Role of the Head Nurse (April 2022)


4 week course (10 hours CPD), starting 25th April 2022 – confirmed running.



This course is confirmed as running.


Week 1

Performance Reviews and Appraisals

This first week, we will look at how to conduct appraisals and performance reviews. We will look at the different styles of checklists and forms that can be used to conduct these sessions, and we will discuss how to give feedback, whether good or bad. We will look at how performance reviews can be used to help with staff members who are not performing at an expected level.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the week delegates will be able to:

  • Know how to give constructive feedback
  • How to set performance action plans
  • Design an appraisal form, in order to conduct an appraisal.


Week 2

Quality Improvement

QI is an important part of clinical practice and it often lands on veterinary nurses to conduct clinical audits. We will explore what QI involves, how to develop evidence-based practice, what a journal club is, and how to implement clinical audits.


Learning Outcomes
By the end of the second week, delegates will be able to:

  • Understand the concepts of clinical governance, quality improvement and clinical audits.
  • How to implement a clinical audit
  • Understand how to start a journal club


Week 3

Disciplinary Issues

We will look at what to do if you have a situation when a staff member that doesn’t arrive to work on time, has performance issues, or doesn’t comply to rules. We will look at how you can manage these people, how to set reviews and action plans, along with what to do if they don’t adhere to these action plans.


Learning Outcomes
By the end of the third week, delegates will be able to:

  • Set action plans and how to review these
  • Know how to conduct an investigation into conduct
  • Understand what the disciplinary process involves


Week 4


Part of being a head nurse is also knowing how the business works - having a basic understanding of how your role as head nurse affects profit/loss is important. Stock control, purchasing, pricing and charging correctly are a vital part of this.


Learning Outcomes
By the end of the fourth week, delegates will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of stock control and how to implement a simple system to aid your stock takes
  • Understand the importance of charging and how making a few changes can make a difference
  • Know why it is important to charge for your time

The course will be fully tutored by Nicola Lakeman, and will consist of 10 hours of CPD given in various formats, including tutorials, tasks, case studies, forum discussions and quizzes.


For some further information about our Online Tutored CPD courses - please open the guide below:


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Nicola Lakeman

BSc (Hons), Cert SAN, Cert ECC, VTS (Nutrition), A1 V1 C-SQP Hons, RVN


Nicola works as the Head Medicine Nurse at The Veterinary Hospital in Plymouth. Nicola is past officer of the BVNA and editor of Veterinary Nursing Journal, and is currently the chair of The Pet Obesity Taskforce. Nicola sits on the Veterinary Products Committee for the VMD. Nicola has written for many veterinary publications and textbooks, and has won several Veterinary Nursing Awards. Nicola gained the VTS in Nutrition in the summer of 2014.


This online course is worth 10 hours of CPD.


A certificate will be available from the ‘My Courses’ section, for you to download and print, once you have completed the course.  A permanent record of your total CPD hours will also be recorded in your account section.


Upon purchase you will be registered to attend the course, for 4 weeks from the start date.  The course will consist of various interactive tasks and lessons, including quizzes, case studies, forum discussions and further reading material.


The course is fully tutored, with new material will be provided weekly, but the onus will be on the individual delegate to ensure that all tasks are fully complete.  The certificate will only be issued at the end of the course when all tasks have been accomplished.  Fewer CPD hours will be awarded at the the end of the course if there are unfinished tasks or there has been no contribution to the discussion forum, for example.


The course is fully flexible, and there are no weekly ‘deadlines’ – the lessons and tasks may be completed whenever is convenient for each delegate, and any live lessons with be recorded and made available in that format.   Furthermore, all the course material (excluding the interactive discussion forum) will be available for a further 2 weeks, to allow delegates the opportunity to catch up on missed lessons and tasks, or to take the opportunity to delve further into the suggested reading texts.  Please note however, that the course will not be tutored by the speaker during these final two weeks.


After 6 weeks, the course will be complete and there will be no further opportunity to gain the certificate or CPD hours, however, you will have unlimited lifetime access to the tutorials, further reading and quizzes for future reference.  If you make any personal notes during the course using the ‘take notes’ app, these will be saved, along with your certificate and CPD record for permanent access in ‘My CPD’.


For some further information about our Online Tutored CPD courses – please read our PDF guide to Online Tutored CPD