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Becoming a Veterinary Nurse: What you need to know

A veterinary nurse holding a dog in a veterinarian surgery.
Becoming a veterinary nurse is a fulfilling and challenging career path for those who are passionate about working with animals.

Becoming a veterinary nurse is a fulfilling and challenging career path for those who are passionate about working with animals. This profession requires a strong understanding of medical procedures, animal health and behaviour, and the ability to work well under pressure.

In this blog post, we will explore what it's like to work in the animal care industry and what qualifications you need to become a vet nurse.

What are veterinary nurses responsible for?

Veterinary nurses are responsible for assisting veterinarians in providing medical care to animals, which may include administering medication, measuring vital signs, and performing laboratory tests.

They will also be responsible for maintaining a clean and safe environment for the animals in their care, as well as educating pet owners on how to properly care for their beloved pets.

What is it like to be a veterinary nurse?

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a veterinary nurse is the ability to form close bonds with the animals under your care.

You will have the opportunity to work with a wide range of animals, including dogs, cats, birds, and even exotic animals. This diversity can make for an exciting and dynamic work environment.

How can you turn your love for animals into a rewarding career?

To start your career as a veterinary nurse, you will need to complete qualifications in Animal Studies or a related field. The exact requirements will vary depending on the country and state you are in, but most veterinary nurses hold a Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing, or any related field. Some institutions also offer vocational training for veterinary nursing such as a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing ACM40418, which is a shorter and more focused program.

In addition to a formal education, it is also important for veterinary nurses to gain hands-on experience to grow a thriving career. Many qualifications include an internship or work placement component, which allows students to gain practical experience working in a veterinary clinic or hospital. This can be an excellent opportunity to learn the ropes and make connections in the field.

After completing your education and gaining some experience, you will need to pass a certification exam to become a registered veterinary nurse. This exam will test your knowledge of veterinary medicine, as well as your ability to perform various skills such as animal handling, clinical procedures, and patient care.

What should you expect from a Veterinary Nursing career?

One important thing to consider when becoming a vet nurse is that it can be a demanding and stressful job. You will need to be comfortable with long working hours, including evenings and weekends. It can also be emotionally demanding, as you may be working with injured or sick animals.

However challenging, it is a rewarding career path for those who love animals and have a strong desire to help improve their lives. The rewards of becoming a veterinary nurse are well worth the effort, as you will be part of a team of dedicated professionals who share your passion for making a real difference in the lives of animals and their pet owners.

If you are considering becoming a veterinary nurse, it is important to research the specific requirements in your country and state, and gain a thorough understanding of what the profession entails. And if you are ready to pursue veterinary nursing, then take the next step and make your dream come true.

Melbourne Polytechnic offers a Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing and a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing ACM40418 which is part of the Free TAFE program, as well as Animal Studies courses to begin your career journey in the veterinary industry. 

Animal Studies at Melbourne Polytechnic

If you’re interested in working with man’s best friend, Melbourne Polytechnic’s Animal Studies qualifications will set you on the path to a career filled with furred, feathers, and finned friends.

Certificate II in Animal Care ACM20121
- Full Time, Part Time, Traineeship - Epping, Fairfield
- Full Time, Part Time, Traineeship - Epping, Fairfield
Do you dream of a career caring for animals? With our Animal Studies course, you will achieve the skills and knowledge necessary to care for a range of animals.
Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing ACM40418
- Full Time - Fairfield
Free Tafe - Full Time - Fairfield
Begin your career path in the veterinary industry with our Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing ACM40418. This course provides you with quality training that will develop your skills in a range of animal care, clinical and surgical routines.
Associate Degree of Veterinary Nursing
- Full Time, Part Time - Epping
- Full Time, Part Time - Epping

Important Note: The Associate Degree of Veterinary Nursing will not be taking new enrolments for 2023. All new intakes for 2022 will be into the Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing (a Latrobe University qualification delivered by Melbourne Polytechnic).

Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing
- Full Time, Part Time - Epping
- Full Time, Part Time - Epping
La Trobe's Veterinary Nursing degree, delivered at Melbourne Polytechnic's Epping Campus, provides graduates with a work-ready qualification and is the first full degree in Veterinary Nursing in Australia.
Certificate III in Animal Care Services ACM30122
- Full Time - Fairfield
- Full Time - Fairfield
Gain practical skills and experience while participating in course work in class to care for animals in a professional setting.