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ACS Graduate Success

Frances is an ex ACS student who has kept in touch with us to let us know how she is getting on. Here is her latest news –

"Yes, it’s been a while since I penned a newsletter to everyone.   Life has been somewhat manic in the last 7 months but I’m on the move again, and have a rare hiatus where I’m able to catch up with quite a few things that have been on the backburner.  Including keeping in touch with friends.  Great lashings of apologies all round!

Since I don’t even remember where I was up to in my last update, I’ll start with my move to the UK.   That was way back last August, when I secured a job in a vet hospital in Dover.  My career there was short-lived due to a bout of severe anaemia during which I was unable to work.  This has been resolved for some months now, but took so long to fully recover from that I had to resign my position.  I travelled all over the countryside in my quest for a job once I was firing on all cylinders again.  I was offered three jobs on the same day – yes, there really is such a desperate nurse shortage here! – and plumped for a position in a hospital in Lincolnshire to log over 1000 hours and prepare for the practical exam as required by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) before registering as a vet nurse ... According to my records, I’ve now completed my hours so am just waiting for the practice to submit their confirmation to the RCVS;  I sat the practical exam just over a week ago and am waiting for results.   That’ll take another three weeks to come through – fingers crossed!  Once all the boxes have been ticked I can apply to go on the RCVS register – and then the world is my oyster 😊. 

I have already moved on ... and am currently taking a couple of weeks while I complete interviews and make a final choice as to where I want to end up.  I’ve already had one job offer from a practice in Exeter (oh yeah, I get around!) but in the meantime am staying in Northampton and have other interviews in the area this week.  I am being quite picky this time with which practice I go to, and have only applied for work at hospitals or clinics where there is no out of hours work – random night shifts are killers!  In addition I have been narrowing the field by looking for places that either have Cat Friendly status through the International Society for Feline Medicine, or work with exotics, or both.   

As always, I have a lot of plans for the future, including further certification.  I already have Level 1 Fear Free certification and am looking to take this to Level 3 by the end of this year; I’m embarking on a wildlife and exotics nursing certificate in the next week or so; and I’m deliberating whether next to go on to an advanced anaesthesia certificate, a feline nursing diploma, or a behaviour qualification…. or, knowing me, all 3 as time and pennies permit!  I’ve also signed up for a feline zoopharmacognosy workshop in August, which I’m really looking forward to. 

Beyond that, I need another 18 months small animal experience and then I’ll be able to go on all those awesome wildlife projects as a vet nurse, that I’ve been dreaming about since before I started studying for the vet nurse qualification.  As things stand at present, the long road home involves a stop in Canada, the US, Belize and possibly Costa Rica as well as Indonesia to work with wildlife and dog/cat shelters.   After that I’d love to go back to South Africa to nurse wildlife – however this involves yet another equivalency exam which is only held once a year and is incredibly expensive.   There really is so much work the world over for a vet nurse provided I have the relevant experience.    I will be home at some point but for now, and to quote ELO – I got the rest of the world blues!

Love, Fran xxxx"


If you are interested in working in wildlife or studying to learn more about Wildlife Management, and have a passion for wildlife and conservation, why not consider our wildlife courses –

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