study veterinary nursing

study veterinary nursing

Study Veterinary Nursing

A veterinary nurse is a highly trained and skilled healthcare professional who, like doctors and nurses, have a variety of roles to fulfil. A vet nurse’s duties are diverse and include:

  • Wondering why you chose this career
  • Administering anaesthesia to animals prior to surgery
  • Performing routine dental procedures
  • Maintaining clinical records
  • Caring for patients after operations using appropriate nursing techniques
  • Organising work rosters for other staff members

Veterinary nursing courses and qualifications

Whether you want to study veterinary nursing part-time, full-time or through a distance learning course, there are many options available.

Veterinary nursing courses and qualifications cover all aspects of animal health, including:

  • anatomy and physiology
  • management of diseases and conditions
  • surgical procedures (including sedation)
  • nutrition and care needs of different species
  • animal handling skills (for example, farm animals and exotics)

It will take at least two years’ full-time study to complete a veterinary nursing qualification. Part-time courses take longer but can be fitted around your schedule. Distance learning is also more flexible. Some providers offer block release (where you study for several weeks at a time), so that you can attend lectures without having to give up your job entirely. Block release is also useful if you’re self-funding your studies, as it helps lower the cost of travel and accommodation.

Veterinary nurse short courses

Short courses are often offered by universities and colleges. Short courses are designed to give you a taster of the profession or to allow you to specialise in a particular areas. For example, some veterinary nurse short courses focus on emergency nursing, while others focus on nutrition or animal behaviour.

Short courses can be a good way to get into veterinary nursing if you would like to find out more about the day-to-day work of the profession before committing yourself to further study. They will also provide you with a qualification that is recognised by the RCVS and can be used as additional evidence for Core Skills Training (CST) programme applications.

Veterinary nurse apprenticeships

Veterinary nurse apprenticeships are a great way to get your foot in the door and earn while you learn. You can work towards a qualification at level 2, 3 or 4 depending on what’s right for you and your employer.

This will give you an excellent opportunity to build up professional knowledge, experience and training that might be hard to get through other routes into the profession.

How to become a veterinary nurse

To become a veterinary nurse, you can complete an accredited course, or start working and study at the same time. If you have no previous health and care experience, completing a nursing course prior to starting work is one of them. You can work in a veterinary practice in another role, such as a veterinary care assistant, then move into this career by training on the job.

There are different ways to become a veterinary nurse and completing a nursing course prior to starting work is one of them.

With a veterinary nursing qualification, you can work in a variety of settings, including private practice and specialist referral hospitals. You might consider working overseas, with animals in the armed forces or even on a cruise ship!

There are different ways to become a veterinary nurse and completing a nursing course prior to starting work is one of them. There are also other ways to become qualified, such as studying for an advanced apprenticeship. Most apprenticeships take up to four years to complete, but some colleges and animal charities offer pre-employment training which will allow you to start your apprenticeship sooner. You should check with the RCVS that your chosen training programme meets the professional standards needed for registration as a veterinary nurse. There is also the option of qualifying through experience – “earning your stripes” before deciding to study for an approved qualification .

If you decide on this route then it is important that you undertake short courses or formal qualifications so that you can prove your skills and knowledge meet the RCVS standard necessary for registration as a veterinary nurse. There may be things that you have learnt over time but did not realise they were components of veterinary nursing such as first aid, emergency care or exotic animal care.

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