With more than 100 veterinary nurses qualifying each year, CVS wanted to make high-quality CPD available to its qualified VNs. Louise O'Dwyer, one of the group's clinical directors, explains what its MiNurse Academy offers
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WE have more than 1000 VNs working within CVS practices and to support their professional development, my colleague, Charlie Clarke, RVN, our regional training manager, has led the development of our own nurse academy, MiNurse. Once qualified, our nurses can enrol on the MiNurse Academy through a new online training platform. The academy has a two-fold benefit – it will enhance nurses' career development opportunities and ensure greater consistency in their training and development. As a veterinary nurse, I know how difficult it can be to afford CPD, and also to spend time away from a busy practice, so we wanted to make access to training straightforward and achievable.
VNs play an essential role across our practices and they are key members of our team. We wanted to enhance the current internal training and give them the opportunity to progress their careers. MiNurse offers them the opportunity of more structured development and learning more specialised skills. It is also essential that our RVNs remain up to date with current veterinary concepts, treatments, techniques and products. The provision of high-quality in-house CPD will allow nurses to achieve this level of knowledge and skill.
The CPD will be presented in webinar format by lecturers who are well respected experts within their field. The webinars will be available as live sessions and as recordings for those who cannot make the live event, or who wish to watch it again. We felt it was important to involve our nurses in the development of this CPD and have consulted with them widely. They are enthusiastic to get started; our first students enrolled at the end of last year and start this month.
There are four modules that nurses can choose to study: advanced medicine; advanced surgery; emergency and critical care; and being a clinical nurse practitioner. Training is delivered through a combination of taught practical days and online learning and, once a module has been completed, a nurse's knowledge is assessed through the production of case reports, online tests and assignments.
This module is designed to provide nurses with the opportunity to broaden their medical knowledge. It covers a range of topics including endocrinology, wound management, poisons and toxins, medical care of the bleeding patient, medical management of the cardiac patient and nursing the hepatic patient.
This is designed to improve nurses' practical ability when dealing with the most frequent surgical patients in first opinion practice. Topics include care of the acute abdominal case, perioperative nursing, postoperative nursing and nursing the cardiac patient.
Advanced emergency and critical care
This module covers all aspects of the emergency patient and common cases seen out-of-hours, including triage, emergency anaesthesia, pain management, fluid therapy and abdominal emergencies.
Clinical nurse practitioner
Designed to support, educate and recognise the importance of the consulting nurse in general practice, this module aims to provide the key skills and tools to enable nurses to become a named clinical nurse practitioner. Topics include vaccination, dental and diabetic clinics, geriatrics, pain management, skin issues, parasiticides and bereavement.