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How to Become a Veterinary Nurse in Australia

How do I become a Veterinary Nurse? What are the best steps to take to become a Vet Nurse? How do I get started working with animals?

In this video, we meet an industry veteran, who has mentored and trained many, many nurses throughout her career. With over 25 years of experience in the Veterinary Industry, Jo Campbell, Practice Manager from Vetwest Animal Hospitals in WA talks about her career starting out as a Kennel Hand and how she transitioned through Veterinary Nursing to a role in management. She also provides specific advice for future students considering a career in veterinary nursing including steps you can take from the outset to assist you in your decision to start a veterinary nursing course pathway and how to get started.

What steps do you need to take to become a Qualified Veterinary Nurse?

Firstly, watch the video above or read Jo’s great tips on becoming a veterinary nurse. If you think becoming a vet nurse is for you, then it’s time to get started. 

Jo’s top tips for becoming a Vet Nurse

  • If you have a pet of your own, make sure you play an active role in looking after them. Walking, feeding and checking them.
  • If your family pet is going to the veterinarian for a consultation, make sure you attend the visit.
  • Gain some insight into what it’s like to work in the veterinary industry. Consider part-time work in entry roles such as a kennel hand or organise work experience through your school.
  • Make sure you are really passionate about animals, enthusiastic and hard working.
  • Do your research and make sure vet nursing is something that you really want to do.

If it is for you, just remember; no day is usually the same in a veterinary practice. Every day is different and be prepared for lots of cuddles! The next step is to meet the prerequisite.

How do you meet the prerequisite for Veterinary Nursing?

You can complete the nationally recognised qualification ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing via online, blended, part and full-time learning modes. The course takes between 1 and 2 years to complete but first you will need to meet the prerequisite for entry. Once you have met the prerequisite you can apply for the veterinary nursing qualification. 

There are two options to meet the prerequisite. You must either:

Complete an Animal Care Qualification

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Complete one of the following entry courses: ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (formerly ACM20117 Cert II in Animal Studies) or ACM30122 Certificate II in Animal Care Services (formerly ACM30117 Cert III in Animal Studies) or a higher level animal science related qualification.
Prerequisite Courses


Equivalent skills and knowledge in an animal science discipline

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You can demonstrate that you meet the prerequisite by skills and knowledge gained in a workplace.
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You are in high school, can you get started now?

There’s a number of things you can do to improve your chances of a successful career in veterinary nursing.

If you are in upper high school and have access to a VET program or vocational education training program, you can start your studies now by completing one of our online prerequisite courses. We suggest speaking with your VET or careers co-ordinator now. You can also read more here: Information for High school students and graduates. 

In addition, you can choose subjects that are aligned with those covered in the veterinary nursing course. Read more here: What subjects do I need to study at high school for veterinary nursing and why? 

Don’t forget, make sure you start playing an active role in caring for your pets, and if you can; ask your VET or careers co-ordinator if you can do you work experience in a vet practice. 

Choose a Prerequisite Course:

On-Site Intensive

ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (Vet Nursing Pathway)

An intensive 10 week program, delivered on-campus, giving students the skills and knowledge to prepare them for ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing or to work as an Animal Attendant in a vet practice.

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Vet Nursing Pathway

Students enjoy a combination of practical training and classroom activities at our animal care campus in Ascot. This course is the prerequisite for the Veterinary Nursing Qualification.
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Online or On-Site

Choose an Option to Suit You!

We offer a variety of options for our nationally recognised Certificate 2 and 3 in Animal Studies courses. Choose from our intensive blended on-campus (WA) courses or study online from anywhere in Australia.

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Choose an Option to Suit You!

Whether you are just starting out or looking to expand your knowledge in these areas our qualifications are well recognised and trusted by employers.
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Start your Vet Nursing qualification

Vet Nursing Qualification

ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

This qualification is aimed at those who want a career as a veterinary nurse or those already working in veterinary care positions. We offer a variety of study modes including Online and On-campus options.

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Veterinary Nursing

The role of a veterinary nurse is diverse, exciting, rewarding and one in which you will never stop learning. This certificate will introduce you to a range of skills and knowledge across several species of animals.
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Why choose AVT?

Dedicated Animal Care College

AVT has been delivering Vet Nursing and Animal Care related courses for over 25 years. It's safe to say there are no plumbing or hairdressing courses here!

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Outstanding Track Record

A recent NCVER VET student outcomes report found 93% of AVT graduates were employed or enrolled in further study after training and 95% of graduates would recommend the training provided by AVT.

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Safe and Supported Learning

Our qualified teaching team have many years of experience as well as extensive backgrounds in the veterinary and animal care industry. They're approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.

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