Three scholarships are available for a programme that aims to help VNs attain veterinary technician specialist (emergency and critical care) certification in the UK.
Fewer than 10 veterinary nurses have the qualification in the UK at present and, until now, no formal programme has helped VNs prepare for the exam, which is taken in the US where the awarding body is based.
Participants from the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies will be guided towards attaining the qualification supported by the Sir Hamish McTavish Memorial Fund, which will cover the costs of training and certification for up to three nurses.
The programme will initially be open to VNs practising at the university, but it is hope it could eventually be rolled out on a wider scale.
VNs from the programme will have opportunities to share their training with others outside of the hospital, with a view to improving critical care nursing across the UK, the university said.
Lecturer in emergency and critical care Emily Thomas said: “We are all very excited about this innovative project, which will help us build both our nursing team and the future of critical care nursing within the UK.”
The Sir Hamish McTavish Memorial Fund was set up by Ken and Emilia Cook from Northumberland in memory of their West Highland white terrier.
Memorial fund co-founder Ken Cook said: “We are delighted to be associated with this remarkable milestone in the history of The University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies training programmes.
“We are certainly aware of the enormous value to be gained in the field of veterinary, emergency and critical care in the UK and overseas and the need for such a specialty.”