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Increase in VN student vocational enrolments highest on record

13 February 2012

Veterinary nursing student with patientLast year saw the highest ever increase in the number of people enrolling as veterinary nursing (VN) students on vocational courses, according to our latest figures.

In 2011, some 1,041 students registered with the RCVS to pursue vocational VN qualifications, compared with 809 in 2010 – a 29% increase.

The total number of people enrolling as student veterinary nurses on either vocational or degree courses in 2011 was 1,439, compared with 1,083 the preceding year – an overall increase of a third.

“The overall increase could partially be explained by degree students seeking to avoid increased university tuition fees,” says Libby Earle, head of the RCVS VN Department.

“However, although there is a noticeable increase in enrolments linked to higher educational courses, this does not explain the increase in further education students.

“A more significant factor is likely to be the inception of the Level 3 Diploma, as this can be undertaken as a full-time programme,” Libby continued.

“As Colleges running such programmes arrange the practical training placements for their students, this opens up opportunities for the considerable number of people who want to become VNs but who are not employed by a training practice.

"When we introduced the qualification in 2010, we hoped that this would help to increase the number of VN students – so it’s great to see this is happening already and with such a marked increase.”


Student VN enrolment figures for 2010 and 2011:

  2010 2011
RCVS Level 3 Diploma 647 1,041
RCVS NVQ/VRQ (now superseded) 162 -
Higher Education students 274 398
Total student VN enrolments 1,083 1,439



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