About Sarskia Flemming

Sarskia has a passion for all things Australian and is a regular blogger on Aussie Blogs. You can find her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Can a Vet Nurse become a Vet?

Hi, At the moment I’m not able to attend the courses necessary to become a vet.  Essentially I don’t have enough money.  I want to become a vet eventually but I was thinking about the possibility of becoming a vet nurse and then progressing on to becoming a fully blown vet later on.  Is this possible?

Jane I – 30/06/13

What’s It Like to be an Equine Veterinary Nurse?


In this video Vicky shows you what it would be like on an average day being an Equine Veterinary Nurse.  Whilst not based in Australia, the requirements of being an Equine Veterinary Nurse don’t change that much.

The General Duties shown here include:

  • Checking up on all the horses she is responsible for
  • Feeding
  • Giving Medicine
  • Running reports and tests

If you are looking at becoming an Equine Veterinary Nurse read more on becoming an Equine Veterinary Nurse here.


How Much does a Vet Nurse get paid in Australia?

I keep on hearing that Vet Nurses are saying that they work too hard and don’t get paid enough but i am finding conflicting information on the web stating that a vet nurse gets paid  over $70000 dollars per year.

I suppose I am trying to find out how much both casual and full time Vet Nurses get paid.  I realise it will vary depending on what state you are in but there must be a general pay rate which I can go by.

Submitted by Mary – 20/04/13

Details About Veterinary Nurse Qualifications In Australia

Veterinary nurse qualifications in Australia primarily require one to be educated on the relevant course. But it also requires one to be dedicated since the work involves handling animals which requires keen scrutiny mainly because they are unable to communicate their health problems. Hence, the veterinary nurse needs to be able to determine the animals’ problems through observation, testing and communicating with the animals’ owners. The educational qualification which also incorporates practical training varies with the highly educated being more qualified and the more money they earn since they are able to study the veterinary course in more depth and hence are more to handle more sophisticated issues related to the course.

So as to qualify as a veterinary nurse in Australia one should ensure that they can smell, hear and see clearly since the career involves differentiating chemicals through smelling and their colors. It is also paramount to be physically fit since most of the work is done while standing. The initial educational step in qualifying to be a veterinary nurse in Australia is doing well in science, mathematics and languages while in school. These subjects are paramount since one has to comprehend the biological systems of the various animals, the chemicals used to treat the animals, the technologically oriented facilities used to treat the animals and also be able to communicate effectively with the animals’ owners.

After passing the relevant subjects, one joins a community college or a veterinary nurse school where they are trained on the relevant skills. One requires going through four level of certification before being issued with a certificate. The first two certification level deals with animal while the third deals with technology, companion animal services and captive animals. After the three levels one joins the fourth certification which deals with animals’ regulation and control. These certification levels are recognized in all the states in Australia.

After the four certification levels one is then required to train in a credited veterinary nursing institution where one learns about anesthesia, running lab tests, sterilizing equipment, ordering drugs, cleaning equipment and assisting the veterinarian in various minor functions. One should then volunteer in a veterinary clinic so as to get the necessary job experience. This experience is important since it helps the trainee to be able to apply the knowledge and skills they earned during training. Volunteering in a veterinary clinic also increases the chances of being employed in that particular clinic if they work diligently. After training it is also important to become registered through the veterinary nurses’ council of Australia so as to be recognized as a professional and also increase chances of being hired. After this one can advance their education up to diploma level.
Prior to training, it is paramount to authenticate the particular institution so as to ensure it is licensed to provide the relevant training. The authentication can readily be done through checking the list of the registered veterinary training providers which is also available online. This eliminates the problem of being trained in unaccredited institution which means that the training wont be recognized. Hence, the Veterinary Nurse Qualifications in Australia can be readily achieved as long as one is qualified and trains in a recognized institution.

Benefits of a Veterinary Nurse Degree in Australia

A veterinary nurse degree leads you to an exciting career path. Unlike the thoughts of many that this degree tethers you to one line of duty, you can still diverse in practice from working in an animal hospital to working in an animal breeding center. An animal hospital is a better working environment when you have this degree since it exposes you to many needy situations that animals find themselves in. A dog will never tell where it is suffering from and you have to be really smart in diagnosing such problems. Working with veterinary surgeons and doctors gives you essential skills that enable you to take care of these animals in a special way.

Having a veterinary nursing degree will lead to a technical career that will expose you to many animals and their owners. It is exciting for people who have a passion for taking care of animals and people who love social work and interaction. Australia has a large number of volunteers who dedicate their lives and resources to taking care of orphaned and injured animals. These will be constant guests when you are practicing as a veterinary nurse. With the field of nursing being quite wide, you can choose to specialize in animal diagnosis, surgery, examination or treatment. Whichever field you choose, you will need to practice patience, commitment and sympathy for the animals.

In Australia, the salary of someone who has a veterinary nurse degree ranges from $30000 to $60000 annually depending on the position you hold at you place of work. Some of the interesting positions you can hold with this degree are an animal hospital manager, a veterinary surgeon assistant or a senior nurse. Australian veterinary nurses are covered by the Australian Council of Veterinary Nurses (VNCA). After a number of years in employed practice, you can decide to start private practice as a veterinary nurse. All you need is to build a database of clients to ensure that you have business all year round. In private practice, you will be administering vaccines to client’s pets and carrying out constant health checks on animals. Other avenues of employment that you can explore with a veterinary nurse degree are working in a research facility like a laboratory, or in zoos and aquariums.

The day of a veterinary nurse might start with administration of medicine doses and then cleaning of admitted dogs. Later in the day, the nurse might help the veterinary surgeons in surgery procedures while all the time taking care of any animal emergencies that might have occurred. After surgery, the nurse sterilizes the animal surgery equipment. In the diagnosis department, the nurse is responsible for collecting fluid samples in the animals. This involves inserting catheters in the animal’s bodies. Nurses also conduct X-ray examinations for animals with bone problems. All this while, the veterinary nurse is expected to keep the animal owners informed about how to treat their dogs until they recuperate. With all these skills, a veterinary nurse can decide whether to diversify and do a veterinary surgery degree or to keep practicing as a veterinary nurse.

Vet Nurse Salary

Nurses are not only efficient in providing comfort among human patients but they are also good at providing the best care for animals. Veterinary nursing, according to many practitioners, is one of the most challenging and yet rewarding occupations. It is very different compared to the usual nursing careers that involve caring for humans since the patients in this special field cannot talk and express themselves properly. Being a veterinary nurse does not just require academic knowledge but experience, skills and proper attitude as well. A veterinary nurse needs to have patience in dealing with animals and critical thinking to analyze the problem of each of their patient. A career on Veterinary Nursing in Australia is not only a profession, it is a great calling.

Veterinary Nursing in Australia

Choosing veterinary nursing as a profession is not easy. If you choose to undergo 2 semesters of schooling, you will be receiving a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing from TAFE. With this certification, you can choose to get a higher education and enroll for a Diploma which can provide you with deeper understanding on critical care and surgeries conducted among animals. When you choose the practical trainings, you will be trained in the veterinary set-up to do certain obligations. Practical trainings for veterinary nursing have limited responsibilities since your knowledge and skills are not enough.

Duties of a veterinary nurse

Veterinary nursing is very unique since you need to do a lot of functions. The duties of a veterinary nurse include the following:
-Drug administration through different routes
-Pre and post operative care
-Monitoring and assessment
-Feeding and promotion of nutrition
-Assisting in surgical procedures
-Communicating with the pet owners
-Arranging appointments

Characteristics of a veterinary nurse

As a veterinary nurse, you will need to develop certain qualities so you can provide the best care for animals. The characteristics of a veterinary nurse include the following:
-loves animals and wants to care for them
-interacts with animals with ease
-good communication skills
-knowledge on the physical anatomy of animals

Employment of a veterinary nurse

Veterinary nursing is one of the fastest growing careers not just in Australia but in many areas of the world. As a vet nurse, you will never run out of prospect spots for a job. You can choose veterinary hospitals, pharmaceutical centers, animal shelters and many others. These settings can effectively enhance your knowledge and skills in veterinary nursing so you can further understand pets and animals.

Vet Nurse Salary

Many individuals choose veterinary nursing not only because it is unique and challenging but also because it provides high salaries. Different settings in several locations in Australia provide different salaries for vet nurses. If you are a lead veterinary nurse, you can have as much as $50,000 to $55,000 annually in Melbourne. Veterinary nurses in Sydney can have $40,000-$45,000 annually. As your position goes higher, your salary can go much higher. Your level of education, which is a basic qualification, can help you get higher salaries.

There is no wonder why many individuals choose vet nursing. If you are looking for a career to take, becoming a Veterinary Nurse is an excellent choice.

How To Find The Best Vet Nurse Jobs In The New South Wales Area

The Sydney area has been long known as one of the best cities to live in when it comes to finding a job and being safe. People have been moving to the New South Wales area to truly live a better life and there is nothing better than being able to live in an economy that’s constantly improving. The beauty of the area is that there are plenty of different jobs to try and get but there are certain jobs that you just need to try and get. One of the best current jobs in the Sydney area is a vet nurse job and it is becoming a very stable option. If you are looking for some of the best vet nurse jobs in the New South Wales area, then here are three things that you need to keep in mind.

Find A Reputable Company

There are plenty of institutions and companies that are offering vet nurse jobs but you must understand that they may not all be that great. Some will pay more while others will have better benefits, and so it is crucial that you focus on being able to look at the company and then see if they are worth working for. A good way to gauge this is by finding out how long the company has been around because experience is a great way to figure out how well the company runs.

Talk To The Employees There

By talking to employees who are already working at the company, you will get a good idea of how good the work atmosphere is. Most people will admit that they care more about how they are treated at work compared to how much they get paid. As crazy as this may sound, this is completely true and so you need to put some importance into how the employees are and what they think about the job. If they are very positive about the place and they have nothing negative to say then this is a good sign.

Location & Salary

These are two things that you need to consider before actually taking the job. Look at how far the job is from your home and see if it is manageable when it comes to gas and certain expenses. Another thing to keep in mind is that some people don’t like working too near to their home and so this can be something that you need to keep in mind. A big factor when it comes to finding the best vet nurse jobs is how much they will be paying you. If you feel like the money is worth it and everything seems to look fine, then there should be nothing stopping you from getting the job.

The process of finding the best vet nurse jobs is not that hard, just as long as you know what you are doing. With these three tips, you will certainly be able to find some of the best jobs out there in the vet nursing field.

Online Vet Nurse Courses: The Key Element towards a Successful Career

If you are the type of person who has an interest in assisting with the health and care of animals or have the desire to learn how to treat and help them with injuries or diseases, then one career choice that is now becoming quite popular is that of a veterinarian nurse. This type of occupation is a challenging job and will require plenty of schooling, as a person will need to have the skills and qualifications to seek this kind of career. There are many ways to achieve the certification that a student will need to become a professional in this field and one fine option is through online vet nurse courses.

For those who wish to pursue this type of career as a vet nurse can achieve this goal through Australian colleges that offer the opportunity from online courses in this field. Through these kinds of training programs, students will be able to learn and graduate and be among the many others who become highly knowledgeable and skilled for a successful career in the industry of veterinarian nurses.

These online courses are well designed to focus heavily towards obtaining a certificate that students will need in order to seek and get employment working as a nurse for a veterinarian. These types of nurses will be able to assist veterinarians with regard to the aspects of providing patient care.

Some of the work for these kinds of vet nurses will include assisting a vet with surgery, consultations, laboratory testing, medical treatment, along with hospitalization as well. Other matters that are expected from a vet nurse will be learning to have communication skills that will help to educate pet owners to any kind of health issue with regards to a their pet.

Other duties that a vet nurse can expect will involve preparing patients for surgery, restraining animals when there are examinations, monitoring patients while under anesthetics, dressing wounds, performing diagnostic testing, radiographic assistance administering medications and or first aid to patients, providing care for the animals that are hospitalized, kennel and stable management, care and maintenance of instruments, and more.

When wanting to become part of this medical field, students will benefit greatly from the various training that is available through the online vet nurse courses. This is one of the best and most effective ways of joining the thousands of others who are in route towards a rewarding career in this type of industry.

These vet online courses are helping so many students in Australia to learn and understand what it takes to become a professional veterinarian nurse through the high quality training programs the courses provide, which will provide a way for them to work in this field and offer quality veterinarian health care to animals.

The online vet courses are an excellent means of strengthening a student’s chances of entering and finding employment within the vet nursing industry. Through these online vet courses, students will have a the right kind of educational assistance that will take them to a very promising and successful career for providing animal health care and veterinarian services.

The Benefits of Becoming a Locum Vet Nurse

If you have a love of animals, and are thinking of getting a job in a veterinary practice, then you might want to consider becoming a locum vet nurse, a job that has plenty of advantages over that of a regular vet nurse. Just four of these advantages include:

1) Taking a job as a locum vet nurse means that you can take on contracts that are long or short-term; whichever suits your specific situation the best. Also, this type of job allows you to travel from one place to another, for as long as you want to, until you find an area in the country where you would like to settle down permanently.

2) This type of work is also perfect for those who have recently moved to the country, and are finding it difficult to find a permanent position or, as mentioned above, want to see more of the country before deciding on where about in the country they would like to live on a permanent basis.

3) One of the greatest benefits though, of working as a locum, is the fact that you gain invaluable experience in veterinary work, as you move from one place to another. Of course, if you work in just one location, you do become very experienced in the main type of veterinary work carried out by the practice you are working for, but by working as a locum in different geographical locations, you will gain wide and varied knowledge of veterinary work all throughout the country. The more experienced you are as a locum vet nurse, raises your chances significantly of getting that permanent job as a veterinary nurse, when it does come your way.

4) Although it might not be necessary for you to have ECC experience, you will have many opportunities to get the training you need to do this type of work as you travel around the country, even more so if some of the practices you work for, provide training programs. Also, by choosing jobs in particular types of practices and specializations, you will not only be able to keep up to date with modern veterinary techniques, but you will also improve your own personal skills significantly, as well.

Although there are many benefits of working as a locum vet nurse, there are several factors that you should keep in mind too, when you are trying to decide on whether to apply for, or accept any specific post. These would include accommodation and transportation, and whether or not you have to arrange your own, or if these will be provided for you by the practice. Find out too when applying for a job, about the rules and regulations about taxes as well as insurance, the latter of which will probably require you to take out your own, as finding a practice that will add you to their general insurance policy, are very few and far between.

The only downside to working as a locum vet nurse is that you do not earn a regular salary. However, when you think about the freedom you have to study further, take a vacation if you want to, the invaluable experience that you gain along the way, as well as the other benefits involved, it is definitely a job worth considering.

How to become an Equine Veterinary Nurse

If you are a lover of horses, there is no better career for you to join than that of an Equine veterinary nurse. However, there are various factors that you must consider if you are thinking of joining the filed. Due to the specialized duties, you will need to have a certain education level where you will learn about the quality procedures and sanitation’s quality standards needed by the professionals. The career is a medical art that is highly involved and thus requiring constant updates, knowledge and training.

In Australia, the duties that an equine nurse is supposed to perform include an equine surgical, medical as well as anesthetic nursing. In order to qualify, you will be required to study the different aspects of the anatomy. There may also be the need for radiographic procedures and clinical pathology.

With an equine nurse working alone most of the time, you must be ready to work without any supervision, make own decision and work under intense pressure. There are also some other less glamorous duties that an equine nurse may be expected to perform. These may include cleaning the equine facility, ensuring that the environment is clean, caring for foals together with their mothers and following the OHS procedures always. Even though it takes years of training and some proper qualification to become an equine nurse, there is a payoff when you become a respected member of an equine team.

To begin the process of becoming an equine nurse, you should begin by taking a course in basic biology and anatomy in school. It may also be essential to spend time around thoroughbreds, learning how they should be handled and cared for. This is not something that you learn in school. With horses being creatures that are sensitive, it may take a deft touch to effectively manage them and maintain their health levels at the optimum. Even though It can be a valuable and rewarding profession to be a part of an equine vet team, it also requires hard work, love, and dedication for a thoroughbred breeding and racing.

In Australia, it can be challenging to study as an equine veterinary nurse. You are required to go to TAFE to study the career. Before you can begin studying, you will require a vet practice of at least 15 hours. Without the hours, you are not allowed to begin the course. This may be hard as you must look for a position as a ‘trainee Vet nurse. This may be challenging to find as most of the clinics still prefer the Vet Nurses that are qualified.

After the training as an equine veterinary nurse, you can be employed in private clinics or other institutions such as animal welfare organizations, veterinary research or even the teaching institutions. Nowadays, there are even employment opportunities in merchandising and marketing pharmaceutical companies. There are a few who are joining the field of veterinary practice management such as surgical support, critical care nursing and dental. Therefore, the filed has unlimited job opportunities.

Learn More about Vet Nurse Apprenticeships

Veterinary Nursing Apprenticeships

Vet nurse apprenticeships play a very important role in helping professional veterinarians develop skills that are essential in their field. A vet nurse performs a wide range of activities ranging from diagnosing diseases, treating animals and performing minor surgeries under veterinary surgeons’ supervision. These nurses also educate animal owners on how to take care for their animals. Vet nurse training is clinical-based and learning nurses are required to undergo training practice during the duration of their training. While on apprenticeship, nurses work with a wide range of domestic animals such as dogs, cats, caged birds and rabbits. Although the day of a vet nurse on apprenticeship can be challenging, the job is also rewarding.

Vet nurse apprenticeships are aimed at enabling learners to perform important roles that are expected of them upon graduation. Among the roles that they learn to perform include

What roles do I have to do as a Vet Nurse Apprentice?

  • Maintaining anaesthesia
  • Performing surgical procedures
  • Advising animal owners on how to take care of the animals and maintaining their health
  • Carrying out different diagnostic tests and taking x-rays
  • Administering medication and nursing ill animals
  • Maintaining cleanliness in the animal accommodation

Graduating as a Vet Nurse Apprentice

After graduating from college and undergoing vet nurse apprenticeships, one can apply for a wide range of jobs in Australia. This is because the Australia Skills Classified (ASCO) allows individuals with these qualifications to immigrate to Australia. As a vet nurse, one is allowed to take care of animals that are undergoing treatment or even in temporary homes. You can also work in different veterinary facilities as well as assisting veterinarians in performing operations and procedures. Many nurses hold animals during examination and treatment by professional veterinarians. They also sterilise and clean examination equipment and tables. In addition, a vet nurse prepares instruments and also handles them to professional veterinarians.

During surgical operations, a vet nurse helps the veterinarian in administering oxygen and anaesthetic to the animals.

Vet nurses also place animals in their cages after the operation to ensure their recovery. They are also tasked with the role of monitoring them after the operation as well as giving them medications. It is also the role of a vet nurse to keep records and control stock. Many vet nurses are allowed to perform diagnostic tests in the laboratory. Some vet nurses in different animal facilities work as receptionists and they can also undertake clerical tasks.

After the apprenticeships, nurses can progress to senior veterinary practitioners. They can also become vet managers in government agencies and private businesses. Vet nursing is a profession that can be rewarding to the learners. However, one must be ready to deal with injured and seriously sick animals. Therefore, this job requires individuals who are compassionate. Scientific knowledge and confidence in handling animals is also essential in this field. if you are thinking of venturing in this field, you should also be ready to help in unpleasant tasks during your apprenticeship.

Nevertheless, if you are sentimental in handling sick animals you also have to learn how to deal with them. Vet nurse apprenticeships have helped many people develop skills and abilities that are essential in this field.