As school, college and university students finish their summer holidays and head back to the grind stone, it is the start of the academic year for our trainee nurses.


Donaldson’s Vets are an Accredited Vet Nurse training centre and over the years, almost all of our longstanding experienced nursing team have passed through our training regimen. Training nurses is a big commitment for the Practice. Many Veterinary Practices have decided that the time and cost commitments are too high and have withdrawn from training but I am convinced that it is essential for the long term future of quality veterinary care that Practices continue to invest in well trained staff.


Currently we have 5 trainee nurses at various stages in their progress towards qualification.


Veterinary Nurse training involves lots of practical and on-the-job training. Students are allotted a “Clinical Coach” who is an experienced qualified nurse who acts as a training mentor who gives one-to-one training and has to observe the trainee performing a number of tasks and certify that they are competent. In practice we have 3 active clinical coaches, Leah Murphy RVN, Sammi Beaumont RVN and Amy Lawson RVN


The students also spend a day per week at an external training centre where they receive more formal lecture based training and sit a variety of formal exams to assess their progress.


As the Training Principle, my role is to oversee the training to ensure that the students are receiving the support that they require but the hard work really is done by the Clinical Coaches and the Students themselves.


We are a busy Practice and ill animals always have to take priority over training. After a demanding day at work, it is very hard for the Student Nurses to go home and start their studies. A great deal of dedication is required to see the process through but with the support of our Clinical Coaches, the student nurses have been successful over the last several years.