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Veterinary Nurse Diploma

To enter onto the Diploma in Veterinary Nursing course, prospective students are required to have one of the following:

  • Five GCSEs at grade C or above, to include English Language, Biological Science, Mathematics plus two other subjects,or
  • Veterinary Care Assistant (VCA) qualification, or
  • Animal Nursing Assistant (ANA) qualification

Both the VCA and ANA qualifications are run by Further Education Colleges. The VCA and ANA qualifications both take approximately one year to complete. Both courses are run on either a day release or distance learning basis, with the student being practically trained in a veterinary practice in addition to completing theory at college. Neither qualification has any entry requirement and so they are ideal for people who do not have the required GCSEs to start the VN Diploma.

Once you have the required entry qualifications, the next step is to proceed to Veterinary Nursing training. There is stiff competition for training places in veterinary practice, so it can be difficult for non-experienced members of staff to get their foot in the door. We recommend that anyone wanting to be involved in veterinary nursing gains some voluntary work experience in a veterinary practice or other animal related environment, such as a rescue centre, kennels or cattery. This will demonstrate commitment to the work involved and the ability to succeed in your chosen career when opportunities arise.

In order to complete the Diploma in Veterinary Nursing you will either have to find a job as a Student Veterinary Nurse (SVN) at an approved Training Practice (TP) or take a place on a full-time course at a Further Education College.

Training in Veterinary Practice

The SVN is an employee of the veterinary practice, which is a TP or aTP (auxilliary Training Practice) and the student will work in the practice, attending college on a day release basis one or two days a week or on a block release basis.

Training at a Further Education College

The SVN in a full-time student of the college and will be required to attend college on a day release or block release basis. They will be allocated a training placement at a TP/aTP during the course.