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CPD for veterinary nurses
  1. Kay Pringle


The BSAVA has introduced a range of short, structured CPD programmes for veterinary nurses. Kay Pringle, the BSAVA marketing manager, explains

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THE new Veterinary Nurse Merit Awards have been designed for motivated nurses working in primary care practice who would like to expand their knowledge in a specific field. They are aimed at nurses who may not be in a position to commit to diploma-level training, but would still like to embark on some CPD. Each programme consists of a two-day course (including a substantial practical component), a follow-up one-day course a couple of months later, two webinars and an online assessment.

Two merit award programmes will begin in September this year on the topics of ‘rehabilitation and physiotherapy’ and ‘anaesthesia and analgesia’. Despite it being a new course, all the places on the rehabilitation and physiotherapy have been booked, but interested individuals may wish to join a waiting list for the next course. Anaesthesia and analgesia has also proved popular, with just a few places left at the time of writing. Further merit awards in wildlife nursing and in surgical nursing are planned for 2013.

Frances Barr, the BSAVA's academic director, explains that the courses have been introduced in response to a demand among nurses for focused and cost-effective CPD, which can be fitted into busy lives.

‘Veterinary nurses have an increasing desire to stretch their skills and expand their contribution to the clinical team, and the new awards will provide that opportunity. They deserve the support of the whole profession,’ she says.

‘VNs taking part in these programmes will have the opportunity to strengthen their theoretical knowledge and to learn important practical skills in an area of particular interest to them. At the end they will be taking greater confidence and new skills back into the practice, which they can share with the wider practice team.’

All those who complete the programme and assessment satisfactorily will receive a certificate and a badge. The programmes are not a formally accredited qualification, but aim to provide recognition of interest and expertise in a particular field. The BSAVA anticipates that nurses would renew their award with a short refresher course every five years.

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The BSAVA Veterinary Nurse Merit Award programmes cost £400 plus VAT for BSAVA Veterinary Nurse e-Members. Non-members can enrol for the programme, but are not eligible for the discounted price.

More information on the courses is available at

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