Don’t let Brexit be Vexit


Jane RVN veterinary-nurses, Veterinary Surgeon

I love working in the vet industry in London. I’ve met so many amazing people and have been lucky to learn from vets and vet nurses with a variety of backgrounds, including many from overseas. The contribution these people make to our pets care and to our combined knowledge base is hard to measure, and the learning process works both ways. It’s win/win, and it’s a similar story across the UK – we’re an international profession.

As we head further down the road towards Brexit we may need to measure accurately how much the overseas vet community adds to the UK and I wanted to write a blog to show how overseas vet nurses can join the RCVS register and work as a vet nurse in the UK – we need more vet nurses on the register and just because you didn’t qualify in the UK shouldn’t hold you back from becoming part of our #teamvet #planetrvn community.

Your first stop should always be the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) the regulatory body for vets and vet nurses in the UK. It is the RCVS who will review your qualification and let you know one of four things – check the link here. The RCVS will let you know:

  • If you can enter the register straight away
  • If you need to take exams before registering
  • If you need to take part in work-based learning before registering
  • If your qualification is not suitable to enter the register ​

More assessment?

Yes, you may need to take more exams, but fear not, they are achievable! One of the main areas where the UK qualification is different to other vet nurse courses as it includes a large compulsory section on clinical skills achieved through work-based learning.

Therefore you may be asked to take exams to show your clinical skills, these are OSCEs – Objective Structured Clinical Exams and are commonly used in vet nursing.

To help you it’s worth spending time in an RCVS approved training practice (TP) where UK vet nurses would train. The staff are aware of training needs and should be able to help you meet the required standards as part of everyday working. Many TPS may be able to offer you some time ‘seeing practice’ and this would also give your access to vets and vet nurses trained as Clinical Coaches who understand the needs of OSCEs.  You will be given information on the exams from the RCVS.

You may need to log time spent and cases nurses in a vet practice to get in the register and be assessed in this way. Again making connections with vet practices that offer time and support is essential and a way to see the different types of vet practice that we have in the UK.

You may also wish to check my YouTube channel which has some videos to help with clinical skills.

What is CPD?

As you work through all the information you’ll see the initialism CPD. It stands for Continuing Professional Development and is part of maintaining your place on the register. You’ll find some CPD relevant for where you are now in your career.

There is specific CPD for those looking to join the register and while VetAbroad is aimed at vets the events and advice are suitable for vet nurses too. Check their website here.

You may also find CPD help from the representative bodies of vets and vet nurses the BVA and BVNA respectively.


Yes, as on overseas vet nurse you can join the RCVS register but to work in the UK you will need to hold the appropriate UK visa. You can find information on UK immigration and visa requirements here.

Don’t let Brexit be Vexit

That’s a lot of information I’ve given you in a short space of time, but the most important message is the vet industry in the UK is truly international and your skills and expertise are wanted and needed. Don’t let Brexit or anything else put you off coming to work in the UK. Get here, get on the register and get Nursing.

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