National code: ACM40418

Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

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Overview About this course

Prepare for an exciting and rewarding career as a veterinary nurse. Support veterinarians and provide quality animal care for all kinds of animals. Use your compassion and build up your skills to become an indispensable asset to any veterinary clinic.

Outcomes What you'll gain

Learning outcomes

Through a mixture of theory and practical course work, learn to:

  • Admit and discharge animal patients

  • Coordinate theatre routines and carry out surgical nursing and dental procedures

  • Prepare and monitor anaesthesia and analgesics in animals

  • Nurse animals and support their nutritional needs

  • Provide advice to animal owners

  • Comply with infection control policies

Course outcomes

Gain practical experience and develop specialist skills that give you an advantage in the job market.

  • The skills needed to perform veterinary nursing duties

  • Experience working in a real-life veterinary clinic on real-life animals

  • The knowledge to assist veterinarians to care for animals

  • Pathways to specialise in multiple areas of the veterinary nursing industry

Suitability Is this course right for you?

Entry requirements

This course requires evidence of previous experience or study before you can enrol

  • This course is offered as a traineeship. Enquire today to check the eligibility requirements.

  • Completion of the Certificate II in Animal Care as evidenced by your certificate or transcript, or

  • Completion of a Certificate III or higher qualification in a related field, like the Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care or Certificate III in Animal Care Services, as evidenced by your certificate or transcript, or

  • Take part in an interview and complete a TAFE NSW Entry Pathways Toolkit, which we will use to evaluate your current skills and knowledge in an animal science discipline to determine if they are equivalent to the above qualifications

  • Access to a veterinary clinic to fulfil your mandatory work placement requirements as evidenced by a letter with an official letterhead from your employer

Completion requirements

During your study you’ll need to provide your teacher with the following evidence:

  • Completion of a minimum of 480 hours of mandatory work placement in a veterinary clinic, where you will work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a qualified veterinary nurse

Entry recommendations

To be prepared for this course, we recommend that you have:

  • The ability to provide your own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which may include enclosed shoes, full-length trousers and sleeved tops

  • Intermediate level fitness to manage physical demands like lifting and handling animals

  • Access to a computer with an internet connection

  • Flexibility to work outside of business hours

  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) at a Year 10 high school level

  • TAFE NSW may ask you to complete a Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) skills test.

  • This skills test helps us to understand your individual study needs, to design an individualised plan that supports your study success and ensures your LLN skills match the demands of the course.

TAFE NSW is committed to meeting the learning needs of every community. Meeting these needs can mean there are additional entry requirements at different campus locations. Check your preferred location for further requirements. If you need help preparing for study, contact us to find out how we can support you.

Pathways Future career and study options

Career pathways

Our graduates go onto roles like:

Veterinary Nurse

Veterinary Nurses care for animals under treatment and in temporary residence at veterinary facilities and assist Veterinarians to perform procedures and operations.

  • Full-time share Full-time workers usually work 35 hours or more a week (in all their jobs combined).


  • Employment size Employment size is the number of workers who do this as their main job.

    5,100 workers

  • Average age This is the average age of all workers in this job.

    31 years

  • Weekly pay Median earnings are shown for full-time, non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate, before tax or any amounts that are salary sacrificed. These figures are a guide to earnings only and should not be used to determine a wage rate.


  • Average full-time The average full-time hours that people in this role work each week.

    40 hours

  • Skill level rating Skill level ratings are based on the range and complexity of job roles. In general, the higher the skill level, the more formal education and training, previous experience or on-the-job training needed to be good at the job.


  • Gender share

    96% female

  • Future growth The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business estimates the likely change in number of workers in this role, or industry, over the next 5 years. Future growth is the likely percentage change compared to all other job roles.


Other jobs include: veterinary sales representative, veterinary receptionist, zoo keeping veterinary nurse, equine veterinary nurse and veterinary nurse in organisations such as the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League.

Study pathways

Take your study further with other courses offered at TAFE NSW:

Previous study 1 Course

Begin here to gain experience and confidence in this study area.

Further study 0 Courses

Advance your skills to take your career to the next level

The Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing does not have any post-graduate courses.

Related study 3 Courses

Strengthen your expertise and gain specialist skills to expand your employability.

Your experience counts

At TAFE NSW, we recognise your previous study and work experience. You can apply for recognition of prior learning or a credit transfer with any of our courses. If you're successful you'll get your qualification faster.

Units Units taught in this course

Courses are made up of a combination of both core and specialty units. In the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing qualification, you’ll need to successfully complete 21 units of competency, including 17 core and 4 speciality units.

Please note, not all specialty units are offered at every TAFE NSW location. It is highly recommended that you check with your preferred campus for information about the specialty units offered at that location.

Core units are central to the job outcomes of a particular industry or occupation. These are the units industry has agreed are essential to be capable and qualified at a particular study level.

  • Identify animal anatomy and physiology for animal care work ACMGAS307

  • Communicate effectively with clients and team members ACMGAS308

  • Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal care work ACMINF301

  • Carry out daily practice routines ACMVET202

  • ... 5

TAFE NSW services Facilities and support

TAFE NSW provides support services across all campus locations and online. Whatever your needs or circumstances, we have the people, resources, counselling and facilities to support you in focusing on your studies.

  • TAFE NSW Disability Support Service

  • TAFE NSW Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) support

  • TAFE NSW Aboriginal Support; Learner support (ABE)

  • TAFE NSW Careers, Counselling and Pathways Service

  • TAFE NSW Libraries

  • Scholarship programs – be supported as you explore your talents and fulfil your potential

  • Read&Write literacy and study support software is available free for all TAFE NSW students to use while studying on campus and at home

  • LinkedIn Learning – an online resource which offers innovative courses and tutorials to improve your personal and professional skills

  • Student associations – get social with our student community

Study options Find a location to enrol

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