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Veterinary nurse

Alternative titles for this job include

Veterinary nurses support vets by caring for sick and injured animals.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£26,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a veterinary nurse

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You could do a foundation degree or degree in veterinary nursing accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

You can study for a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at college.

You'll spend some time in the classroom and periods of training on placement in veterinary practice.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has a list of approved training organisations.

Entry requirements

You'll need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can do a veterinary nursing advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science

More Information

Volunteering

You'll need some work experience before you start training. You could volunteer with a vet, a local kennel or animal welfare centre, or with animal charities like the PDSA or RSPCA.

More Information

Registration

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the British Veterinary Nursing Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a veterinary nurse from the British Veterinary Nursing Association.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of animal health
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • keep the practice and equipment clean and hygienic
  • prepare animals for treatment and assist vets during procedures
  • give injections, medication and remove stitches
  • take x-rays
  • take care of in-patient animals
  • support and talk to pet owners about treatment and care of their animals
  • do reception and administrative duties

Working environment

You could work at a veterinary practice or at an animal welfare centre.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could take on more responsibility, like practice management, supervising and training new staff, or working in sales of veterinary supplies.

You could also train to specialise in working for a zoological/wildlife park, charity, pharmaceutical company or breeding/boarding kennels.

With further study you could work towards becoming a lecturer or researcher.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Veterinary Nurse Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £136.50 Weekly
  • Location: London

Courses In England

Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

  • Provider: THE COLLEGE OF ANIMAL WELFARE LIMITED
  • Start date: 01 January 2022
  • Location: London

Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Companion Animal)

  • Provider: REASEHEATH COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2022
  • Location: NANTWICH

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