Veterinary nurses support vets by caring for sick and injured animals.
£18,000 Starter - £26,000 Experienced
35 to 40 a week (evenings / weekends on a rota)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursea college coursean 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. You'll need 2 to 3 -Levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
You can study full time for a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at college.
You'll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science.
You can do a veterinary nursing Level 3 (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.
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.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the British Veterinary Nursing Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
What it takes
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 use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks
What you’ll do
In this role you could:
- keep the practice and equipment clean and hygienic
- prepare animals for treatment and assist vets during treatment
- give injections, medication and remove stitches
- take x-rays
- take care of in-patient animals
- support and talk to pet owners about treatment and care of their animals
- undertake reception and administrative duties
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.
Career path and progression
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.