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Vet Nurse Training

Staffing | Course Content | Course Costs

Wanganui Veterinary Services has been providing education in conjunction with AgChallenge Ltd since 1995.

AgChallenge is an NZQA registered and accredited 'Private Training Establishment' in Wanganui with a proven record in education in areas as diverse as agriculture, carpentry, and automotive. Together they teach and provide an NZQA accredited National Certificate in Animal Care (Level 2) and Veterinary Nursing (Level 5)

This is the only NZQA accredited programme operating from a Vet clinic. This provides the students with invaluable practical experience with ample opportunity to experience the "hands-on" approach to actual veterinary patients. Naturally with being taught in a mixed practice, students get to go out on farms with the LA Vets which certainly helps with employment opportunities for them in rural practice.

The tutors are either veterinarians, vet nurses or qualified experts in their field who all have relevant teaching qualifications.

Veterinary nursing is now a well recognised and respected profession in New Zealand. There is an increasing need for qualified veterinary nurses in veterinary clinics but our graduates have gone into other fields such as SPCA inspectors,Pet Shop Managers, Drug Dog Handlers, Nutritional Consultants for Food companies, Vet Nursing overseas and further education in the areas of Rural Animal Technicians, Equine or the Diploma in VN.
Much depends on the personal motivation of students and their willingness to move around the country.


Programme Coordinator:
Michelle Parkin
Karen Cockrell
Director of Veterinary Nursing:
Nicola King

Course Content

This course is full-time only and is delivered over a 36 week period between February and November.

Students must be 18 years of age or more at the start of the course. Entry requirements include:

  • 6th form Certificate Biology or 12 credits in NCEA Level 2 Biology
  • 12 credits in NCEA Level 1 Maths
  • 12 credits in NCEA Level 2 English
  • Proof of having spent a full year working with animals.
  • It is a definite advantage to know what the job of a Veterinary Nurse entails and to have seen a Vet Nurse at work.

    The Certificate is Unit-standard based comprising 36 Units and 162 credits making up the qualification and so this makes for a busy year.

    Some examples of the units are:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology
    • Monitor health and provide husbandry for Cats, Dogs, Rodents, Rabbits, Birds, Fish
    • Monitor an Animal while on Fluid Therapy
    • Recognise and Interpret problems of Behaviour in Companion Animals
    • Assist with animal surgery as a surgical assistant
    • Assist the veterinarian with animal anasthetic and analgesic procedures
    • Nurse a hospitalised animal patient
    • Provide emergency first aid care to companion animals

    The course also involves practical placements every Tuesday and Friday morning. These placements include Boarding Kennels, SPCA, Wanganui Bird Rescue, Pet Essentials, Large Animal Vet call-outs, Small Animal Surgery.

    Also during the year there are several field trips to relevant places to do with their studies eg. Gribbles Diagnostic Laboratory, Livestock Improvement, and Reptile Farm to mention a few.

    Course Costs

    The fees for 2009 will be $4600.00 per student including GST. There are other course related expenses for stationary, textbooks, overalls, labcoats, gumboots, stethoscope, travel expenses of approximately $500.

    Students must also spend one week of their holidays at another practice to gain further experience and this may incur some costs for travel, food and accomodation.

    All fees and expenses, however, qualify for student loans and allowances from WINZ.

    If this sounds like a career you would be intrested in, (or for further enquiries) then please contact us now .

    We welcome all questions and enquiries and are happy to help in any way we can. Please use this form to contact us online. This years course has now been filled, please register your intrest for the 2009 course.
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