A VET nurse has been given a helping hand to progress her career after winning a prestigious bursary competition.

Julii Elliott, from Canterbury, was one of more than 60 people who wrote to VN Times explaining why they would like to study for the Certificate of Veterinary Nursing in Emergency and Critical Care.

Julii’s winning entry was selected by the judges for its “imaginative” and “poetic” approach.

She has been awarded £1000 towards her course fees and exam costs.

The Cert VN ECC qualification — the UK’s first emergency and critical care certificate for veterinary nurses — was developed by Vets Now and is accredited by City and Guilds.

The bursary competition was launched by Vets Now in partnership with VN Times last year.

Julii, who is an assistant manager at Dogs Trust, will begin the course in April.

She said “I was so excited to win the competition and can’t wait to get started. I’ve already added too many books to my wish list.

“I think I will be doing some revision before the course starts to make sure I get the most out of it.”

Wendy Busby, Head of Centre and Vets Now’s Head of Career Development, established the Cert VN ECC course in 2009.

She said she was confident Julii would benefit greatly from studying for the award.

Wendy added: “The Cert VN ECC was launched with the aim of developing vet nurses in this business and similarly opening up the opportunity across the profession.

“We wanted to help expand the RVN skill set and create an optional career path for those with an interest in ECC.

“The course is challenging, and you do need to be dedicated to complete and pass it, but the enthusiasm for it has surpassed all our expectations.”

In its first year, 12 vet nurses embarked on the Cert VN ECC course, but this figure has since risen exponentially.

More than 135 candidates signed up for the October 2016 intake, and a record 148 people will join Julii in April.

As a condition of winning the bursary competition, Julii will document her progress in a bi-monthly column in VN Times, which will also be featured on this blog.

VN Times editor Rebecca Hubbard said: “This is the second time we have run the competition, and the quality of entries has improved over time.

“It took the judging panel a bit of time to choose, but Julii’s imaginative approach made her stand out. We wish her good luck as she begins her course.”

Vets Now and VN Times expressed their thanks to all those who entered and confirmed the competition would run again next year.

For more information about signing up for the Cert VN ECC click here.

Julii’s winning competition entry:

Please consider this desperate plea,
I’d love to win the bursary.
I’m older, already learned a lot,
But need to keep the brain cells hot.
This certificate’s just for me,
Not all RVNs are twenty.
So, come on please, help me out,
Gimme the chance to do it for nowt.