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Posted: 28th December 2023

RCVS approves expanded exam for overseas vet nurses
The first sitting of the exam will be March 2024.
The pre-registration examination now includes a knowledge-based component.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Veterinary Nurse Education Committee has approved an expansion of the pre-registration examination undertaken by veterinary nurses  trained overseas.

As well as a practical exam, veterinary nurses will now be required to take a knowledge-based component to work as a registered veterinary nurse in the UK.

This pre-registration examination is a requirement for any veterinary nurse who was educated outside of the UK, and therefore does not hold a qualification that is approved by the Accreditation Committee for Veterinary Nurse Education (ACOVENE). It is also completed by holders of UK qualifications, if their educational institution is not fully accredited by the RCVS.

From March 2024, veterinary nurses completing this assessment will complete an online knowledge-based exam, alongside the usual Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in the UK.

The exam will consist of two multiple-choice exam papers, each with 100 questions to answer. The examination is taken online, which means that veterinary nurses can complete the assessment anywhere in the world with access to a computer and good internet connection.

The first sitting of the exam will be held in the week beginning 25 March 2024, with further test dates available in summer and autumn.

Any candidate who submitted their application to have their experience and education checked for eligibility to enter the pre-registration exam after 1 November 2023 will be required to sit both components of the examination.

Julie Dugmore, RCVS director of veterinary nursing, said: “VN Education Committee approved this new exam component to ensure that we weren’t only testing candidates’ Day One skills via the OSCE, but were also making sure that they met our Day One Competences, which integrate a mixture of knowledge, skills and attitudes.”

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