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Student Case Study

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Young female student Grainne Turton holds a British Blue cat in NWRC's new veterinary nursing lab

Gráinne Turton

Name: Gráinne Turton
Course: VetSkill Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

Grainne is about to begin the second year of her Veterinary Nursing course at NWRC’s Limavady campus. Grainne says she loves the hands-on experience she gets from the course learning from experts in the field of Veterinary Medicine.


My tutors are very experienced and the new state-of-the-art veterinary nursing lab is ideal for practical learning. I love animals so I'm really enjoying my placement working in a veterinary practice.

What was your previous education?

I completed my 9 GCSEs including Maths, English and the sciences. Then went straight to NWRC Limavady.

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Why did you choose to study Veterinary Nursing at NWRC?

I decided to study at NWRC because A-Levels just weren’t for me. I wasn’t passionate about any of the subjects I could have studied and I felt that putting 2 years into something I wasn’t excited about would just be a waste of time. I found out that I could enter this course with 5 GCSEs and my mind was made up.

Previously, this course was only available at CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus in Antrim. I had applied there and I was prepared to travel, but then the course became available in Limavady and I was delighted!

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How did College life differ from being at school?

Compared to school, the teaching is much less formal and the tutors are experts in their field. They’re also very approachable and do everything they can to make sure you understand the subject.

There’s more practical work too. It’s a smaller group of students so you get more one-to-one time with the tutor in class. There’s more discussion and group work than in school. I became good friends with my classmates and I felt more supported.

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What do you enjoy most about your time at NWRC?

I enjoy the friendly atmosphere and appreciate the friendships I have made. I also love not having to wear a uniform in class.

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Tell us more about your work placement

As part of my course, I am completing a work placement with a local veterinary practice. I’m really enjoying my placement because I get hands-on experience and learn from a group of fully qualified professionals with a wide range of skills.

It really helps with your coursework when you see real-life situations and have to deal with them using the knowledge you’ve gained in class.

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What are your future plans?

I’m starting my final year of veterinary nursing in September and that will leave me qualified and ready to work as an RCVS registered veterinary nurse.

In the future, I’m hoping for employment in a veterinary practice in Northern Ireland. I would love to become a Clinical Coach to help other students. I would also love to work for animal charities like the Dogs’ Trust to help rehabilitate and rehome animals in need.

Follow in Gráinne's Footsteps

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