vet nurse examining dog

Veterinary Nursing Assistant (Level 5)

New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) with strands in Veterinary Nursing Assistant


Course details

Please note, places on this programme are limited.


This programme is for those with previous animal handling experience who wish to work in a veterinary-related field or in a veterinary clinic. Students will develop skills in the care, management, handling, and nursing of a range of companion animals. This programme is the first year of a two-year veterinary nursing programme.

Students will gain 240 hours of work experience made up of rotations through the Wintec teaching surgery, in veterinary clinics, and in animal health-related businesses and charities. ​​​

Students will get daily opportunities to care and handle companion animals in our purpose-built facility that houses commonly kept companion animals. They will also gain exposure to the on-site vet clinic while studying.

Successful completion of this programme is required to advance to the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6) to become a veterinary nurse.

Please note: It is a requirement of this programme that you have a form of transport and/or someone that can transport you around the Waikato/Waipa areas to complete your work placement hours each week. We cannot guarantee you will be able to complete hours within your area of residence.

View programme modules

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisitesAssessment standard
Animal Anatomy and Physiology​


Animal Husbandry4

Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Handling5

Introduction to Professional Practice5

Applied Animal Behaviour and Handling5
Introduction to Patient Management5
​​ANML401,ANML402 & ANML501
Introduction to Anaesthesia and Theatre Practice5
ANML506Diagnostic Techniques5
​​ ​

Application process

  1. Apply online or download and complete an Application to Enrol Form
  2. Complete the online self-disclosure form. If you have applied in hard copy, you will also need to complete a Self-Disclosure Form, if you have applied online this form is included as part of the online application process.
  3. If applying in hard copy, and if you are unsure that you meet the entry criteria, complete the online Additional Information Form. This will enable us to assess your application further.
  4. If you have them, provide us with certified copies of your prior academic transcripts. Find out more about supporting material for enrolment here.
  5. We may also need to verify your identity (your legal name and date of birth) as well as your residency status. If you are a domestic student we may be able to do this through your National Student Number (NSN); if we can not, we will need you to provide evidence of this by supplying verified copies of your birth certificate or passport.

Career/further opportunities

Graduates will be able to provide assistance to veterinarians and veterinary nurses in a veterinary clinic, and perform some tasks independently.

This programme comprises Year 1 of a two year veterinary nursing programme.  Students wishing to become a qualified veterinary nurse and who complete the Veterinary Nursing Assistant programme may progress to the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6).


Entry criteria

You can apply for this programme if you meet one of the below options.

Based on your school achievement (secondary school study)​

  • 60 credits at NCEA Level 2; including 12 literacy credits at NCEA level 2; and 12 numeracy credits at NCEA level 1; and 12 credits in a science subject at NCEA level 1;
  • Or a recognised equivalent.

Based on study completed after school (tertiary study)

  • Completed a relevant course at New Zealand qualification level 3; ​
  • Or a recognised equivalent. ​

Based on Discretionary Entrance

If you don’t meet any of the above options, and you think you have what it takes to complete this programme, you can apply for discretionary entrance. Your application may be accepted if you can demonstrate a good chance of success. Approval of discretionary entrance applications is decided by the relevant manager. If your application is approved, your acceptance into further programmes relies on you demonstrating success in this programme.

Selection criteria

a) Candidates may be required to participate in an interview and selection process. The following will be considered in the selection process:

i. Where applicable, the completion of a study skills assessment to demonstrate the level of academic skill necessary to successfully complete the programme;
ii. previous experience working with animals. Suitable experience may include three or more days observing in a veterinary clinic or equivalent;
iii. an aptitude for working with the public demonstrated through a reference from an employer where the candidate has worked with the public, or from a teacher attesting to social skills
iv. personal qualities such as responsibility, teamwork and practical orientation.

b) To meet legal and health requirements, candidates must be physically able to carry out the practical components of the programmes, including the ability to perform practical demonstrations and assessments. Candidates with disabilities are eligible to enrol in this programme and will be provided with the necessary resources to attain the learning outcomes where practicable, but at the time of enrolment must notify the Equity/Disability Co-ordinator of their needs.

c) Prior to commencing the programme all candidates will be required to undertake a Police check at a level sufficient for safe and effective practice within the field of veterinary nursing.

d) All candidates will be required to make a declaration they are physically able to safely handle and restrain domestic animals and that they have no known health condition that could preclude their close proximity to the common range of animals (e.g. cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds).

English language requirements

Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.0 with no individual band score lower than 5.5; or equivalent.

Want to see full details of the entry criteria?
Don't meet the entry criteria?


Veterinary nursing pathway diagram

To check what you need to gain entry to a course, review the entry criteria available on each programme page. These assist you in understanding what qualifications or experience are typically required to gain entry. You can contact our team at or 0800 2 Wintec at any time for further guidance.

Your first day

Are you ready for your first day of class? Check out your start date and where you need to be. You can also find useful information about studying at Wintec on our welcome page.

Students beginning February 2022

Date: 14 February 2022
Time: 10am-3pm

Venue: N Block Reception, Rotokauri Campus

As an enrolled student in our animal technology programme, you will spend your first day getting to know each other, the tutors, and the Rotokauri Campus, as well as receiving your resources and spending time in the classroom.

Resources provided to you will include module outlines, timetables, and information packs on what to expect throughout the year. You will be informed of any additional equipment fees that will need to be paid before receiving your scrub uniform.

If you have any questions need help, please either email our administrator or phone 0800 2 WINTEC.

What you will need

Timetable information

All Wintec timetables are available online here.

How to find your way around

Campus maps can be found here.

Parking and bus information

Both the Rotokauri and City campuses have parking available - permits are required. Learn more about parking and find out about discounted bus services here.

He reo pōwhiri, your official welcome to Wintec

Tēnei te mihi mahana ki a koe e piki nei, e kake nei ki te Kuratini o Waikato.

You are warmly invited to attend the official welcome to Wintec for all new students, staff and whānau (family) at either our marae, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa or Rotokauri campus. The pōwhiri is a welcoming ceremony involving mihimihi (speeches), waiata (singing), and will conclude with kai timotimo (light refreshments). Please gather at the campus hubs, and a staff member will guide you through our pōwhiri.

Click here to find out when the next pōwhiri will be.

Paying for your study

Course-related costs

Course-related costs (approximately $100.00)
The following costs are required to be paid for enrolment and success in the veterinary nursing programme. You will receive the information as to where to pay these fees to in the first week of classes.

Scrub top ($44 incl GST), trousers ($37 incl GST), and surgical cap ($15 incl GST)

You will be required to purchase a scrub top that has the Wintec Logo embroidered on it. Size can be confirmed during induction week, and a scrub top can be ordered through us then. A specific colour will be assigned to your class. 

Scrub pants must be black and meet surgery guidelines. These can be purchased through Wintec or provided by you. Please check with the Surgery Clinic Leader to ensure compliance is met.

Scrub hats can also be purchased through Wintec. There is a wide range of fabrics to select from.

Name badge

One name badge is included in your course fees. Replacement or additional name badges will be at student cost.

You will also be responsible on your own to provide yourself with the following:

  • Stethoscope and wristwatch
  • Optional: nurse’s pouch and fob watch

Additional information


Book related costs
There are four main textbooks required for this course. You will receive this list of books (and some optional resources as well) in the first week of the programme. Please be advised that these books will likely cost a sum of a few hundred dollars, but are invaluable resources that will further your learning, and are necessary to be successful in this programme.

Purchasing textbooks

If your programme requires you to have access to textbooks, these can be purchased through a range of suppliers listed below:

    New Zealand-based suppliers

    General book suppliers

    First aid certificate

    Health status



    Clinical placement

    Prospectus (course guide)

    The Wintec Prospectus (otherwise known as a course guide) outlines everything you need to know about Wintec. It contains information about the Wintec campuses, student life, and the programmes that are on offer.

    Access your copy of the Wintec Prospectus

    The Wintec Prospectus (course guide) is available by downloading the file - click on the document below to access the file. Alternatively, to request a copy via email or the post, please complete the form below.

    Request an emailable or printed copy of the Prospectus


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