What is Veterinary Nursing?

Veterinary nursing is the art of providing care and support to a wide range of animals that are being treated and/or temporarily housed at veterinary clinics. This can include providing direct assistance to veterinarians as they conduct examinations, treatments, and surgery, as well as coordinating the admission, care, and discharge of animals.

The average day for a veterinary nurse can also include any of the following tasks:

  • Feeding and exercising animals
  • Administering medications
  • Sterilising surfaces and equipment
  • Performing diagnostic testing
  • Providing postoperative care
  • Explaining quality pet care to owners

Veterinary Nursing in Australia

Australia has one of the highest levels of pet ownership in the world; in fact, there are currently more than 25 million pets across the country! All of those pets require quality veterinary care on a regular basis, which means plenty of jobs for veterinary nurses.

There are now 10,600 veterinary nurses working throughout Australia, 36.1% of whom are based in New South Wales, 26% in Victoria, and 21.3% in Queensland. The average working week is 39.2 hours long, 99.1% of Australia’s veterinary nurses are women, and the average age is 29 years old.

The average salary for veterinary nurses in Australia is $41,600.

Veterinary Nursing Courses

To do this difficult job well, there’s a lot you need to know, and the best way to get trained up is through one of the nationally recognised veterinary nurse courses advertised here.

Whether you’re searching for vet nurse training in Brisbane, a veterinary certificate in Melbourne, or want to get your veterinary nurse qualification online, you’ll find the programs you need here at tafecourses.com.au.


A Certificate in Veterinary Nursing will provide a fantastic introduction to the industry and can be completed in as little as 12-24 months. Not only will you expand your knowledge of a wide range of animals but you’ll pick up an array of practical skills as well, such as professional washing and grooming techniques and the art of maintaining safety standards in a clinic setting. Many programs include a practical work placement and some will even allow you to be eligible for membership of respected industry bodies; for example, a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing meets the requirements set out by the Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia.


A  Diploma of Veterinary Nursing offers an extremely effective way to take your animal care skills to the next level, regardless of whether you’re new to the industry or a professional looking to upgrade your skills. By covering everything from animal behaviour therapies and diagnostic techniques through to the art of providing quality customer service, your diploma will have you ready to thrive in almost any vet nursing role.

Bachelor Degree

Those looking to advance their skills even further should consider a Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing. These comprehensive programs look deeper into the science behind quality animal care by covering topics such as nutrition, diagnostics, and animal reproduction, while also developing your skills related to pharmacology and basic surgical procedures. You will benefit considerably from a lengthy work placement program as well, where you’ll get to put your skills and training into practice and gain invaluable industry contacts.

Regardless of the course you take or how far you’d like to go with your veterinary nursing career, you can count on getting the support you need to reach your goals at TAFE.

Career Prospects in Veterinary Nursing

Considering that 63% of Australians currently own a pet and a further one million are planning on getting one at some point within the next twelve months, it’s safe to say that skilled and qualified veterinary nurses will be in high demand for years to come.

According to the latest Australian Government data, strong growth is expected throughout the industry for at least the next 5-10 years, with as many as 12,000 veterinary nurses expected to be working across the country by 2020.

Is a Career in Veterinary Nursing Right for You?

This is a career best suited for those who absolutely love animals; after all, you’ll be spending each day dealing with pets of every possible description. Strength and agility will certainly come in handy when you are called upon to control an animal during a treatment, whilst having an eye for detail is absolutely vital, especially when providing post-operative care.

Below are a few of the many other skills and talents that veterinary nurses require:

  • Clear communication
  • High-level organisation
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Calm under pressure
  • Quality customer service
  • Critical thinking

Think you have what it takes to thrive in veterinary nursing? If so, you’ll find a course to suit your style and schedule at TAFE. So, what are you waiting for? Find your program, get signed up, and start today!