Veterinary nurses support vets by caring for sick and injured animals.
Salary Range: £18,000 to £26,000
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
You could do a foundation degree or degree in veterinary nursing accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
You’ll usually need:
- at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You can study full time for a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at college.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has a list of approved training organisations.
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
You can do a veterinary nursing advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- equivalent entry requirements
- guide to apprenticeships
Volunteering and experience
You’ll need some work experience before you start training. You could volunteer with a vet, a local kennel or animal welfare centre, or with animal charities like the PDSA or RSPCA.
- you’ll need to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the British Veterinary Nursing Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about becoming a veterinary nurse from the British Veterinary Nursing Association.
Skills and knowledge
- the ability to work well with others
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- excellent verbal communication skills
- active listening skills
- the ability to work well with your hands
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks
In this role you could be:
- speaking to animal owners to find out the problem
- taking blood and urine samples from animals
- taking x-rays
- preparing animals for treatment and assisting vets during treatment
- giving injections, medication and removing stitches
- talking to pet owners about how to care for their animals
- taking care of in-patient animals
- supervising and helping to train other assistants
- updating records
You could work at a veterinary practice or at an animal welfare centre.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.
You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.
With experience, you could take on more responsibility, like practice management, supervising and training new staff, or working in veterinary supplies.
You could also train to specialise in working for a zoological/wildlife park, charity, pharmaceutical company or breeding/boarding kennels.
With further study you could work towards becoming a lecturer or researcher.