Susan Howarth RVN

Who is your current employer and what do they do?
My current employer is Harper Adams University. The University is a specialist provider in agricultural, animal and veterinary science courses, engineering, land management and business.

What is your job title and what does the job entail?
I am the Programme Manager for the veterinary nursing course that we offer, which includes the license to practice BSc (Hons) degrees in veterinary nursing, the RCVS DipAVN and postgraduate veterinary nursing courses ranging from certificates to MSc.

My job involves recruitment of students and the development and quality assurance of courses and content, as well as teaching and assessment of students across the range of courses.

How did you achieve your current position?
I qualified as a veterinary nurse in 1997, worked in first-opinion practices and then achieved the DipAVN (Surg/Med). Following this, I trained as an assessor/clinical coach and was then employed as a lecturer in 2003 by the College of Animal Welfare to teach on their further education day release course to students who at that time were studying the NVQ in Veterinary Nursing. In 2009, after six years of teaching at CAW, I applied to a position at Harper Adams to help develop and set up the RCVS DipAVN course and then later the postgraduate courses. In 2013, I took on the role of Programme Manager for all of the veterinary nursing courses at the university.

What do you enjoy about your job?
I mostly enjoy facilitating the learning of qualified RVNs wishing to further their academic education, practical and professional skills, although I still very much enjoy teaching the undergraduate students nurses, especially the practical skills.

Course development is another area of my job I enjoy. Making sure that the courses on offer match up to the requirements of the veterinary professions and the industry requirements.

What are the challenges of your role?
There are frequently not enough hours in the day, but that is often the case with many jobs. Sometimes you can get a little buried in the amount of paperwork that needs to be completed!

What are your plans for the future?
Harper Adams is a university with a strong research background. This is a relatively new and developing area for veterinary nursing. I am currently working to complete a Masters in Research (MRes) and in the future, I would also like to see the development of courses to support other vet nurses to develop a research focus.

What are your other qualifications?
BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing, Dip AVN (Surgical), Dip AVN (Medical), Cert Ed

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