A unique and prestigious higher education route for registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) will be offered at the UK's Solihull College, beginning September 2014. Two new university level qualifications for RVNs can be studied at Solihull College, who have an impressive and vast animal care and land-based facility at their Blossomfield campus.
Both the foundation degree (FdSc) in advanced veterinary nursing studies and BSc (Hons) in advanced veterinary nursing studies (top-up year) have been developed alongside Abingdon and Witney College and will be delivered in partnership with Oxford Brookes University. This is a unique program that focuses on developing veterinary nursing knowledge and skills, above and beyond those acquired for RVN status.
"There are currently very few higher education opportunities for RVN's and these exciting new qualifications will aid a graduate to pursue employment in clinical nursing roles requiring specialized expertise," said Rosie Godfrey, land-based HE leader at Solihull College.
The animal care facility at the college has been described by staff as "one of the best kept secrets on campus" and - in the West Midlands - is very unique in what it offers learners. The facility encompasses a three-story building, complete with specialist rooms for exotics, reptiles and an aviary. In addition to this there are also two external paddocks to house the college's larger animals including donkeys, goats and pigs.
This is an historic move for Solihull College in being able to offer higher education qualifications in one its most popular further education subject areas. The foundation degree includes the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) diploma in advanced veterinary nursing being embedded into the second year.
Along with this, newly qualified RVNs can gain a year of clinical experience needed to undertake this RCVS qualification in their first year of the foundation degree.
"I am delighted that the team at Solihull College has been successful in the validation of these higher education qualifications. The vet nursing team at the college can be commended on their dedication to drive forward the profession and there is no doubt these qualifications will prove to be highly popular," said Prof. David Evans, head of biological and medical sciences at Oxford Brookes University.
The new qualifications will be an addition to the college's University Centre, which delivers higher education degrees in partnership with various partner universities, including Oxford Brookes. Learners are able to study subjects including fine art, early years and childhood studies, health and social care.