Training to be a Veterinary Nurse
At Burnham House we have a fantastic nursing team. Nurses' uniforms differ depending on their level of training: here are the three you can spot.
Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVN)
RVNs are those who have completed their training, passed their exams and reached the standards set by the RCVS for Veterinary Nursing, entitling them to use the letters "RVN" after their name. They wear a green uniform. See if you can also spot the red badge worn on the right lapel - it is the badge awarded to all newly-qualified RVNs and depicts St Francis, the patron saint of animals.
Our RVNs are:
Leasa Neame CertNES RVN, Head Veterinary Nurse
Kim Pressnell RVN, Student Nursing Assessor/Clinical Coach
- Fay Millar RVN
Student Veterinary Nurses
SVNs wear a green-and-white striped uniform while they are training. Our student nurses spend four days a week in the practice learning practical skills and one day at college learning nursing theory. As a registered Training Practice for student nurses, we also have students from other practices visiting us to learn the advanced nursing skills carried out by our fantastic nursing staff.
Our SVNs are:
Martina Hood BSc(Hons), second year, Hadlow College
Laura Wilson, second year, Canterbury College
Sam Hunt, first year, Canterbury College
Animal Nursing Assistants
Animal Nursing Assistants wear a blue-and-white striped uniform. They provide support for the qualified nursing staff and vets, care for inpatients and help provide a supportive environment for every animal's recovery.
Our ANAs are:
How do I become a Veterinary Nurse?
There are currently two routes to becoming an RVN. You can either go to university and take a degree in Veterinary Nursing (for the list of universities offering the course, see here); or take the vocational route of working in a veterinary practice and training at college one or two days per week, or on block-release. Our nearest training colleges are Canterbury College and Hadlow College (note that a qualification in Animal Science or Animal Management will not qualify you as a Veterinary Nurse). The course consists of units including Veterinary Anatomy, Preventative Health, Nursing Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Theatre Practice, Pharmacology, Surgical Nursing and Anaesthesia. Units are assessed by a combination of written and practical exams, and completion of a Clinical Case Log recording practical skills and experience. In the final year, students can take an equine option if they wish to qualify as an Equine Veterinary Nurse, working exclusively with horses.
How do I become an Animal Nursing Assistant?
Animal Nursing Assistants support the nursing and veterinary staff in caring for inpatients and looking after our wards. No qualifications are required, just a desire to care for animals and a willingness to get stuck in! There is a one-year ANA course available on day-release for those who wish to formalise their experience with a recognised qualification. There are also others available such as NVQs in Animal Care.
Where can I find out more?
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' Nursing Page
British Veterinary Nursing Association
Updated 12/3/12 hp