What does a veterinary nurse do?

The role of an RVN is vital in ensuring the well-being of the animals in the care of a hospital or practice. Nurses do incredible work supporting the treatment and care of animals, using their specialised skills and knowledge in their work every day.

Duties can include assisting in the operating theatre, monitoring anaesthetics, bandaging wounds and fractures, assisting during an emergency, taking radiographs, dispensing medications, and even performing minor surgeries and offering post-operative care.

Nurses support owners and offer advice on all aspects of animal care. It’s a truly rewarding career where you can really see the positive impact that your work has on animals and their families. Often you’ll be the one caring for an animal throughout its journey with the practice or hospital, and helping to ensure the best possible outcome for that patient with your work.

How to become a veterinary nurse:

If you want to work with animals and people, have a caring and sympathetic nature, possess good problem-solving skills and are ready to work hard, you might have the skills to become a registered veterinary nurse.

What qualifications do you need to be a veterinary nurse?

Before you think about looking for a vet nursing course, the first step to becoming an RVN is to achieve a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including maths, english and a Science subject. You might consider pursuing a career as a veterinary care assistant, if this feels out of reach, but you still want to work in a practice or hospital, directly with animals.

 After school, there are two pathways into veterinary nursing. You can take a vocational veterinary nursing course at college, such as a veterinary nursing diploma Level 3, or pursue higher education at university and get a degree in this area.

Regardless of which path you choose, if you’re looking for any veterinary nursing courses, make sure that they are Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) accredited veterinary nursing qualifications. Student nurses are required by law to enrol with the RCVS to carry out the nursing procedures needed for training.
 Once you have completed your training or passed your degree, you’ll be able to register with the RCVS as a registered veterinary nurse.

Work experience and learning in the field

Work experience offers an opportunity to be a part of a veterinary team in a working practice, and to see if it’s the best fit for you. Often, work experience is a requirement for entry into veterinary nursing courses. Studying to be a veterinary nurse is an intensive process. Getting familiar with the role in a working environment will help you to figure out if you enjoy the work and are suited to it.

Aside from experience in a vet practice, other relevant environments include kennels and rehoming centres. Our practices are always looking for enthusiastic and proactive student nurses.

Newly qualified? Join the IVC Evidensia Nurse Academy

Our Nurse Academy provides a unique opportunity for newly qualified nurses to join a structured 12-month CPD programme. We value our veterinary nurses so alongside offering a competitive minimum starting salary, our Academy Nurses also receive:

  • Over 100 hours of CPD worth £2,000
  • 12 CPD days out of practice & unlimited E-CPD
  • BVNA membership & benefits
  • Attendance at BVNA Congress
  • A dedicated in-practice Nurse Mentor

Want to work with us?

We are always on the look out for talented and enthusiastic veterinary nurses to join one of our practice teams. Check out our current veterinary nurse vacancies.