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    Veterinary Nursing Placements

    Veterinary Nursing Courses at Harper Adams University

    Harper Adams University run three BSc (Hons) veterinary nursing degree course streams, each course spanning four years:

    Harper Adams University has offered degrees in Veterinary Nursing since 2003 and has a dedicated team of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses supporting students both in the university environment and out in clinical placement. All veterinary qualified staff are registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, (RCVS), and work to the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses (or Veterinary Surgeons). Students are also trained in, and expected to adhere to, this code.

    The professional day one competencies and day one skills (small animal) for veterinary nurses set by the RCVS are built into, and assessed in our degrees. Our courses are accredited by the RCVS meaning that our students do not have to take the RCVS pre-registration examinations in addition to their degree examinations. Upon graduation, our students are eligible to enter the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses and practise as a Registered Veterinary Nurse, (RVN) in the United Kingdom.

    The RCVS will audit our course provision periodically and this includes visiting Training Practices that we work with.

    You can take a look at the detailed structure, (including modules) for each of the three degrees by visiting the course pages. However, as a general overview:

    • All students, no matter what degree they are on will complete the same modules in year one of their course.
    • As you would expect, year one aims to build a solid foundation for the course, with modules focusing on anatomy and physiology, working as a veterinary professional, infection control and basic nursing skills.
    • At the end of their first year, students complete a ten-week block placement in an RCVS approved Training Practice (TP or aTP) in order to apply the knowledge and skills they have learnt during this first year. It also gives students the opportunity to commence work on their online clinical tool, (we use the Nursing Progress Log), working towards competence in the RCVS day one skills for veterinary nurses.
    • Year two then moves on to focus on more advanced topics such as laboratory diagnostics, theatre practice and anaesthesia, diagnostic imaging and animal medicines.
    • Year three of the course is a sandwich year working in an approved Training Practice, (TP or aTP). During this year students work to complete the rest of their Nursing Progress Log and get to grips with all areas of veterinary nursing and working as a regulated professional.
    • Year four of the course sees students complete their research dissertation and also take their Licence to Practise practical examinations as well as coverage of topics such as advanced veterinary nursing.

    Clinical placement is an essential and integral part of our courses. Working in the practice environment allows students to develop their clinical skills as a veterinary nurse, and essential ‘life’ skills for working as a professional as part of a team in the public domain. We have adopted the RCVS on-line Nursing Progress Log (NPL) as our clinical tool. Throughout their time in clinical placement, students will work towards completion of this to demonstrate competence in the day one skills and competencies. This learning and development needs to be supported by a suitable clinical coach in practice.

    We have an experienced and dedicated veterinary nursing placement team to provide the specialised support and quality assurance required by the RCVS for student veterinary nurses in clinical placement. Each practice is allocated a member of our team (an internal quality assurance verifier or IQAV) to assist them and ensure continuity of support. In addition, the course team including the head of section, course manager and course tutors are also available should you need them.

    Alongside their studies, students also have the opportunity to gain work experience on the university Future Farm, for example, volunteering for lambing on the sheep unit, or milking in the dairy.

    Students may also have the opportunity to complete additional qualifications such as their AMTRA C-SQP.


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