One of the UK’s leading small animal hospitals has marked Vet Nursing Awareness Month in style with a triple success.

Kentdale Referrals, in Milnthorpe, Cumbria, has seen both Sammie Dent and Georgia Begg qualify as a Registered Vet Nurses, while experienced RVN Emma Dever has earned a Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.

The talented trio all spent two-and-a-half years studying to gain their respective qualifications and Kentdale’s hospital director Sharon Murtagh has been quick to pay tribute to their dedication.

Sharon said: “Sammie, Georgia and Emma have done brilliantly to combine their work at Kentdale alongside studying for their qualifications and we’re all delighted that their efforts, enthusiasm and commitment have been rewarded.”

For 25-year-old Sammie, who has been at Kentdale for three-and-a-half years, it was the realisation of her dream to work with, and care for, animals.

She explained: “I am so happy I have achieved my qualification, as I set this as my goal eight years ago. When I finished college, I knew I wanted to work with animals and that’s what led me to work to become an RVN.

“The course involved going to college once a week with lots of home study as well as completing a progress log within work where you need to complete all the practical skills needed to qualify as an RVN.

“All the staff at Kentdale helped me become confident in those skills and become a better and more knowledgeable RVN, and I am very grateful I now have a career in a job that I love doing every day.”

Sammie particularly enjoys the radiography side of nursing, taking X-rays and scans, and is already planning further studies with the aim of eventually making it her main field of work.

She is also the hospital’s cat friendly advocate and is keen to do more courses about feline behaviour to add to her skills and knowledge, supporting Kentdale’s status as an International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) silver cat-friendly practice.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Georgia joined Kentdale in 2018 as an animal care assistant, moving to an apprentice student vet nurse in January 2019, having previously completed a level three diploma in animal management at Kendal College.

She said: “I’m so happy to have achieved my qualification. It has been a long journey but I have finally got there, although the learning never ends.

“Due to Covid-19, I had to travel to Suffolk to the central qualifications head office to do my practical exams, which increased my nervousness as I was in an unknown place almost five hours from home!

“The team at Kentdale were incredibly helpful in helping me with my organisation, assignments, studies and revision. Again, due to Covid-19 I was unable to attend other practices during my second year which made it difficult getting skills signed off for my nursing progress logbook but the support I got was fantastic.

“I’m now looking forward to continuing in my role as an RVN and possibly going on to gain extra qualifications. I’m currently quite interested in animal behaviour, as this is such a major part of our job, ensuring we keep our patients calm and reduce stress.”

Career development is keenly encouraged at Linnaeus-owned Kentdale and senior nurse Emma (pictured) has taken full advantage to advance her qualifications and is keen to achieve more.

Emma, 30, said: “I’ve been an RVN for almost nine years and I feel super happy to have this Diploma.

“There were weekly online lectures and occasional weekend attendance lectures plus a series of assignments, written and practical exams and a final research literature review.

“I completed most of the work at home, however, my colleagues were on hand to ask if I had questions, especially senior nurse Shelly Postlethwaite, who would read through my assignments.

“I really feel this qualification has given me additional knowledge to deliver the highest standard of nursing care to patients.”

Emma’s not finished there, though, as she’s already signed up for more studies, adding: “Completion of the Diploma has enabled me to enroll to top-up my RVN qualification to a Bachelor of Science degree, then I’d like to become a Veterinary Technician Specialist in anaesthesia and analgesia.”

Kentdale Referrals is a specialist-led practice offering expert services in diagnostic imaging, arthroscopy, laparoscopy, anaesthesia, infection control, orthopaedic surgery, spinal surgery, soft tissue surgery and physiotherapy.

For more information, visit or search for Kentdale Referrals on social media.

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