ACM40418 Certificate IV In

Veterinary Nursing

Become a Qualified Vet Nurse in Australia

Are you passionate about animals and their care? Have you ever thought about becoming a Vet Nurse? The only nationally accredited and recognised Veterinary Nursing Certificate, ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing,  is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to commence your career as a veterinary nurse or to gain a qualification as an experienced professional.

With over 90% of AVT veterinary nursing students gaining employment during or after they complete their studies, studying with AVT will put you ahead of the rest. Take your love of animals and a desire to care for animals, and choose this course to provide you with the necessary hands-on skills and theoretical knowledge to work in the veterinary and animal care industry.

Course snapshot

Government Funding and subsidised Vet Nursing course

Lower Fees, Local Skills Funding

This course is part of the Jobs and Skills WA Lower fees, local skills initiative where you’ll only pay half the course fees. Fees are capped at $1,200 per year; or $400 if you’re aged 15—24 or eligible for a concession, plus resource fees and other fees that may apply to your course.  Read eligibility and criteria information.

Vet Nuring course - government subsidised lower fees local skills
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Course outline

You can choose! Our Veterinary Nursing course is offered via four study modes:-

  • Full-time on-campus funded course based in Perth, Western Australia, commencing full-time study in February each year with a Compulsory Orientation & Lecture Day in December
  • Part-time on-campus funded course based in Perth, Western Australia, commencing in January and July each year 
  • Blended learning funded course studied online for Western Australian based students with regular intakes throughout the year
  • Online eLearning course studied from anywhere in Australia offering a flexible approach to learning with more flexible start dates

We would like to remind you that attendance for your classes and work placement is mandatory and essential for you to complete your course successfully. Non-attendance or continued non-contact with AVT may result in you being administratively withdrawn from the course and loss of your Jobs and Skills WA funded place. For more information, please watch this video.

Full-time On-campus

Duration1 year course
On-campus2 days per week at our Ascot WA Campus
ExcursionsRegular off-site excursions and field trips
Workplace Training   2 days per week at a Veterinary Practice
Online Study8 hours per week
EligibilityPerth, WA based students only
FundingJobs & Skills WA funding available*
Support Face-to-face contact, phone, chat or email

The course commences in December, followed by weekly classes starting in late January. You will be qualified and ready for employment by the end of the year however, many students are offered and begin paid work during their studies.

During term breaks (holiday breaks), you are not required to attend class or your veterinary clinic for work placement if all course requirements have been met during the school term.

Part-time On-campus

Duration1.5 years
On-campus1 day per week at our Ascot WA Campus
ExcursionsRelevant off-site excursions and field trips
Workplace Training   1 day per week at a Veterinary Practice
Online Study4 hours per week
EligibilityPerth, WA based students only
FundingJobs & Skills WA funding available*
Support Face-to-face contact, phone, chat or email

During term breaks (holiday breaks), you are not required to attend class or your veterinary clinic for work placement if all course requirements have been met during the school term.

Blended Learning

Duration2 years
One-on-one Phone or Video Support Session (1 per month)
Virtual LearningVirtual Classroom Lectures (Weekly)
Virtual Tutorial Session (Monthly)
Workshops On-campus Workshops (Ascot Campus)
Workplace Training   At a Veterinary Practice (1 day per week)
Online Study4-6 hours per week
EligibilityWA based students only
FundingJobs & Skills WA funding available*
Support Phone, chat, email or video conference

If you are WA based, this is a great option if you cannot attend campus regularly but are seeking more guidance and interaction with our AVT Trainer and Assessors. You can join our regular on-campus classes remotely via our weekly virtual classroom lectures as well as participate in our monthly virtual tutorials where you can ask questions and be involved in discussions. 

Online eLearning

DurationUp to 2 years
Workplace Training   1 day per week at a Veterinary Practice
Online Study12-16 hours per week
EligibilityAustralia Wide
FundingNot applicable
Support Phone, chat, email or video conference

This is your most flexible study option. All students will study several units at once, working through the learning material supplemented with the required textbook and recommended references. All assessments and assignments are submitted via our online learning system.

An exciting and essential part of the course is workplace practical training in a local veterinary practice. 

Who will organise your work placement?

WA based Jobs & Skills funded students: AVT*
Perth and Greater Perth non-funded students: AVT*
Regional WA and all other Non-WA students: Self-organised**

* AVT will organise your placement in a reputable veterinary practice as part of the course cost.
** You will be provided with detailed information on how to find a work placement. 

The number of hours required in a workplace depends on how quickly you can complete your workplace assessments and competencies. 

Your course fee includes insurance cover for your work placement regardless of the course delivery method you choose (only applies to students in Australian-based workplaces).

For more information, view the FAQ section on Work Placement below

To be considered for entry into Veterinary Nursing, you must have any one of the following prerequisites:-

  • Certificate II in Animal Care or Certificate II in Horse Care*, OR
  • Certificate III or a higher level qualification in an animal science discipline, OR
  • the equivalent skills and knowledge in a relevant animal science discipline (to a Certificate II level)

Prerequisite detailed information 

Read our detailed prerequisite page for more information about the course prerequisite (video) and AVT selection criteria (video).

Currently in high school?

We recommend reading our dedicated post, “What subjects do I need to study at high school for Veterinary Nursing and why?

Other requirements

You will also:-

  • have a reliable internet connection and access to a desktop computer, laptop or electronic device. You will be required to write, submit and in some cases, upload assessments and various types of multi-media files online. Therefore we strongly recommend using a desktop or laptop computer for your studies
  • be proficient in speaking and writing in English
  • be physically capable of restraining animals, handling animal feed e.g. large bags of food of up to 10 kg and standing for extended periods of time
  • need to be a minimum of 18 years of age or be turning 18 during the academic year
Selection process
Our goal is to see students succeed in their animal care career path and to ensure we provide the veterinary industry with high quality, employable graduates. Assessing whether or not you meet the entry requirements for this course is done by a personalised review of each and every applicant.
Concerned about your application?
If you are concerned you do not meet the prerequisite, simply contact us. We will review your individual situation and advise on the best way forward, which may include a unique fast-track program that will have you started in no time.

* AVT’s ‘ACM20217 Certificate II in Horse Care’ (course no longer available) meets the prerequisite for our course. 

You will be required to wear:

  • an AVT scrub top and name badge (supplied by AVT)
  • enclosed black shoes (supplied by student),
  • neatly presented, long comfortable work pants suitable for bending and manual work (supplied by student).

You will be required to wear the AVT uniform to all excursions and your work placement unless specified by your workplace.

What will you learn?

Throughout the course you will complete 21 units of study covering a broad range of topics relating to veterinary nursing care.  You will become competent in:-

  • Nursing and monitoring patients
  • Administering medication
  • Providing surgical assistance and monitoring anaesthesia
  • Taking and processing blood samples
  • Taking x-rays (radiography)
  • Basic dental procedures
  • Undertaking emergency and critical care nursing
  • Nurse consultations e.g. behavioural, nutrition, dental, wound care, post operative advice 
  • Providing advice to pet owners

The skills and knowledge you learn can be applied as a Veterinary Nurse in a broad range of organisations requiring veterinary services. Learn more: Top 7 reasons why you should choose a career in the veterinary industry

Become a Veterinary Nurse - course and qualification outline

Course outcomes

On successful completion, you will be awarded the nationally recognised qualification, ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.  

The most common career path for graduates is directly into a Veterinary Nursing role in a veterinary practice. You could also find yourself working in a zoo, shelter, local council, laboratory, farm, office, or even on the road as a pharmaceutical or food company representative. Alternatively, you may pursue higher level qualifications such as a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing or even a Bachelor of Science.

Job Outcomes

Here’s just a few examples of the types of roles available:-

  • Veterinary nurse
  • Veterinary surgical assistant
  • Veterinary receptionist
  • Practice manager
  • Veterinary nurse in a specialist or emergency centre
  • A representative for animal-related pharmaceutical or nutrition companies
  • Animal welfare officer
  • Zoo veterinary assistant
  • Vocational educator

Career Opportunities

This course will prepare you for career opportunities in a range of veterinary centred organisations such as:

  • General practice clinics and hospitals
  • Veterinary emergency centres
  • Veterinary specialist centres
  • Wildlife and animal rescue and rehabilitation centres
  • Welfare organisations such as the RSPCA
  • Zoos and wildlife parks
  • Education facilities, including universities and technical colleges such as AVT
  • Veterinary diagnostic laboratories
  • Veterinary pharmaceutical and nutrition companies
  • Research institutions

Course content

All students must complete the following core units:

  • ACMVET202 Carry out daily practice routines
  • ACMVET401 Coordinate veterinary reception duties
  • ACMVET402 Apply imaging routines
  • ACMVET403 Perform clinical pathology procedures
  • ACMVET404 Perform practice office procedures
  • ACMVET405 Coordinate and perform surgical nursing routines
  • ACMVET406 Nurse animals
  • ACMVET407 Carry out medical nursing routines
  • ACMVET408 Provide nutritional advice and support for animals
  • ACMVET409 Provide specific animal care advice
  • ACMVET410 Carry out veterinary dental nursing procedures
  • ACMVET413 Prepare for anaesthesia and monitor animal anaesthesia and analgesia
  • ACMVET416 Assist with the preparation of veterinary drugs and poisons
  • ACMINF301 Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal care work
  • ACMGAS307 Identify animal anatomy and physiology for animal care work
  • ACMGAS308 Communicate effectively with clients and team members
  • ACMWHS301 Contribute to workplace health and safety processes

You must also complete the following compulsory elective units:-

  • ACMARM403 Identify and respond to animal behaviour in animal management and regulation environment
  • ACMSPE312 Provide basic care of rodents and rabbits (*Qld Students) ^
  • ACMGEN304 Promote positive wellbeing in self and others in animal care workplaces
Online eLearning students can choose from one of the following units:

Why choose AVT for your Veterinary Nursing Qualification?

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  • Professionally written and delivered course with engaging lectures and convenient online and face-to-face assistance to help you apply theory effortlessly
  • Structured study timetables and student support to ensure you stay on track
  • Your work placement is preorganised in a reputable veterinary practice (for Perth based students)
  • A high standard of theoretical knowledge with intensive practical training, allowing you to gain the competence and confidence required for your career
  • Employers request our graduates! This certificate increases your opportunities for employment in the animal care industry plus it will give you recognition towards entry into further studies.  Learn More >>

AVT is an independent animal care focused Registered Training Organisation (RTO). We do not have third-party arrangements with other training providers to acquire content or distribute qualifications. All course material is written and delivered by our team of educators. 


Nationally recognised animal care course in Australia NRT

What students are saying about this course

Fees & inclusions

Total course fees: Ranges from $400 - $15,500*

Our fee range depends on 3 factors including your desired study method (online/on-campus/blended), your eligibility for a Jobs and Skills WA funded position (see full details here), and your concession status. All fees are payable via our monthly payment plan. Our fees include:-

  • Learning guides (Downloadable)
  • Textbooks (Downloadable & Hardback)
  • Dedicated student support
  • One-on-one mentoring by AVT lecturers
  • Assessments and Certification
  • Work Placement (WA Only)
  • Practical training insurance
  • Work Placement Kit: uniform, name badge and workbook

The Student tuition fees are indicative only and are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Additional fees may apply such as student service and resource fees. Please see our full veterinary nursing fees page and our policies page for full details.

Prior to submitting your application, we recommend reading our detailed Preparing to Submit your Application guide.

Our funded courses have limited places with high demand. Where applicable, we reserve the right to close course intakes before the advertised close date. We recommend submitting your application as early as possible.

Application Status
On-Campus Full-time
Course runs: Dec 2023 - Dec 2024
Online eLearning Non-WA based students
Course runs: All Year
On-Campus Part-time
Course runs: Mar 2024 - Sep 2025
Applications Open: Nov 2023
Blended Learning WA based students
Course starts: Mar 2024 - Mar 2026
Applications Open: Nov 2023
Prior to submitting your application, we recommend reading  our detailed information: Preparing to Submit your Application.  Our funded courses have limited places with high demand. Where applicable, we reserve the right to close course intakes before the advertised close date. We recommend submitting your application, as early as possible.
Study Mode Intakes Next Intake Future Intake
Online eLearning (Non-WA)
Flexible Start

Not Applicable

Blended Learning

Next Intake:
Mar 24 - Mar 26
Future Intake:
Jul 24 - Jul 26

Next Intake:
Mar 24 - Sep 25
Future Intake:
Jul 24 - Dec 25
Next Intake:
Dec 23 - Dec 24
Future Intake:
Jan 25 - Dec 25


There are many online training providers offering “Certified” courses in animal care such as the Vet Assistant Certificate, Advanced Certificate in Veterinary Assistant and Animal Welfare, Dog Grooming Certificate, Equine Studies Certificate, Cat Care and Training Certificate, Animal Welfare Certificate and many others. Generally, these online courses are not accredited and therefore not nationally recognised by the Australian Government.

Only nationally accredited certificates offered by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) meet the prerequisite for Veterinary Nursing.  RTOs are regulated and audited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority or the relevant State regulator to ensure the course content meets certification standards and the provider complies with the legislation required to deliver the VET Quality Framework.  The best way to find a nationally accredited organisation offering nationally accredited courses is to search Also, as a general rule, animal care related courses, commence with a code starting with ACM e.g. ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care

There are a number of online trainer providers providing animal care related courses that are not RTO’s and therefore their courses do not meet the prerequisite for ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.  Many of these courses are theory based and do not require you to obtain practical skills or have contact with animals which is essential for the prerequisite.  If you are considering a course in an animal care related area, we highly recommend choosing an accredited course. This ensures your certificate will be recognised by a future employer and you can continue your study pathway to veterinary nursing or another area of study.

For more information about the prerequisite and entry requirements for veterinary nursing visit: Selection Criteria and Entry into Veterinary Nursing

Why choose AVT?

Dedicated Animal Care College

AVT has been delivering Vet Nursing and Animal Care related courses for over 20 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 are approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.

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