In their role as regulated professionals, registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) work as a highly valued part of the clinical team to provide the best possible care for your pets. Our clinical team consists of veterinary surgeons (vets), registered and student veterinary nurses and patient care assistants.
How do you become an RVN?
Veterinary nurses can train via a university degree course, or by completing a level 3 diploma while working in practice. Both require three years of rigorous training with challenging written and practical examinations. These must be passed to gain the title of Veterinary Nurse, and to qualify for entry on to the Register of Veterinary Nurses upheld by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. As a registered professional, RVNs are required to maintain their clinical knowledge with mandatory annual training (continuing professional development) and adhere to a professional code of conduct.
What can RVNs do?
Our RVNs perform a wide range of roles and clinical tasks.
Your vet may refer you to see an RVN to carry out diagnostic tests such as blood tests, x-rays or ultrasound. RVNs can also take samples to analyse in our in-house laboratory, from lumps or skin lesions for example, to investigate the cause of illness.
Surgery and medical treatments
RVNs can also undertake minor surgery and medical treatments if asked to by the veterinary surgeon. This includes dentistry procedures such as scale and polish, removal of benign skin lumps and suturing of wounds, as well as administering fluid therapy and medications.
During any operation, your pet will be monitored under anaesthesia by an RVN. Using their skills to maintain and read a wide variety of monitoring equipment ensures that your pet is safe and we can respond to any concerns immediately.
Nurse consultations and clinics
You may be more familiar with the role RVNs undertake in the consultation room, providing advice and treatment for preventative healthcare throughout the lifetime of your pet. RVNs carry out other consultations including:
- Triage of emergencies – assessing if injuries are life threatening, providing first aid, and ensuring your pet receives treatment as soon as possible.
- Care for pets with chronic conditions – regular rechecks to monitor response to treatment such as scoring mobility in arthritic pets.
- Post-operative checks including bandage and wound care.
- Diabetic and epileptic clinics supporting you with caring for your pets at home.
- Palliative care and help to evaluate your pet’s quality of life, supporting you in making compassionate decisions and putting your pet’s wellbeing first.
We are incredibly proud of our RVNs. They are an essential part of our clinical team and help us to provide the very best care to your pet throughout their lifetime.
If you are interested in a career as a Registered Veterinary Nurse, you can find out more on RCVS website and BVNA website.
You can also find out more about the role of our Patient Care Assistants.