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Hartpury unveils UK’s first equine vet nursing postgraduate certificate

Hartpury University has announced an exciting new online postgraduate certificate in advanced veterinary nursing.

The course will offer students a chance to specialise in one of four areas of clinical interest. Hartpury is one of only five universities offering this course and the only one offering an equine stream.

The advanced equine veterinary nursing certificate offers a critical care or diagnostic imaging and rehabilitation pathway, with applicants able to select their area of specialism when they apply. Modules include equine anaesthesia and analgesia, equine intensive care nursing, equine veterinary diagnostics and rehabilitation of the equine veterinary patient.

For veterinary nurses wanting to pursue a different path, pathways are also available to both equine and small animal registered veterinary nurses: advanced veterinary nursing (clinical nursing and client support) and advanced veterinary nursing (perioperative nursing and patient safety). Modules include clinical nursing of patients with long-term conditions, communication and client support, perioperative surgical nursing care, and clinical audit and patient safety in veterinary practice.

All four specialisms will help veterinary nurses better map out their individual pathways for career progression, maximise their roles in practice and utilise their professional skills more effectively. Students will be able to enrol on the RCVS certificate in advanced veterinary nursing, subject to RCVS accreditation.

The course will allow veterinary nurses to combine working in practice with studying for an advanced qualification, with flexible and online learning complementing optional study days at weekends. The course can be completed in one year or spread out over two or three years, or modules can be taken individually as CPD.

The programme will be led by Carol Gray, principal lecturer in veterinary nursing at Hartpury University and programme manager for this course. A veterinary surgeon with many years of experience in veterinary education, Carol has a number of research interests including veterinary law and ethics, clinical communication and shared decision-making in veterinary practice.

Catherine Phillips is the head of department for veterinary nursing and has also played a pivotal role in the development of the course. Catherine is an RCVS registered veterinary nurse and equine veterinary nurse, with many years of clinical experience in small animal, mixed and equine veterinary practice. Catherine is an honorary associate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and holds a master's degree in veterinary education from the Royal Veterinary College.

Catherine Phillips said: "We're very excited about the addition of this course that will allow veterinary nurses to study in line with their special interests and therefore refine their unique set of skills and knowledge that are so vital in practice.

"We've worked hard to develop a programme that enables nurses to not only maximise the welfare of patients in their care, but also work more effectively with their colleagues and clients. Patient safety and client support are key areas in which veterinary nurses can lead practice initiatives.

"The equine stream of this programme is the first of its kind in the UK and will prove hugely beneficial for those working in equine practices around the country."

As with all postgraduate programmes at Hartpury, students will learn how to use the latest research and cutting-edge industry knowledge to find solutions to real-world problems, while also shaping the future of research in their field.

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