Online Short Course

Equine Veterinary Nursing

Online Short Course for Qualified Veterinary Nurses

Are you a qualified vet nurse (newly graduated or experienced), wanting to make the transition from small animal practice to equine practice? Have you recently made the transition and want to better understand the key aspects of vet nursing in an equine veterinary setting? Are you an experienced equine nurse that wants to solidify your knowledge working with horses further?

Our Equine Veterinary Nursing course aims to provide veterinary nurses with an introduction to the fundamentals of equine nursing. During the course, you will be given the resources and tools to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of how to work effectively in equine veterinary practice.

Course snapshot

Duration: 6-12 months

Study mode: Self-paced

Application status: Apply now

Contents: 8 units covering the aspects of equine practice

Prerequisite: Veterinary Nursing Qualification (ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing or equivalent)

Best suited to: Qualified veterinary nurses with an interest in pursuing a career in equine practice or who wish to gain new skills and knowledge

Equine Vet Nursing course - horse vet nurse

"Huge thanks to AVT for acknowledging the skills imbalance and supply shortages our Industry is facing. As education and training play a significant role in labour supply, this course will allow employees to instil more of the specialised knowledge, technical skill and confidence employers are seeking."

Paul O'Callaghan, Director, Perth Equine Hospital, WA.

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Course outline

Ann-Marie Moyles, Dip VN RVN

Veterinary Nursing horse courseAnn-Marie graduated with a Diploma in veterinary nursing from University College, Dublin, Ireland in 2009. Originally working in mixed practice in Ireland, she perused a passion for equine nursing during her travels in Australia. This journey has continued over the past ten years both in private and referral teaching hospitals in Perth, WA. Spending five of those years as the head equine nurse at ‘The Animal Hospital”, Murdoch University.

She has a passion for empowering fellow equine nurses with knowledge and expanded her skillset to do so by completing Graduate Certificate in Tertiary and Adult Education at Murdoch University in 2019 and RCVS examiner training programme in 2009.  Along with presenting at both the VNCA and Bain Fallon conferences, delivering both lectures and workshops.

Liz Woodberry, BscBVMS (Veterinary medicine and Surgery)

Equine / horse veterinary nursing course trainer Liz graduated in 2007 from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. With a passion for equine practice, she spent 10 years working in a mixed practice (equine and small animal) south of Perth. Developing a special interest in equine reproduction. She is currently working as Head Veterinarian at the largest thoroughbred breeding studs in Western Australia.

Liz has always enjoyed helping the next generation of vets and nurses achieve their potential. As a result, she completed her Certificate IV in Training and Assessing. Between breeding seasons she assists in delivering practical skills classes to the undergraduates at Murdoch Veterinary School along with training and assessing our Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing students at AVT.

The course material is written for students with existing veterinary nursing skills. To enrol in this course you will need to have successfully completed a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing or equivalent qualification or equivalent skills and knowledge.

You will be required to submit a copy of your Certificate at the time of enrolment.

If you believe you have the equivalent skills or knowledge or equivalent education you will be required to provide supporting documentation of equivalent studies. This includes items such as:

  • an official certificate or documentation showing successful course completion from a relevant training institution (see more information) OR;
  • a written recommendation from your current employer (veterinary practice) confirming you possess Certificate IV level skills and knowledge.

If you are unsure if you meet the entry requirements and would like to discuss your individual situation with us, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly student support team. 

To allow for self-paced learning you will have access to pre-recorded tutorials and practical ‘how to videos’. You will also have access to a discussion forum to engage with Module Tutors.  

Each unit will be accompanied with a short multiple choice (MCQ) quiz to confirm your understanding of the topics covered.

You will also be required to purchase the mandatory course reading, Equine vet nursing By Karen M. Coumbe

All learning is completed via home-based online eLearning. This means you can study part time, at your own pace to accommodate your busy life working as a veterinary nurse. 

What will you learn?

The curriculum reflects the demands on equine veterinary nurses in practice in Australia. You will complete eight units of study giving you a sound academic foundation with which to build a solid career as an equine nurse. During this course you will learn how to:

  • How to conduct a clinical exam on an equine patient
  • Triaging equine practice caseloads
  • Interpretation of horse body language
  • Fundamentals of handling horses (and foals) in the veterinary environment
  • Recognising the individual needs of a hospitalised patient
  • Caring for a colic patient
  • Handling of endoscopy equipment
  • Participate in equine lameness exam
  • Basics of equine laboratory tasks
  • Biosecurity needs of an equine practice
Equine Veterinary Nurse Training Course - college

You will learn the fundamental knowledge to either start a career in Equine Veterinary Nursing or assist you in a current role. This is a great place to start if you are a small animal veterinary nurse who would like to start working with horses.  For more inspiration on working with horses read our blog post:  Ten Rewarding Careers that Involve Working with Horses.

Course outcomes

So where do equine vet nurses work in Australia? Equine vet nurses and our students go on to a variety of roles across the veterinary and equine industry.

Job Role Outcomes

Careers in this area are diverse. You might find yourself working in a role such as:

  • Equine Veterinary Nurse 
  • Practice Manager
  • Stud Farm Nurse
  • Swabbing Stewart
  • Research Assistant
  • Sales Representative

Job Opportunities

Opportunities are available in a number of areas. You might find yourself working in a/an: 

  • Equine Veterinary Hospital or Clinic
  • Mixed Animal Practice
  • Equine Referral and Speciality Centres
  • Stud Farm (breeding facility)
  • Research laboratory or educational facility

Course content

Your course includes 8 units including those listed below:

In this unit, you will learn the following aspects of equine hospital management and nutrition:-

  • Identification
  • Horse behaviour
  • General horse handling in the clinical environment
  • Husbandry in the hospital environment (biosecurity)
  • Clinical nutrition

In this unit, you will learn the following aspects of general equine nursing:-

  • Assessing the condition of the patient
  • Clinical examination
  • Practical skills – Injection techniques, IV catheter
  • Worming and vaccination protocols
  • Dental
  • Prepurchase examination

In this unit, you will learn the following aspects of equine critical care and emergency nursing:-

  • Triage
  • Preparation for admission of an emergency case
  • Fluid therapy
  • Blood transfusion
  • ICU nursing
  • Emergency drugs

In this unit, you will learn the following aspects of equine laboratory diagnostics

  • Equine nurses’ role in laboratory diagnostics
  • Collection techniques
  • Preparing samples for transfer to an external laboratory
  • How to prepare and complete basic analysis on samples
  • Maintenance of laboratory environment

In this unit, you will learn the following aspects of equine orthopaedic nursing:-

  • Vet nurse’s role in lameness examination
  • Diseases of the hoof
  • Common disease/ injuries of equine soft tissue structures (tendons and ligaments)
  • Common diseases of the skeletal system of the equine patient
  • Common drugs related to the musculoskeletal system (intraarticular, supplementations)

In this unit, you will learn the following aspects of medical nursing:-

  • System diseases
  • Equine specific medical equipment
  • Endoscopy examinations
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Drug therapy

In this unit, you will learn the following aspects of equine surgical nursing:-

  • Theatre nursing
  • Fundamentals of equine anaesthesia
  • Equine specific surgical instrumentation
  • General surgical nursing procedures

In this unit, you will learn the following aspects of equine reproduction and neonatal care:-

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Infertility
  • Artificial insemination
  • Equine embryo transfer
  • Pregnancy diagnosis
  • Reproductive drugs
  • Preparation for foaling
  • Restraint techniques for the breeding yard
  • Foals: handling, specific nursing care and common conditions
  • Practical points: nursing of young foals
  • Common conditions of the foal

What makes this course different?

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Nationally recognised animal care course in Australia NRT

What students say about our courses

Fees & inclusions

Total course fees: Starting from $995

All fees are payable via our monthly payment plan and include:

  • Online eLearning Centre
  • Assessments
  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Dedicated student support

Full fee paying student
Total Course Cost: $1,200 
$250 enrolment fee payable upfront, plus 4 monthly payments of $237.50

AVT current student or graduate 
Total Course Cost:  $995
$250 enrolment fee payable upfront, plus 4 monthly payments of $186.25 

Enrolling more than 1 employee from your organisation?
Take advantage of our group discount from 10-20% off our total course cost.
Contact our student support team for more information.

* Fees, inclusions and payment plan amounts are subject to change. If you decide to withdraw from study for any reason, refunds are not issued. Course fees must be paid in full prior to issuing Certificate. Please see our policies page for full details. 

Enrol now

Course Dates Application Status

Equine Veterinary Nursing Short Course

We recommend registering your interest now so we can notify you as soon as applications are open. 


Short courses offered by Applied Vocational Training require students to learn and demonstrate knowledge and practical application of a significant amount of Australian local and state legislation, regulations and standards.

In other countries, legislation, regulations and standards are often different, making it difficult for us to assess and recognise competence in all areas.

As such, Applied Vocational Training does not accept applications from students living overseas*

Important note for students wishing to return or live in Australia

* Individuals who currently live overseas but are intending to return and or/live in Australia may be considered for enrolment. If such enrolment were to occur it would not be possible for any certification to be awarded until the student could be assessed as competent in Australia, regardless of the amount of course work completed overseas.

Why choose AVT?

Dedicated Animal Focused College

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

Equine Vet Nursing - Veterinary Nursing with horses

Experts in Equine Care

Our qualified Trainers and Assessors have been working in the industry for many years and have extensive knowledge in the equine veterinary and veterinary nursing industry.

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 equine industry. They are dedicated to helping students succeed.

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