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Can you take a Vet Nursing Course Online? Here’s What You Need To Know

If you are an aspiring veterinary nurse, deciding on a course provider and study mode can be challenging and exciting.  In this guide, we explore if you can take a vet nursing course online, how vet nurse training is delivered in Australia and the pros and cons of studying your vet nurse course online or on-campus.

Becoming a vet nurse

Throughout Australia, veterinary nurses are in high demand and many veterinary practices require veterinary nurses to be qualified. 

To gain a qualification, you will be required to complete the nationally accredited ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. 

You can earn this qualification via online studies, on-campus training, or blended learning. 

Due to the practical training requirements and expertise required by a training provider to offer this course, places are often limited and competitive. 

Gaining skills and knowledge required for a veterinary nursing qualification 

Regardless of the option you choose, you will be required to undertake a range of tasks as a graduate. Duties have changed over the years—from the traditional mandate of animal cleaning and care to playing more of a support role to veterinarians. 

The following are some of these tasks:

  • Cleaning and sterilisation of medical equipment 
  • Blood sample collection and IV catheter placement
  • Undertaking and assisting with emergency procedures
  • Helping veterinarians with radiography and ultrasonography
  • Cleaning the patients and monitoring their feeding and medication requirements
  • Preparation of the animals for surgery
  • Customer service and client communication
  • Maintaining patient records

Acquiring the  ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, will qualify you to undertake these and many other associated responsibilities. The rigorous training required for this qualification imparts theoretical and practical knowledge to ensure that you become the best vet nurse you can be.

Need more knowledge?

Haven’t yet started a qualification? Learn about our nationally accredited courses in animal care, behaviour and veterinary nursing and get the edge you need to start your career! 

ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing is the only nationally accredited veterinary nursing qualification in Australia. The course takes one to two years and is ideal for learners who have previously undertaken courses in Animal Studies, such as the ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies or upgraded ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care, or those with relevant experience. Learn more about: prerequisite and entry requirements here.

Can I study veterinary nursing online?

So, can you become a vet nurse online? Yes, and no. 

To complete the course requirements, you will need to gain both theoretical and practical knowledge by completing coursework and hands-on practical training. The practical training comes via a work placement at a veterinary practice. The theory can be studied online. 

The purpose of workplace placement, or practical training, as it is popularly called, is to provide learners with the necessary on-the-job support to help them develop critical skills and knowledge. Some of these skills are communication, teamwork, and the ability to handle animals by performing hands-on daily tasks in order to provide the highest standard of patient care.  

Work placement also serves as a networking opportunity where students build a rapport with the industry’s leading experts. Some of these people can go on to become workplace colleagues or even employers in the future.


Which is better, studying online or on-campus?

Studying online or on-campus depends on your situation and how you want to manage your work-life balance. For example, online learning gives you flexibility if you have to work part-time or have family commitments. On the other hand, if you struggle with self-motivation and time management, then on-campus learning would be the best fit for you. It all depends on your life and how you envision your learning experience.

To make it easier for you to choose between online and on-campus studying, we have created a list of the pros and cons associated with each learning model.

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of online learning.

Online learning for veterinary nursing students

The pros 

  • As long as you have the discipline to stay on track and meet deadlines, online learning offers high levels of flexibility.

  • Online learning can be time-saving and more economical as you do not have to commute to and from college. 

  • The online learning environment can allow you to connect with a wider variety of people throughout your study journey if you participate in online class activities generally associated with blended learning. 

  • Online learning helps build self-motivation and communication skills that can be invaluable in your future as a vet nurse.

  • Online learning courses for veterinary nursing students usually have a longer completion time. At AVT you can take up to 2 years to complete your course.

The cons

  • Unless you make the effort to connect with other students, online study can be isolating and lonely.

  • You will not have regular access to campus facilities and experiences that can provide you with additional skills and knowledge e.g. equipment and tools, animals, guest speakers, extra information and stories from Trainers and your fellow classmates.

  • Reduced amount of face-to-face contact with your Trainers (although video contact is always possible at AVT).

Campus based learning for veterinary nursing students

The pros

  • Members of the Training and Assessing team are physically accessible for face-to-face interactions.

  • You can create a close network of future colleagues (students) and with prospective employers you meet during incursions and excursions.

  • You can avoid procrastination as classes are scheduled.

  • With little effort, you can speak to Trainers and Assessors about any issues whenever you are on-campus.

  • You can participate in excursions and incursions.

The cons 

  • There is less flexibility than in online learning due to having a class schedule.

  • On-campus programs are usually more expensive than online classes.

  • Additional travel time and expense to and from your college.

Where is the best place to study?

As we have already stated, ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing is Australia’s only nationally accredited vet nurse qualification. You can attain this certification by studying in a nationally recognised training provider by visiting and searching for the institution of your choice.

You can also enrol at Applied Vocational Training (AVT), which is one of these nationally recognised institutions. We are the leading provider of Vet Nursing qualifications in the country. 

Check out our Veterinary Nursing program. 

About AVT

We have been training animal care, animal behaviour and training, equine care and veterinary nursing students for over 25 years in Australia. Students who undertake AVT courses range from high school-aged students just starting their pre-vocational journey right through to mature-aged students seeking an alternative career path. Graduates are highly respected and sought after by industry professionals, businesses and organisations. If you want the background knowledge and skills to help you secure your career in the animal care industry, check out our qualifications here or gain new skills by studying one of our short courses.

Start your journey to Veterinary Nursing

Start your pathway

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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Get qualified

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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