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Unit information: Clinical Nursing Practice in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Clinical Nursing Practice
Unit code VETS20030
Credit points 100
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Mrs. Hotston Moore
Open unit status Not open

All First and Second year Units


Veterinary Practice Management Unit

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Students will spend 42 weeks in total within two types of clinical setting; these will be in a veterinary practice and within the Veterinary Hospital at Langford. The time spent within the Veterinary Hospital at Langford will be known as Clinical Rotations.

During Clinical Rotations students will rotate through seven clinical areas which will be called: Medical Nursing, Surgical Nursing, Equine Nursing, Anaesthesia, Diagnostic Imaging, Critical Care and Small Animal Practice.

During this clinical period students are required to complete a record of their clinical competence in the form of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Nursing Progress Log (NPL) This log is subject to verification by university staff at intervals throughout the 3rd year of the programme and any corrective action advised and documented.

Students will complete one 2,500word case report relating to a clinical case that they have nursed whilst in veterinary practice or the Veterinary Hospital at Langford. The report should show evidence of reflection, constructive criticism and suggestions for alternatives in the nursing care delivered where appropriate.

Students will undertake a 1,500 word critical review of two clinical nursing articles. Students must show evidence of the following:

  • Constructive criticism
  • Evaluation of data and application to their own clinical practice where appropriate Reflection.


  • To enable students to demonstrate their clinical competence by means of attaining the Day One Cinical Competencies outlined in the RCVS Nurses Progress Log (NPL) and the summative practical assessments.
  • To enable students to develop skills in research and writing case reports.
  • To enable students to develop professional insight into their practice and to develop skills in critical evaluation of evidence.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By completing the RCVS NPL the students will achieve a suitable level of clinical competence. The process by which this is achieved is the four-stage learning to competence cycle that will be recorded (skill demonstrated by clinical coach, shown back by student the student then gains and records the experience).

The use of embedded summative practical assessments will confirm that they can meet the National Occupational Standards required by the professional body.

By completing one case report the students will be demonstrating application of underpinning knowledge to practice.

The critical evaluation of two key peer reviewed journal articles and subsequent review will enable students to demonstrate application of knowledge at I level.

Teaching Information

Draws on material delivered in other Units, supported by seminar sessions during Langford study days and one-to-one tutorials with departmental Internal Verifiers and Clinical Coaches in practice.

Assessment Information

  • Critical review of Journal Articles: Students must obtain a minimum of 40% in the critical review. The overall pass mark for this component is 40% (Unit Weighting 50%) Submission date for the critical review is the Friday of the 3rd week in January
  • Case report: Students must obtain a minimum of 40% in the case report in order to pass this unit. The overall pass mark for this component is 40% (Unit Weighting 50%) - This will be submitted in draft form during the 3rd Langford study day and will be returned with feedback during the 4th Langford study day. The submission date for the final version of the case report is the Friday of the 4th week of May
  • Clinical Rotations: Students must obtain a pass in each of the 6 summative practical assessments which will be undertaken during the last week in May after the bank holiday. This is a must pass component of the unit.


  • If a student achieves less than 40% in a critical review a single opportunity will be given to resubmit the work , for which the maximum awardable will be a Minimum Pass of 40%.
  • If a student achieves less than 40% in a case report, a single opportunity will be given to resubmit the work for which the maximum mark awardable will be a Minimum Pass of 40%.
  • Students failing a summative practical assessment will be given appropriate feedback and a resit opportunity during the university resit period

Note- The Nurse Progress Log must be completed in order to graduate from the programme and enter the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons register of Veterinary Nurses.

Reading and References


  • Aspinall (2012) The Complete Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, Elsevier
  • Aspinall (2014) Clinical Procedures in Veterinary Nursing 3rd edition Elsevier
  • BSAVA (2011) BSAVA Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, 5th Edn., Editors: Turner, L, Cooper, B & Molyneaux, E., British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Quedgeley, Glos., UK.

Recommended: (Materials needed for a deep and comprehensive understanding of the subject that students should read but perhaps selectively)

  • Hotston Moore A & Rudd S (2008) BSAVA Manual of Canine & Feline Advanced Veterinary Nursing, BSAVA
  • Holloway & McConnell (2013) BSAVA manual of Canine & Feline Radiography: A Foundation Manual
  • King & Boag (2007) BSAVA manual of Canine and Feline Emergency Critical Care
  • Pullen & Gray (2006) Ethics Law & the Veterinary Nurse. Elsevier

Further Reading: (Background to a subject or further specialised study that students are encouraged to read)

  • Battaglia (2007) Small Animal Emergency & Critical Care. Elsevier
  • Matthews & Matthews (2014) Successful Scientific Writing, Cambridge University Press