The BSAVA has added a behaviour course to its Veterinary Nurse Merit Awards (VNMA), in response to feedback from veterinary nurses.

The new course equates to 50 CPD hours and is delivered entirely online to give busy vet nurses the flexibility to fit their studies around their job.

The BSAVA Veterinary Nurse Merit Awards are designed for the motivated nurse in primary care practice, offering structured CPD for those who have an interest in developing their knowledge and skills, without the commitment of a certificate or diploma.

To achieve the award certificate and badge students must show understanding through a final online assessment.

BSAVA Head of Education Lucie Goodwin said: "Nurses who have completed a VNMA tell us that they return to practice enthusiastic about putting their new knowledge to work, and feedback shows that practices are keen for their nurses to complete the awards and are sending their nursing teams on multiple courses."

The new Behaviour VNMA, which will be available in early 2020, will be led by IAABC Certified Dog and Cat Behaviour Consultant Linda Ryan RVN (pictured right).

The course aims to give delegates:

  • an introduction to and grounding in companion animal behaviour.

  • practical instruction in working with pet behaviour concepts and how to apply them.

  • veterinary nurse-focused training.

  • an understanding of pets’ behavioural requirements and learning ability, in the context of their emotion and welfare needs.

  • an understanding of pet behaviour, which in turn allows effective communication to effect positive changes in human-animal interactions.

  • a foundation in detecting abnormal behaviours, and how they should be approached for the best patient outcome.

The other VNMA subjects on offer during 2020 are ECC and Anaesthesia (March), Dermatology (April) Wound Management (May) Diagnostic Imaging and Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy (September).

For further information and bookings, visit

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