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Myerscough School of Veterinary Nursing

Myerscough School of Veterinary Nursing has been an established provider of education and training for veterinary nurses for more than 35 years, and was granted approval from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1975. In this time the College has successfully taught many small animal and equine student nurses from all parts of Britain and Europe.

Veterinary Nurses (VNs) work alongside veterinary surgeons and provide a high standard of care and treatment for animals. This can include skilled supportive care for ill animals as well as undertaking minor surgery, monitoring animals during anaesthesia, providing medical treatments and carrying out diagnostic tests under veterinary supervision. Veterinary nurses also play an important role in the education of owners with regard to good standards of patient care.

Anyone wishing to undertake veterinary nursing training would traditionally be employed in a veterinary practice that is an RCVS registered Training Practice (TP). Students enrol with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a Student Veterinary Nurse. They must also have five GCSE passes at a minimum of grade C including Maths, a science and English Language. The training is then arranged by the veterinary practice. It lasts up to three years and includes written and practical examinations as well as maintaining evidence of work in practice. Students attend College on either a dayrelease or block-release basis. Subjects include anatomy and physiology, health and safety, surgical nursing and theatre practice. An equine veterinary nursing optional pathway is available in year two of the block-release course. Students undertaking this route must be employed at an equine training practice.

A pioneering new scheme now enables a small number of school leavers to enrol directly onto a two-year full-time College based veterinary nursing training programme; combining academic teaching with an intensive work experience placement scheme. Entry requirements are the same as for the employed route.

For students who do not possess the required number of GCSEs it is possible to train to become an Animal Nursing Assistant within a Veterinary Practice. Employment can be at any veterinary practice, not necessarily a Training Practice. The role of an Animal Nursing Assistant involves working with the nursing staff in all areas of the practice. It also includes general husbandry of a variety of species.

Student Animal Nursing Assistants usually undertake a minimum of twelve months training on a correspondence course basis, with a final exam and a portfolio of work in practice. Once qualified, it is then possible to progress and undertake Veterinary Nursing training, as long as students are working at a registered Training Practice and possess either GCSE qualifications at grade C in Maths and English Language (or equivalent qualifications) or Functional Skills.

Higher Education Degree Route

The only alternative way to start a career in veterinary nursing is to study for either a three-year Foundation Degree or a fouryear Honours Degree in Veterinary Nursing. These courses include placement experience within a veterinary practice.

To be considered for a degree course, students would typically be aged 18 or over and have studied A Levels (including a biological science) or a relevant National Diploma qualification (eg Animal Management). Applicants must also have 6-8 weeks work experience in a small animal veterinary practice prior to starting the course and have achieved 5 or more GCSEs at grade C including Maths, a science and English Language. More information is available in our Higher Education Degree Course prospectus.

Myerscough College’s purpose built Veterinary Nursing Unit includes:

  • A fully-equipped small animal operating theatre
  • A radiography and dark room with ancillary equipment and ultra-sound scanner
  • Anatomical, topographical and resuscitation models
  • A suite of isolation and veterinary examination rooms
  • Animal rehabilitation rooms
  • A range of housing units for different species of animals
  • A range of mares, foals and young stock on a self-contained small stable yard
  • Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Belgravia House
    62-64 Horseferry Road
    London SW1P 2AF
    (020) 7202 0788
    www.rcvs.org.uk/vetnurses
    A helpful leaflet “Could you be a Veterinary nurse?”
    is available to download from the 'Career as a VN' section of the RCVS website

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