RCVS diploma in advanced veterinary nursing

group of nurses working together
The modular RCVS DipAVN – flexible advanced CPD

The modular Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (DipAVN) allows you to study for an advanced post-registration qualification in veterinary nursing. The scheme is designed to be flexible, allowing you to study at your own pace and choose clinical modules to reflect your interests.

You can choose to study for the whole Diploma or you can opt to undertake individual modules independently of the Diploma award. If you achieve individual modules, you can retrospectively build these into a Diploma award (through ‘Accreditation of Prior Learning’). So you don’t have to commit yourself to a full award straightaway, you can test the water first by taking a module that interests you.

The Diploma framework includes both “core” and “option” modules. The core modules are designed to develop your understanding of professional veterinary nursing issues. They will also provide you with skills for lifelong learning so that you will be able to carry on with effective professional development long after you have completed your Diploma. There are a number of different options to choose from, and there will be a growing choice as the framework becomes further established. These include medical and surgical nursing, intensive care, diagnostic imaging, anaesthetic nursing and more.

Structure of the modular RCVS DipAVN

Structure of the DipAVN

Courses and assessment

The modules are supported by universities (or colleges working in affiliation with a university). Courses are provided in support of the modules and these are designed to be as flexible as possible, balancing your need for academic support and encouragement with the demands of your work and other commitments. Universities use a mix of online learning and support, with some attended study blocks, sometimes held over weekends. This mix helps you to study independently while offering the opportunity to meet with other VNs and engage in a variety of learning activities.

Universities are authorised by the RCVS to assess the modules you undertake and, if you register for the Diploma award with a single university, to assess your final integrative study.

Universities apply to the RCVS to offer Diploma programmes and are visited regularly by us. Their established quality assurance systems and experience mean that they are well-equipped to deliver and assess the Diploma scheme.

Making a start

You should decide which modules you wish to achieve and which university you want to enrol with. When you decide to study for a full Diploma award (as opposed to single modules) you should enrol with the RCVS to ensure your modules are logged and “banked”. The cost of enrolling is £50 per year and enrolment is valid for up to five years. Before enrolling, you will need to have at least one year of post-qualification experience. You will also need to be employed in clinical practice or be able to arrange placements in practices able to offer you suitable clinical experience in support of your chosen option modules. For example, if you elect to undertake the intensive care option, you must be able to gain clinical experience in this discipline.

Any questions?

You can read more about the Diploma on RCVS online here. Or contact the Veterinary Nursing Department by email here.


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