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VN Council approves advanced nursing qualifications
It is hoped that once enough members of the profession have completed the certificate, it could act as a pathway to formal Advanced Veterinary Nurse status.
New certificate to offer ‘significant opportunities’ for VNs 

VN Council has approved two advanced veterinary nursing qualifications, following a VN Futures recommendation to open up new career paths for veterinary nurses.

Proposals for the new qualifications were developed by a working group and consulted on last year, after the 2016 VN Futures report concluded that the RCVS and BVNA should canvas opinion on post-qualification awards for nurses.

The final stage of the process saw VN Council approve the two new qualifications; the Level 6 Graduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing and a Level 7 Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.

VN Council chair Rachael Marshall described the move as a “fantastic development for veterinary nursing”.

The RCVS said the qualifications differ from the previous Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing, in that they are more focused and specific to a veterinary nurse’s subject of choice. In addition, each is a 60 credit qualification rather than 120 credits.

Rachael Marshall added: “By allowing greater focus on particular designated areas of practice I think these courses will really open up some significant opportunities for VNs, who can choose to go down a designated path, whether that is in, for example, anaesthesia, emergency & critical care, pharmacology or even non-clinical routes such as education and teaching, research skills and leadership.

“This is a great step forward for the profession and we look forward to working to develop the first Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing courses and seeing the first cohort of veterinary nurses sign-up to it.”

It is hoped that once enough members of the profession have completed the certificate, it could act as a pathway to formal Advanced Veterinary Nurse status.

Further information can be found in the VN Council committee papers. Any veterinary nurses or higher further education institutions who are interested in the certificate should contact vetnursing@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0788.

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RCVS launches photo contest for Mental Health Awareness Week

News Story 1
 The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is holding a photo competition for Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight the link between the natural world and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can prevent people from seeking help. This year's theme is nature - notably the connection between the natural world and better mental health.

The RCVS is calling on aspiring photographers to submit a photo on this theme to Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, at l.quigley@rcvs.org.uk with a short explanation about their submission and why nature improves their mental health and wellbeing.  

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News Shorts
WSAVA to host free webinar on illegal online puppy trade

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced a free webinar to update veterinary professionals across Europe about the illegal online puppy trade. Taking place on Tuesday, 25 May, the webinar will also discuss the importance of the new EU Animal Health Law to help prevent illegal pet sales and make sellers accountable for their actions.

WSAVA chair Dr Natasha Lee said: "Veterinary professionals regularly have to deal with the repercussions of illicit breeding and trading when presented with clinically ill and sometimes dying puppies and distraught owners. Our webinar will equip veterinarians in Europe with the knowledge to play their part in upholding the new legislation and to contribute to new solutions for regulating the online puppy trade."

For more details visit wsava.org