Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where can I study Veterinary Nursing in Ireland?
A. The following table outlines Irish veterinary nursing courses that have been accredited  by the Veterinary Council of Ireland.

College Award                             NFQ                                              Duration                 VCI status
UCD BSc. (Hons)                       Level 8                                           4 years                  Accredited
Athlone IT                                  BSc. Level 7                                   3 years                  Accredited
St. Johns Central College, Cork   Advanced Certificate Level 6             2 years                 Accredited
Dundalk IT                                 BSc. Level 7                                   3 years                  Accredited
Letterkenny IT                            BSc. Level 7                                   3 years                 Accredited

Q. What other Veterinary Nursing courses have been recognised by the VCI?
A. In addition to graduates of the accredited courses listed above, the VCI recognise qualifications from: 

  • RCVS qualified veterinary nurses
  • All other qualifications are assessed on a case by case basis.

Q. What is the Register of Veterinary Nurses?
A. This is a list of Veterinary Nurses who have graduated successfully from a Veterinary Nursing course accredited by the VCI and who have signed the VCI register. This list is revised and republished annually.

  • RVNs pay an annual fee to remain on the professional register.
  • They must also prove that they are undergoing Continuing Veterinary Education (12 CVE credits annually) as detailed below.

Q. Who are Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs)?
A. RVNs are Veterinary Nurses who have signed the register and made a declaration to the VCI, who have paid their fees and who have undergone appropriate CVE.
Only RVNs are allowed to perform ‘Acts of Veterinary Nursing’ as described in the Veterinary Practice Act 2005 and must ensure annual registration in order to fulfill their legal obligation and be permitted to work within the Republic of Ireland as a veterinary nurse.

Only Registered Veterinary Nurses are permitted to call themselves Veterinary Nurses, and may use the post nominal’s ‘RVN’ after their name. If you wish to use additional post nominal’s for other veterinary related qualifications for example DipAVN (Surg) you may apply to do so at time of registration or after obtaining the qualification.

Q. What is the Provisional Register of Veterinary Nurses?
A. This is a list of veterinary nurses who had not undertaken formal education in veterinary nursing up to Jan 1st 2008 but who had extensive experience within a veterinary practice.

  • Provisionally Registered Veterinary Nurses must complete their formal education by 2012 in order to enter onto the Register of Veterinary Nurses. This one-year-course began in September 2010 and was only available to Provisionally Registered Nurses to enter.
  • In 2012 the Provisional Register will cease to exist.

Q. What are C.V.E. credits?
A. C.V.E. credits are credits allocated by the Veterinary Council of Ireland for Continuing Veterinary Education. This can also be referred to as C.P.D. or Continuing Professional Development and they are mandatory.

Q. How many C.V.E. credits does a Registered Veterinary Nurse require?
A. In order to remain on the Register, RVNs must obtain 12 CVE credits per annum.

Q. When do RVNs start collecting CVE credits?
A. Within approximately the first 12 months after graduating from an accredited Veterinary Nursing course and signing the register, graduates are NOT required to obtain CVE credits. The CVE year runs from August 1st to July 31st and the 12 credits must be collected during this timeframe (i.e. NOT the calendar year)
e.g.: A student undergoing an accredited VN course graduates in June 2011 and signs onto the VCI Register of Veterinary Nurses. This RVN must start collecting CVE credits as from August 1st 2012. This CVE year will end on July 31st 2013, whereby credits must be submitted to the VCI in order to remain on the Register in 2014.
eg2: A student undergoing an accredited VN course graduates in November 2011 and signs onto the VCI Register of Veterinary Nurses. This RVN must start collecting CVE credits from August 1st 2012, with this CVE year ending July 31st 2013 in order to remain on the Register in 2014.

Q. In order to remain on the Register in 2012, what must previously qualified RVNs do?
A. RVNs can undergo one of two options:

  • They must prove that 12 CVE credits were obtained during the period from August 1st 2010 to July 31st 2011 in order to remain on the 2012 Register.
  • Alternatively they can prove that 36 CVE credits were obtained from August 1st 2008 to July 31st 2011. eg.3: A student undergoing an accredited VN course graduates in June 2007 and signs onto the VCI Register of Veterinary Nurses. This RVN can collect 36 CVE credits from either August 1st 2008 to July 31st 2011 OR 12 CVE credits from August 1st 2010 to July 31st 2011 in order to remain on the Register in 2012.

Q. How does an RVN obtain CVE credits?
A. Credits can be obtained by various methods- please refer to the CPD Booklet Link (Veterinary Nurse CVE Credit Allocation Table) for details.

Q. How does an RVN ‘prove’ credits were obtained from conferences/ veterinary meetings?

  • Attendance and sign in / out sheets are provided at Veterinary Conferences. Delegates of conferences must ensure that these sheets are filled out appropriately. These will be submitted to the VCI by the organisers of the conference as proof of your attendance.
  • Other courses may produce a certificate of attendance which you may need to submit to the VCI to gain your CVE credits.
  • All information must be filled out on your ‘Veterinary Nurse CVE Credits Submission Form’ which can be downloaded from CPD Activity Log Link.

Q. Ok, I am sure I have obtained my 12 CVE credits between August 1st 2010 and July 31st 2011. Now what do I do?

  • Firstly download your Veterinary Nurse CVE Credits Submission Form and print it out.
  • Fill in the details required.
  • Post off your form, together with any substantiating evidence to the VCI ASAP before the end of the calendar year.
  • Your CVE credit claims will be examined by the VCI and validated if legitimate.
  • You will be asked to pay your VCI fees in January of the following calendar year and your details will remain on the newly published Register for Veterinary Nurses of that year.

Q: Where can I find more information on Veterinary Nursing courses?
A: Please follow the following weblinks to College courses.

University College of Dublin
UCD DipVN Top-up

Athlone Institute of Technology

St Johns Central College

Dundalk Institute of Technology
Letterkenny Institute of Technology

The Irish Veterinary Nursing Association

The enactment of the Veterinary Practice Act 2005 brought great change and development to the Veterinary Industry as a whole, particularly influencing the Veterinary Nursing Profession. This was the first time in Irish History that the VN profession became legislated and protected by law. With that a great need for an association completely dedicated to the interests and issues concerning Irish nurses and students became vitally important. The goal of the Irish Veterinary Nursing Association is to promote animal health, care and welfare through the continuing advancement of professional standards of veterinary nursing.

Aims of the IVNA

  • To represent and promote the profession
  • of veterinary nursing in Ireland.
  • Provision of continuing education for
  • students and qualified veterinary nurses.
  • Liaison with national and international
  • Representation with government bodies.
  • Any other matters which may affect the education or work of veterinary nurses

Benefits of membership Include

  • A dedicated committee working voluntarily on your behalf.
  • The association acts as the voice of its members in protecting and promoting the profession of veterinary nursing.
  • Opportunity for regular contact with other members of the profession.
  • VNA Membership Card
  • IVNA Pin Badge
  • A quarterly newsletter
  • Savings on insurance policies such as VHI Healthcare, AA breakdown recovery.
  • Discounts with Horse Professional
  • Discounts on Books, CPD and Congress
  • Representation, advice and support
  • Affordable regional meetings and CPD
  • Subscription to the Irish Veterinary Journal.
  • And much more!