The team here at Kentdale have hailed our colleague and head of nursing services as a “superstar” after she attained an honours degree in veterinary nursing.

The achievement would be impressive at any time, however, we have all seen our valued colleague Emma Dever succeed with her studies in extremely challenging circumstances.

Not only did she have to juggle her management role here with up to 20 hours of studying per week, she has also been dedicating time to help care for her father John, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in June 2021.

Hospital director Sharon Murtagh said: “Emma has been such a superstar and inspiration to us all over the past year.

“She exudes such passion and enthusiasm for her role and studies, whilst also supporting her family and working on fundraising efforts for the MND Association.

“We are all blown away by her determination and are so proud to have her as part of the Kentdale team.”

Emma, who originally qualified as an RVN in 2012, admits it was a challenging situation which required discipline as well as dedication.

Emma explained: “I needed to be strict with my studies so I could make the most of the time I had available.


“That study time was anywhere between 10 to 20 hours a week, although this was variable and influenced by work and my personal life.

“A lot of the course was online, however, I did attend Myerscough College in Preston for study days and weekends in order to meet up with my tutors and attend face-to-face lectures.

“It was hard work, which is why I’m delighted to have succeeded and gained this additional qualification.

“We had a little celebration at Kentdale and one of my vet nurse colleagues, Lauren Bowe, kindly baked some brownies to mark the achievement.”

Emma says her studies have helped her develop a far more detailed and far-reaching understanding of veterinary care, which will help her make an even greater contribution in her key role at Kentdale.

She added: “Completing the degree has certainly enhanced my knowledge to help provide the best possible care for patients.

“It enabled me to further develop my skills to critically appraise and understand scientific papers and studies so I am able to deliver evidence-based nursing to the patients under my care.

“I also had the opportunity to contribute to the growing veterinary nursing evidence base by completing a dissertation.

“One of the most important things I learned was not medical or scientific, though. It was brilliant advice to break work down into small manageable pieces to avoid becoming overwhelmed.”