About the course

About the course

If you have a passion to nurse sick pets back to health, our veterinary nursing course provides you with comprehensive training in all aspects of the profession.

You can study either as an on-campus student or as a trainee from within a veterinary clinic. As an on-campus student, our veterinary nursing course includes a combination of classroom learning and practical rotations through the Pets on Elgar veterinary clinic. If you are in paid employment you can complete our course online with some practical workshops each term on campus, with support from our teachers.

You will need to have 15 hours per week of paid or voluntary work placement in a veterinary clinic from before you apply and for the duration of your enrollment in this course.

During our veterinary nursing course you’ll learn how to:

  • provide safe and effective animal care
  • comply with infection control
  • assist with surgical and anaesthetic procedures
  • maintain equipment
  • perform veterinary reception duties and general administrative tasks
  • conduct clinical pathology procedures and imaging routines

You will also gain skills in:

  • patient admissions and discharges
  • coordination of veterinary consults and theatre routines
  • how to advise clients about nutrition, animal care, grooming and parasite control products

Students of our veterinary nurse course can apply for a scholarship to undertake the UK Animal Studies Tour which provides the exciting opportunity to go behind the scenes at world-class veterinary clinics and other animal care facilities.

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Course Details


Intake Dates & Course Length

October 2019 and January 2020

Please contact Box Hill Institute for more information. 

Flexible delivery (off campus): rolling enrolment throughout the year, however conditions apply.

On campus: full time 2 years

Flexible delivery (off campus): typically 3 years (the time taken to complete this course will vary depending on your input)

For information regarding dates such as enrolment, orientation and study breaks please visit the Academic Calendars page

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Career Outcomes

All applicants must either be employed or volunteer for a minimum of 15 hours per week as a nurse in veterinary practice.

Qualified veterinary nurses in private practice and the animal industry have healthy employment prospects. 

Academic Associate Program
Academic Associates are employers who work with Box Hill Institute to provide our students with opportunities for practical work placement in the industry.

This program also provides employers and students with discounts on course material fees and opportunities to participate in assessment validation, industry reference groups and continuous improvement of our training programs.

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Entry Requirements

On campus studies:
You must have a minimum of 15 hours per week of voluntary or paid employment (off campus applicants must have paid employment) as a Veterinary Nurse, in a veterinary clinic. You must also hold a Certificate II or Certificate III in Animal studies or an equivelant qualification before you can apply for this course. To check if you hold an eligible Certificate, please contact us.

Blended: 3 years (typically). You must also attend a minimum of 4 full days practical workshops at Box Hill Institute per full time study load throughout the year.

Traineeship applicants must have 

  • Year 12 completion (highly recommended)
  • a minimum of 15 hours of paid work per week as a nurse in a veterinary clinic


To assist prospective students to determine whether a course is suitable and appropriate for the individual needs, Box Hill Institute will assess all students’ language, literacy and numeracy and digital literacy by asking you to undertake a self-assessment review prior to the enrolment.

A course advisor will discuss the outcomes of the review and make recommendations about whether the course is suitable for you, and identify additional support where required.


Direct entry

Recognition of Prior Learning is available.

Pathways & Accreditation

After successful completion of this certificate, you can apply for entry into the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice) at Box Hill Institute.



This course is government accredited and has national recognition

The qualification is aligned with the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 4

Fees & Finance Options

This training is provided to eligible individuals with funds made available by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments

Tuition Fee Type Estimated Annual Fee
Gov. Subsidised - Standard $2,220.00
Gov. Subsidised - Concession $444.00
Full Tuition Fee $8,220.00
Service Fees Estimated Annual Fees
Service & Amenities*$155.00
Core Skills Support**$75.00
Annual Material Fees$630.00
Retain Course Items***$60.00
* Does not apply to VETiS or Short course students.

** Does not apply to VETiS, International students, Short Courses, Graduate Degrees , or re-enrolling students who re-enrol in the same course.

***Retained Course Items are purchased by the student once prior to commencing. The course items bought by the student become the property of the student. Such items retain a generic application for other purposes outside the student's course of study (e.g. textbooks).

Annual student tuition & material fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Fees listed are for 2019 and may increase annually over the duration of delivery. Advertised start dates and delivery locations are subject to viable student numbers. For more information please contact our Course Advisors on 1300 BOX HILL.
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Course Structure

You will complete 17 core and 4 elective units.

Equine electives are only available to nurses with relevant employment in an equine practice. Please contact us if you would like more information about this before applying.

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