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The initiative is called Project NURSE, which stands for Nurturing and Using REVN Skills and Experience.
The first stage of Project NURSE is to survey horse owners to find out what they understand about the role of REVNs and if they would be receptive to nurses visiting yards to carry out certain procedures, under the direction of a vet and within the scope of what is permissible by the RCVS.
Phillippa Pritchard (pictured right), an equine veterinary nurse and training manager at Liphook Equine Hospital, one of VetPartners’ practices, has been awarded a £1,000 grant by MSD Animal Health to promote the survey and is helping lead Project NURSE on behalf of VetPartners.
Phillippa said: “REVNs have an important role to play in equine practices and hospitals, but many nurses would welcome the opportunity to be more involved in yard visits and put their skills to the best possible use.
“There are many procedures we are qualified to do, including changing wound dressings, taking blood samples and administering prescribed doses of sedation, and by making more use of these skills we feel we would be able to help our practices provide an even better service to patients and clients.
“I also believe that having more interaction with owners and their horses would have a positive impact on job retention because equine nurses would be more fulfilled in their role and feel they have opportunities to develop their careers.”
VetPartners equine director Julian Rishworth added: “Our central ethos revolves around practices being a great place to work and striving for clinical excellence. Equine veterinary nurses are such an integral part of practice teams and if we don’t allow them to fully use their skills and fulfil their potential we are failing the team, our clients, their horses and our own group aspirations.”
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