CPD modules

Varicella zoster virus: chickenpox and shingles

  • RCN accredited
  • Peer reviewed
  • Certificate
  • Learning time: 02 hrs
  • Last updated: 2019
  • Link to RCNi portfolio

This learning modules examines the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which causes two infections: varicella, also known as chickenpox, occurring mostly in childhood, and herpes zoster, also known as shingles, affecting mainly older people. Implications for children and adults, and the risk to pregnant women, unborn children, neonates and those who are immunocompromised of developing serious complications, are discussed, along with vaccination in older people and the role of nurses in providing patient information.


Please note that information provided by RCNi Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to

Dinah Gould, Professor of nursing, School of Healthcare Science, Cardiff University, Cardiff.

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