Louise O’Dwyer Scholarship 2024, a catch up with last year’s winner Patricia Rigio

27 May 2024 -

In the heart of veterinary medicine beats a dedication to healing, where every paw and purr are cherished. Improve Veterinary Education’s annual Louise O’Dwyer Scholarship is currently running for its fifth year in a row. Introduced in 2018, the scholarship’s aim is to continue Louise’s legacy by giving a unique learning opportunity to other passionate veterinary nurses. Louise O’Dwyer was a highly respected and recognised veterinary nurse who was passionate about emergency and critical care (ECC), and whom we had the pleasure of working with as one of our speakers. 

We recently had the privilege of chatting with Patricia Rigio, the proud recipient of the 2023 Louise O’Dywer Scholarship for Emergency and Critical Care Veterinary Nursing. This scholarship not only honours Louise and her commitment to the well-being of animals but also signifies a leap towards excellence in the profession of veterinary nursing. Join us as we uncover Patricias’ journey through our ECC programme and the transformative impact this scholarship has had for her and her patients. 


  • How have you found the ECC Programme so far? 

It’s been amazing, tutors are the best in their field, I have found every module interesting and well delivered, the course material has been thorough and engaging and the facilities were very accommodating. 


  • Has it been helpful for you/ your patients/your practice and if so, why? 

Absolutely, with the knowledge that I have gained through the course so far, I have been more confident to assist with emergencies in practice, for example triaging patients using a more systematic approach rather than intuition, and I have also been able to learn the basics of POCUS which is so useful for triaging as well. This therefore has had a positive impact on my patients as proper triaging can improve their outcome and maximise the resources of the practice. 


  • Would you recommend the programme to your fellow veterinary nurses and if so, why? 

Definitely, I have found it incredibly helpful in either out of hours roles or in primary care, I feel better equipped to deal with emergencies and critical care scenarios than I was before this programme, and I also enjoyed the delivery of the lectures and the practical sessions. 


“Similar to Louise, we are deeply committed to mentoring and offering delegates the finest opportunities, ultimately enhancing patient welfare in their care and ensuring optimal outcomes. The scholarship grants delegates free enrolment in the Nurse Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care programme, inclusive of complementary RECOVER Initiative responder online modules, online study skill lessons for delegate support, 12-month access to the RCVS knowledge library and a complimentary Emergency and Critical Care textbook which is in conjunction with a dedicated programme coordinator and assessment team to provide pastoral support and guidance when required.” – Claire L Dorey-Phillips BSc(Hons) VNPA ISFM FNDip RVN, Senior Programme Coordinator at Improve Veterinary Education 


We are thrilled to announce that the Louise O’Dwyer Scholarship will once again be accepting applications this year! You have until 31st July 2024 to get involved so if you would like to know more and/or apply for your chance to be awarded the scholarship please visit: https://subscriptions.improveinternational.com/louise-odwyer-scholarship-2024