinary Nurse has been established and newly qualified nurses are now titled Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) and must perform continuing professional development (CPD) regularly to remain on the RVN register which is monitored by the RCVS.
There are a wide range of CPD courses for RVNs to keep up to date and learn new techniques from anaesthesia to surgical nursing and oncology to dermatology so you can rest assured we never stop learning!General