Veterinary Nurses - How did you train / qualify / succeed? ....

Fabforester

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Further to my last post I have decided that I am going to do whatever it takes to take a rather large step in my life and retrain, and work to become a Veterinary Nurse. I grew up always wanting to do this but after a significant riding injury as a teenager I steered away from this and went to Uni progressing in a PR / Events career. This has been great, but I still have the niggle that I've not achieved what Ive always wanted to do.
So, less waffle, basically, I am now married with lovely children and nervous about starting again so to speak, going back to study/train, and wondered if and how you have managed it. Can it be done at all part time / over more years / is the Foundation Degree the best option or the Advanced course, I'd be grateful to hear how you got into it and best ways forward. Work wise one day I would Love to specialise in equine recuperation, and am very happy to sacrifice any ideas of a whopping salary to be able to do this line of work. Im just nervous that it could be too much of a sacrifice with two children (4 and 6), can it all be juggled?
Thanks in advance....

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Generally the best way to do it would be to get a job at a vets and get them to help you through the training. It is a very low paid job.
 

hookedmother987

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Hi I work at an animal hospital, do you have any qualifications? If not go to college do veterinary care assistant course you will need to find a placement at a vets course is a yr then you can go on to vet nurse course 2yrs if you have maths english science you can go straight for vet nurse course but you need to find a placement to do course 2 days a wk I think depending where you study
 

Umbongo

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I got into it by getting a job at a vets as a kennel assistant and they are now helping me through college to qualify. I don't think there is a part time option as you have to spend a certain amount of weeks a year working in practice. I go to college 1 day a week and spend the rest of the week in practice.

http://www.caw.ac.uk/courses/veterinary-nursing/

It is quite an intense course and training. Hours working in practice are unsociable. If you manage to get work in a non-out of hours vets then you might finish by 7-8pm but if something happens then you may end up staying a lot later. Likewise if your practice does nights then you will have to do night shifts at some point and weekends of course. Will you have someone to look after your children? I can never give my OH a set time I will be home, as I usually end up doing overtime!

You are definitely not too old, people on my course range from 20-50 years old! But you will have to take into account the work required and your young children. College days, college work and working in a practice does wear you down.

Good luck if you get into it! It is a very rewarding job, but expect lots of long shifts and low pay :)
 
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glinda

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Hi

I am RVN but I qualified in 1991 and things are a bit different now….. back then you needed to work full time at a vets that was an approved training centre and I then studied for exams at college night school…. 1 day per week for 2 years.

Now there are several different methods- the degree courses at uni (though in most vet practices minds these are a waste of time and don't produce nurses of a better standard) so probably not worth the time and effort

You can get a job in an approved training centre and work full time or part time and then go to college normally 1 day per week (if only working part time then the college course is longer)
It can be very difficult and time consuming to get these jobs.

You can go to college full time and do work placements in an approved vets (normally unpaid work)

You would have to pass normally 2 lots of exams (year 1 and 2) including practical exams and complete course work/practical tasks in practice with your mentor from the vet practice. There is quite a lot of work/study involved giving you a level 3 diploma.

You would need to be fairly flexible about working hours- most vets operate on a rota system for their nurses and no 2 days will be the same, you might also need to work out of hours and weekends.
Its not a highly paid job…. and the standard of vet practices and working conditions will vary considerably.

The qualification has a core and two option pathways, one in small animal nursing and one in equine nursing.

You need to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above which MUST include Mathematics, English Language and a Science subject. Alternative qualifications of a comparable or higher standard may be accepted, these would be checked on initial enrolment.

Good luck, I don't regret my chosen career for a second but I'm not sure i would manage with 2 small kids (though some do- mostly working part time though)

Hope this helps

You can look at RCVS and BVNA websites for more info and lists of approved vets.
 

Laura2408

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I'm an RVN and do enjoy my job however don't enjoy the pay or the shift work!

I just wanted to say you are not too old! I had a mature friend who went to college at the same time as me who qualified in her late 50s and is still loving her job and is so glad she did it.

I trained by getting a job and training at a college a couple of days a week, however some colleges are now doing the course with a placement instead of employment. This means you can be 'placed' in a vets but don't have to be employed by them which makes some vets more willing to take on trainees.

I believe that the set hours required to register can be spread over the duration of the course, for example one of the students I work with is doing the course over 4 years due to a year out and those hours in practice have been built up over those 4 years so part time may be possible...I'm no expert though and you are best off speaking to the colleges and see what they say. Some do 1/2 days per week and some do block release depending on the type of course.

Good luck!
 
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