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Veterinary Nursing Assistant

Leading to the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5): Veterinary Nursing Assistant Strand


  • Semester 1 starts February 2018
  • Fee Guideline: $6,978* (per year)
  • One year full-time or part-time equivalent
  • Wintec Rotokauri Campus, Hamilton ​​

In this programme you will develop skills in the care, management, handling and nursing of a range of companion animal. It is suitable for students with previous animal handling experience who wish to work in a veterinary‐related field or in a veterinary clinic with companion animals.

It is suitable for students with previous animal handling experience who wish to work in a veterinary-related field or in a veterinary
clinic with companion animals.

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

​​What you'll study

  • ​Animal anatomy and physiology
  • Animal husbandry
  • Introduction to professional practice
  • Introduction to Animal behaviour and handling
  • Introduction to anaesthesia and theatre practice
  • Introduction to patient management
  • Applied animal behaviour and handling
  • Diagnostic techniques.

You will gain 240 hours of work experience in your first year made up of rotations through Wintec's teaching surgery, in veterinary clinics and in animal health related businesses and charities. ​​​


Schedule of 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
​​ ​

Entry Requirements:

Candidates are required to have:

  • ​​60 credits at NCEA Level 2, including a minimum of 12 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English and 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 in Mathematics; and
  • A minimum of 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 in Biology or Chemistry or other relevant science; or
  • Equivalent

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

  • the completion of a Study Skills Assessment to demonstrate the level of academic skill necessary to successfully complete the programme;
  • previous experience working with animals. Suitable experience may include three or more days observing in a veterinary clinic or equivalent;
  • 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;
  • personal qualities such as responsibility, teamwork and practical orientation.

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.

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.

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).

Special Admission and Provisional Entry

For special admission and provisional entry information please see the programme regulations below

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


Career/further opportunities:

Graduates of the Veterinary Nursing Assistant strand of the qualification 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) [Ref: 2491].

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