How to Become a Veterinary Nurse

girl holding a cat

Do you love animals? Are you looking for a career that fits your passion? If yes, then veterinary nursing is the career for you. You will get to interact with animals all day and help them get back their health. What could be more fulfilling for you?


A veterinary nurse has to inspect, perform procedures and operations for the wellbeing and treatment of animals. Frequently, veterinary nurses meet with customers and their animals before an appointment with the veterinarian to assess and evaluate the injury or issue of the animal. They also assist in determining the best solution for the animal’s issue or injury. It is essential that veterinary nurses have a passion for their job and also have the ability to perform various services and tasks.

The veterinary industry is full of committed and dedicated individuals who are not only passionate about their jobs but also offer several hours of voluntary service to raise and care for orphaned and homeless animals. Hence, the position will need you to learn specialised skills necessary in the caring for injured and sick animals during all examination, diagnosis, surgery, and treatment avenues.

Veterinary Nursing Training

To be a veterinary nurse, you will need at least a diploma in veterinary nursing. This can be achieved either by attending a fulltime course or part-time course as you attend an apprenticeship at a veterinary practice. Some universities offer a Bachelors of Science degree in veterinary nursing.

To begin veterinary nursing training, you must have graduated from high school with at least a C. You also need a veterinary care assistant or animal nursing assistant qualification. Other applications can be accepted. Training as a veterinary nurse requires no age limit.

Veterinary Nursing Qualifications

To be a professional veterinary nurse, you will need to get a certificate IV in veterinary nursing, which requires you to be at least 16 years of age. This qualification is recognised nationwide in all Australian states. Students will have skills in reception duties, animal care management, communication, hygiene, primary animal care, nutrition, animal welfare, teamwork, animal handling, and occupational health and safety.

If you wish to work in veterinary practices as a veterinary nurse, this qualification is for you. As you study for the qualification, assessment requirements require you to have access to a veterinary clinic. The access to a veterinary clinic may involve periods of work experience, paid employment, or volunteer work. With this certification, you will have a competitive edge against your peers in the industry.

Volunteering and Job opportunities

If you aspire to get into the veterinary nursing career, you should try to offer volunteer services at animal shelters. You will be advancing a worthwhile cause as you gain some experience essential for job opportunities. Employment opportunities have been growing positively, and with your qualifications, experience, and the right networks, you will be treating dogs soon.

Duties of a Veterinary Nurse

While working as a veterinary nurse, there are various duties you will be performing. These are:

  • Preparing animals for surgery.
  • Offering support to customers and their animals before and after surgery.
  • Offering support in the surgery room as a scrubbed veterinary nurse.
  • Undertaking veterinary nurse consultations.
  • Administering fluid therapy and medications to animals.
  • Taking note of and recording vital signs of animals such as pain, respiration, pulse, and temperature.
  • Application of bandages to fractures and wounds.
  • Offering education to animal owners on preventative care and nutrition and offering basic behavioural advice.
  • Helping during emergency procedures
  • Undertaking various tests like urine samples and blood samples for diagnosis in the practice laboratory.
  • Taking radiographs
  • Managing and supporting teams
  • Dispensing medication to clients and showing them how to use them.

Author: Ryan Yarbrough