Course Info

Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

National Course Code: ACM40418


The nationally recognised Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing equips you with the qualification to work as a veterinary nurse. Be a valued member of a veterinary team, care for a range of pets including cats, dogs, horses and farm animals and turn your love for animals into a rewarding career.


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

  • Perform radiography and pathology nursing procedures
  • Perform dental nursing procedures
  • Carry out surgical nursing duties and coordinate theatre routines
  • Handle and restrain different species
  • Conduct physical examinations to determine the health of the animal and provide medications (including injections)


Develop the attributes to help you get ahead:

  • Collaboration and teamwork skills to support veterinarians - particularly in high pressure situations
  • Empathy and compassion for animals
  • Team work and collaboration
  • An ability to remain calm in a crisis
  • Drive and the ability to work independently


Completing the course provides you with:

  • A nationally recognised qualification at Certificate IV level
  • The skills needed to perform veterinary nursing duties
  • The knowledge to assist veterinarians to care for animals in the workplace

Career opportunities:

  • Veterinary nurse in an: animal welfare organisation, equine hospital, small animal hospital, animal specialist centre or wildlife hospital


Expand your opportunities with these further study options:

  • Statement of Attainment in Implant Microchip in Cats and Dogs
  • Certificate III in Captive Animals
  • Certificate III in Horse Breeding


This course is currently available at 17 campus locations across NSW and online. Enquire now for other locations.

Course details

People who are successful in this field have:

  • Empathy and compassion for animals
  • Great communication skills
  • Team work and collaboration skills and like working with people
  • An eagle eye for attention to detail
  • An ability to remain calm in a crisis
  • Drive and be able to work independently

Assessments give you the opportunity to demonstrate what you've learned so far and identify what knowledge or skills need further development.

In this very hands-on and practical course, you will undertake:

  • Written assessments such as quizzes, short answer questions, assignments and case studies
  • Practical assessments with equipment and animals in simulated and real-life workplace settings
  • Onsite assessments performing nursing tasks in your veterinary clinic or through supplying photographs and video evidence

In Australia, the Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing qualification is the minimum qualification you will need to provide competent support in a veterinary clinic. Once you complete the course, youll be recognised as a qualified veterinary nurse.

Unless you meet other entry Training Package entry requirements (explained in the entry requirements section), the Certificate II in Animal Studies is a prerequisite to this qualification.

You can take your career further with a Diploma of Veterinary Nursing once you have had significant industry experience and completed your Certificate IV. You may also be able to apply for a credit transfer if youve successfully completed courses including:

  • Certificate II in Animal Studies
  • Certificate III in Captive Animals
  • Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services

If granted, your individual training plan will include the credit transfer and your qualification will be completed in a shorter time.

If you're a student who studies on campus, you may occasionally go on industry excursions.

Excursions can include tours of veterinary facilities at organisations like RSPCA veterinary hospitals, veterinary specialist hospitals and wildlife hospitals at zoos.

You will gain skills in handling and restraining different species and learn how to conduct physical examinations to determine the health of the animal, providing medications (including injections) where needed.

Plus, youll gain experience in operating medical equipment commonly used in a veterinary practice including pathology equipment, anaesthetic machines, radiography equipment and dental equipment.

You'll work on a range of real world projects, including:

  • Case studies of sick animals in the veterinary clinic
  • Clinical pathology testing including making blood smears
  • Monitoring anaesthetics during patient surgery
  • Admission and discharge of patients in the veterinary clinic
  • Providing nutritional advice to pet owners
  • Carrying out surgical nursing routines
  • Providing enrichment for animals
  • Assisting dental procedures

You will practice your hands-on skills in the veterinary clinic where you are employed or undertake your work placement.

TAFE NSW campuses also have classrooms and study labs which simulate veterinary practices. They contain many of the machines and equipment you would normally find in a veterinary practice.

Some TAFE NSW campuses even have animals on site that you will care for as part of your course.

With people increasingly treating their pets as fur-babies and spending more money on their care and comfort, employment opportunities are forecast to increase to 2022.

The role of a veterinary nurse is diversifying and expanding. By completing this qualification, you will be in a great position to upskill in emerging areas of the industry.

Over the next several years, complementary veterinary services are projected to expand in areas such as rehabilitation, physiotherapy, massage and premium animal products.

  • Nationally Recognised Training
  • Traineeship Allowed
  • On campus, Combination, Online
  • Full Time, Part Time, Variable
  • Study Online
  • Fully government-subsidised
  • JobTrainer

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TAFE Digital: Self paced, Online

  • Fee Free if Eligible for JobTrainer
  • Start Date: Anytime
  • Duration: 2.5 Years

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