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Boost for equine nursing profession as VetPartners sets up new training school

VetPartners has become the first UK veterinary group to set up a school of equine nursing

08 October 2019, at 12:00pm

The nursing school will be based at the Liphook Equine Hospital in Hampshire, one of VetPartners’ flagship practices.

Students will be able to study for a City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Equine Veterinary Nursing over two years. The course is structured as a block release course, enabling students to study while continuing to work at their own practice.

The first intake of nine students are all from VetPartners’ practices, but in future the course will be open to students from outside of the group.

Students will benefit from using the facilities at Liphook, one of the UK’s largest specialist equine veterinary practices. The course will be led by Liphook’s Head Clinic Nurse and Head of Centre Rosina Lillywhite REVN.

VetPartners already owns Lynwood School of Veterinary Nursing, a small animal veterinary nursing college in Dorchester, Dorset.

VetPartners Equine Director Julian Rishworth said: “Investing in people is at the heart of VetPartners, and we wanted to ensure equine nurses receive the best possible training. Not only will this enable them to achieve a valuable qualification, it will also optimise their position as a vital part of our equine practice teams.

“Nurses have always been an important part of a veterinary team, but modern times are bringing more and more opportunities for nurses, and we need to equip them with the skills and knowledge to allow them to make the most of their potential.

“Traditional nursing schools can sometimes struggle keeping up to date, especially in such rapidly changing times, but our school will be so close to the best in modern equine clinical practice, the student nurses will only benefit from that. At a time when training options are becoming more limited for equine nurses nationally, VetPartners is ensuring these essential members of practice teams develop their careers.”

The course is a new equine-only course from City & Guilds developed for release in September 2019, and VetPartners believes it is currently the only nursing school to offer it.

At the end of the two years, students will be fully qualified equine veterinary nurses and eligible to register with the RCVS.

The 15 study units cover a wide range of subjects, including infection control, operating theatre practice, emergency and critical care, reproduction and neonatal care, and nursing support of diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia.

Head of Centre Rosina Lillywhite said: “The course will provide students with a broad range of practical skills and knowledge focusing on best practice in all aspects of equine veterinary nursing.”