In Australia, becoming a qualified veterinary nurse involves a mix of theoretical and practical training. This ensures graduates have the confidence and knowledge to handle and care for animals when they enter the workforce.
If you are an aspiring veterinary nurse, deciding on a course provider and study mode can be challenging and also 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
Campus based learning for veterinary nursing students
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 training.gov.au 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.
We have been training animal care, animal behaviour and training, equine care and veterinary nursing students for over 20 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.