One of the UK’s leading veterinary groups now has three of its award-winning hospitals recognised as accredited training centres for student veterinary nurses (SVNs).

Linnaeus, which is part of Mars Veterinary Health, has joined forces with the College of Animal Welfare (CAW) to provide satellite training centres to help train and develop the veterinary nurses of the future.

Wear Referrals in County Durham and Southfields Veterinary Specialists in Essex have joined Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in the West Midlands to become accredited by CAW to run in-depth training for SVNs. All three centres will deliver onsite practical sessions in conjunction with virtual theory sessions. The theory exams can be taken remotely online to ensure accessibility.

Students can use the facilities at each referral hospital for their practical Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Day One Skills training while completing an e-portfolio of evidence to demonstrate competency in these areas. This complements the virtual theory training at CAW and the workplace experience gained in their practices.

Trish Scorer, Lead Pre-Registration Experience Manager at Linnaeus, said Willows, Wear and Southfields are already encouraging new recruits from Linnaeus and surrounding practices to enroll for the next two-year training course in April.

Trish said: “We are making a significant investment for the future with this exciting partnership with CAW and are committed to creating the optimum environment for learning and development for students. Having three different hospital sites accredited as training centres helps to break down geographical and logistical issues for candidates who may have previously struggled to travel for their training.

“Students will be studying for a VetSkill Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing that, on completion, will enable them to register as a veterinary nurse with the RCVS and to use the post nominals RVN. This means students will be in the fantastic position of training alongside our highly qualified vets and nursing teams within our state-of-the-art referral hospitals.”

Linnaeus has long been a leading force in promoting and supporting veterinary nurses, with the appointment of Dr Andrea Jeffery in 2019 as its Chief Nursing Officer ensuring the first nursing presence on an executive board across the UK veterinary industry. Dr Jeffery created the group’s bespoke nursing strategy and central support veterinary nursing team to help its nursing population develop a career framework that facilitates the development of RVNs throughout their nursing journeys.

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