Veterinary nurses take care of sick animals and usually work together with a veterinary surgeon. Their job is to ensure animals’ wellbeing, as well as, taking blood and urine samples. If you want to become a veterinary nurse but have no idea what are the requirements and what you should do, keep reading.
There are two ways to become a veterinary nurse, either by completing a degree in veterinary nursing or by completing a relevant BTEC, City & Guilds or NVQ via on-the-job training. In order to get enrolled in the degree route, you need two A levels, preferably in chemistry or biology.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon’s (RCVS) level three diploma in veterinary nursing is the current veterinary nursing qualification. You can get it either by a full-time basis or apprenticeship-style together with a job in a veterinary practice. In order to qualify, you need about two to three years.
There are also universities which offer a foundation or BSc honors degree in veterinary nursing. You should contact the specific university for entry requirements and prospectuses. In order to enroll in training as a veterinary nurse, you have to have one of these minimum educational qualifications:
- Five GCSEs at grade C and above. Three subjects which are obligatory are science, maths, and English language.
- A qualification for an animal nursing assistant (ANA) or veterinary care assistant (VCA), together with functional skills level two in an application of number and communication.
The training for a veterinary nurse isn’t limited to any age. Hence, in order to qualify as a veterinary nurse, you must:
- attend a college approved by the RCVS for a minimum of 22 weeks over the period of training before exams are sat, which is usually two years;
- be enrolled as a student veterinary nurse with the RCVS;
- finish a minimum of 60 full-time weeks of practical experience in a training practice registered by RCVS;
- assemble an electronic nursing progress log. This is a complete record of all clinical skills you have learned from the training;
- pass a practical exam in veterinary nursing skills as well as written multiple-choice question exams in the theory of veterinary nursing;
As soon as you qualify, you need to pay an annual registration fee to the RCVS. This will give you an opportunity to undertake certain privileges under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 Schedule Three Amendment Order 2002.