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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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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.