The Small Animal Referral Centre is an approved veterinary nurse training practice.  In order to become a veterinary nurse a candidate must hold 5 GCSEs between A-C and they must include English, Mathematics and Science. Comparable qualifications are also accepted. Candidates also need to secure paid full time or part time employment in an approved training practice. Full time college students need to secure paid or un-paid placements in an approved training centre. The student must undertake formal teaching at an approved college either on day release, block release or full time. Students may also enter the profession via the degree route, for further information look at or

We pride ourselves in providing high quality training for our student nurses. Our trainees feel that everything that is in the VN syllabus is experienced on a daily basis here, so by the time their exams arrive they have seen and practiced every nursing technique and used all of the equipment described in the syllabus. We try to mould our student nurses into all-round professionals. Our student nurses benefit from the supervision of clinicians who are RCVS or European recognised specialists.  Once a student nurse joins us and starts a formal college course the college enrols  them with the RCVS as a registered student nurse. The student then has to complete an online nursing progress log (NPL), various college assignments and tests and RCVS external written and practical exams.

Once qualified the nurse is then entitled to use the post nominal letters of RVN (Registered Veterinary Nurse). Following qualification nurses can undertake the advanced diploma, a top-up nursing degree course or a wide range of other related qualifications for our industry. RVNs must undertake 45 hrs of documented continued professional development (CPD) every 3 years. Listed below is an outline of the NPL subject’s nurses study and subsequently are examined in.

  • Section 1 – Legislation affecting practice
  • Section 2 – Communication
  • Section 3 – Handling and restraint
  • Section 4 – Nursing Care
  • Section 5 – Laboratory techniques
  • Section 6 – Diagnostic imaging
  • Section 7 – Dispensing
  • Section 8 – Infection control
  • Section 9 – Theatre practice
  • Section 10 – Anaesthesia

Details of the subject content can be seen in the professional syllabus which can be viewed or downloaded from the RCVS website.