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Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at The College of Animal Welfare

Course description

A veterinary nurse is a valuable member of the veterinary team. Their role is to provide nursing care to animals within the veterinary practice. Tasks are wide and varied and, although at times hard work, the job is very rewarding. The day to day challenges are always different making the job very interesting. Tasks that veterinary nurses may be called on to perform (under veterinary direction and/or supervision) include:

Maintaining anaesthesia and performing minor surgical procedures
Nursing sick animals and administering medication
Taking x-rays and carrying out diagnostic tests
Advising owners on the health and welfare of their pets
Cleaning animal accommodation

The City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing can be taken on either a full-time basis or alongside employment in a veterinary practice that is approved to train veterinary nurses (a TP). Successful completion of the course and the required hours spent in veterinary practice, will allow you to apply to enter the Register of Veterinary Nurses held by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). This will allow you to practise as a veterinary nurse under veterinary direction and use the post nominal RVN.

Course content

The Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing syllabus covers a wide range of key areas which you are likely to encounter in your work as a veterinary nurse such as anatomy and physiology, radiography, anaesthesia, fluid therapy, nursing support, inflection control and nutrition.

Entry requirements

In order to undertake the Advanced Apprenticeship in Veterinary Nursing (Level 3 Diploma), you must be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades C or above, including English Language, Mathematics and a Science Subject.

You will also need to have completed a minimum of two weeks of work experience in a veterinary environment (within the last 12 months) and be able to provide a satisfactory reference from a veterinary surgeon or registered veterinary nurse supporting your suitability to train as a veterinary nurse. This is an extremely popular course and entry is very competitive, therefore any additional work experience, prior studies in animal related subjects or relevant hobbies and interests may help to strengthen your application.


You will undertake online City & Guilds multiple choice question exams and a final practical (OSCE) examination. Throughout your programme you will also complete an online Nursing Progress Log (NPL) and undertake college-based assignments and exams.

Financial information

Please see our website for details.

Future opportunities

Registered Veterinary Nurses may choose to remain in general practice or use their qualification to develop their career into other related areas such as academia, research or the pharmaceutical industry. You may wish to continue your studies by undertaking a BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing Top Up Degree programme.

Further information

Prior to applying for this programme, please ensure you read the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Disability Guidance on the Recruitment of VN Students which can be downloaded from

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The College of Animal Welfare directly.

Last updated date: 29 September 2014
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    • Our Huntingdon Campus has great transport links for students who are coming by bus or train as it is within walking distance of both the bus and train station. For those travelling by car, main road access is excellent; being only half a mile away from the A14, a few miles from the A1 and just a few minutes away from Huntingdon town centre.

      The College features a practical skills room to enable students to practice their clinical skills, a fully-equipped library including IT access and wireless internet, parking, a state-of-the-art grooming suite, modern lecture rooms and relaxation areas.