If you enjoy working with animals and are passionate about providing them with quality care, a career in Veterinary Nursing could be perfect for you. You’ll assist with a range of duties in a veterinary practice, from cleaning cages and equipment to helping with surgical procedures. Working in Veterinary Nursing might involve giving animals medication, checking wounds or monitoring their health while they are in your care. You might also talk to animal owners about their pet’s condition and provide advice on follow-up care.

A career in Veterinary Nursing requires patience and a passion for animal care. You’ll need to have good animal handling skills and be comfortable dealing with animals with a range of temperaments. It’s important that you can communicate well and work as part of a team. You’ll deal with distressing situations regularly so you’ll need to be able to handle challenging environments. Veterinary Nursing requires good customer service skills and you may have to perform various administrative tasks.

If you’re interested in a career in Veterinary Nursing, the following courses can help you get started:

Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

A Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing will prepare you to work as a veterinary nurse or assistant at a veterinary practice. You’ll develop a range of practical skills including helping with clinic routines and managing infection controls. You’ll learn to prepare animals for surgery, assist during procedures and monitor animal recovery. This course also covers topics including veterinary drugs and poisons and animal nutrition and wellbeing. You’ll also be required to complete a work placement as part of your studies.

A Veterinary Nursing qualification could lead to a range of careers including the following job roles:

Veterinary Nurse

A Veterinary Nurse provides general assistance at a veterinary practice, wildlife sanctuary, zoo or other animal care facility. You might assist with animal surgeries and procedures and monitor animals after their treatment. Veterinary Nurses might perform other tasks such as feeding animals in their care, giving medication or changing dressings on wounds. You might clean cages and ensure veterinary equipment is sterilised.

Veterinary Emergency Nurse

A Veterinary Emergency Nurse provides veterinary care to animals during emergency situations. You might work at an after-hours veterinary surgery, animal hospital or wildlife hospital. You’ll deal with animals who have been attacked, been involved in an accident or who may be experiencing a life-threatening medical condition. Veterinary Emergency Nurses might prepare animals for surgery, assist during procedures and check on an animal’s condition while they recover.

Equine Veterinary Nurse

An Equine Veterinary Nurse provides veterinary assistance to vets who are treating sick or injured horses. You might work at a veterinary clinic that specialises in horses or at a stable, racing or breeding facility. Equine Veterinary Nurses might assist with handling an animal during treatment or surgery, provide medication, tend to wounds or monitor an animal’s condition after a procedure.

Getting started

If you’re planning to study a course in Veterinary Nursing, it’s important that you gather information from a range of course providers. Make sure you find out about course duration, costs, any prerequisites and the content the course will cover. There is usually some variation in the way providers deliver their courses, so finding out all the information can help you compare details and find the right fit for you.

Written by Jodie Magrath
Jodie Magrath
Jodie is a freelance writer with a background in communication and journalism. She’s spent almost 20 years working in roles such as Special Projects Writer and Publications Officer.