New RCVS Cert AVN (Exotics, Zoo and Wildlife) from Harper Adams - Veterinary Practice
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New RCVS Cert AVN (Exotics, Zoo and Wildlife) from Harper Adams

From September 2024, subject to gaining RCVS accreditation, Harper Adams University will be looking forward to delivering a new RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Exotic, Zoo and Wildlife)

Harper Adams University’s new RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Exotic, Zoo and Wildlife) has been developed in collaboration with the AZEVN. The RCVS Cert AVN course has been designed for RVN’s with an interest in nursing, welfare and conservation of non-domestic animal species.

While there is a requirement for nurses to undertake study covering a range of taxonomic groups, the assessments will allow nurses to focus on a particular species or range of species.

The course will be offered as a graduate certificate and a postgraduate certificate, which will allow RVN’s from any academic background to study the course in order to gain the RCVS Cert AVN.

The course will be studied mainly online, over the duration of one academic year.

Student finance is currently available for students applying to study the 60 credit RCVS Cert AVN graduate certificate. Funding is available for a full MSc (180 credits) at postgraduate level, for which the PgC in AVN Exotics, Zoo and Wildlife can make up one third of the study credits, if completing an MSc over three years. More information can be found on the Student Finance website.

After reviewing the course information below, the univesity would be grateful if you would complete the very short, anonymous feedback survey.

Module 1: Evidence-based Nursing (20 credits)

This module is core to all of Cert AVN certificates at Harper Adams University. Students are
free to choose a research topic to suit their interests that aligns with their chosen certificate area.

Rationale and context

This module encourages students to develop transferable research skills, including analysis, problem-solving, and communication.

These skills will aid the student to gain an appreciation of research and the ability to access information from a variety of sources.

Students will acquire the skills to be able to evaluate literature and to apply relevant and valid research to their current practice.

With this in mind, this module of the RCVS Cert AVN course will aim to develop skills to allow professionals to produce cogent arguments, supported by sufficient coherent evidence, to drive positive changes in patient care.

Assessment strategy

  • Online forum discussion – journal club style
  • Poster – illustrating an overview of the literature review and findings
  • Literature review

Module 2: Comparative Applied Physiology and Nursing (20 credits)

Rationale and context
The provision of veterinary interventions and nursing care for non-domestic animal species can prove challenging.

The number of the general public opting to own an exotic animal as a pet is increasing.

The veterinary team may also be presented with wildlife patients and animals kept in zoologic collections that require veterinary interventions.

This RCVS Cert AVN course module will illustrate the diversity of anatomy and functional characteristics for different taxonomic groups and how these variations impact activities such as diagnostic assessments and support, anaesthesia, medical and surgical interventions and nursing care.

Assessment strategy

  • Online exam (MCQ and essay format)
  • Narrated presentation for a specific clinical case

Module 3 – Ethics, Welfare and Conservation (20 credits)

Rationale and context

This RCVS Cert AVN course module will equip the veterinary nurse with the ability to consider relevant ethical frameworks, animal sentience and the impact of legislation and how these are applied to keeping and treating non-domestic animal species.

It will also consider the science of welfare, the internal and external factors that contribute to welfare and the difficulties of defining and measuring welfare.

The ethical and welfare implications of human-animal relationships and their impact when keeping animals as pets, in conservation and when delivering veterinary interventions and nursing care.

Assessment strategy

  • Case collection over the duration of course – 10 cases x 200 words each (to include a range that may include: nutrition, parasite control, surgical/medical/nursing interventions/enrichment/welfare/quality of life)
  • 1 x extended case report, chosen from the collection of cases
  • Viva voce examination of submitted cases and extended case report

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