As announced in the November issue of VNJ, the disciplinary system for registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) will be introduced from April this year. This means that being familiar with the Guide to Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses – the benchmark for good professional and ethical behaviour – is now more important than ever.

So don’t forget to test your knowledge with our online Guide quiz. The 25-question test can be found at

Lots of log-ins

One of the key differences between the new Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and the old NVQ system has been the introduction of the online system for students to record their experience – the Nursing Progress Log (NPL). And it's a part of the new Diploma that has been particularly well received.

We have now issued 1,460 NPL log-ins, most of which have been for new students; with 500 or so going out to second-year students commencing the transitional pathway. So far, the feedback on the new NPL has been very positive. Students seem to like it and most centres and practices are finding it easy to work with.

The company that developed the system for us, Skillwise, has continued to build in fixes and upgrades during the autumn. These include the ability to contract and expand the individual skills, as well as multiple logging for students entering experiences – both of which make the tool much more user-friendly.

A further important feature is that the reports can now be extracted, making it possible for centres to send regular progress reports to employers by e-mail. We hope to refine the reporting features in due course; however, a more sophisticated system will carry some development costs, and we would like to see how the current arrangements work before committing to this.

On the whole, though, there have been relatively few problems. The most easily resolved being that of ensuring the correct URL,, is being used. The star prize goes to the clinical coach who logged lots of skills, but unfortunately these were for the wrong student!

Skillwise is currently developing the deleting functionality for clinical coaches. However, it is worth noting that this function will not obliterate mistakes, just put a line through them. This is to prevent the editing of entries after the event, but it could be embarrassing if a clinical coach becomes distracted and logs reams of skills under the wrong candidate! 

Veterinary Nursing Journal • Vol 26 • February 2011 •