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Career as a Veterinary Nurse

You must be employed at a Veterinary Nurse Approved Centre (VNAC) or at an RCVS registered Training Practice (TP). For up-to-date details of practices please consult the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website.

Have 5 GCSEs at grade C or above including English Language, Mathematics and one science subject


Have passed the Animal Nursing Assistant qualification and Key Skills Level 2 in Application of Number and Communication. Please refer to the information contained within this section and the education section of this website for more information on the ANA qualification. More information on Key Skills can be found at


Alternative qualifications of a comparable or higher standard may be accepted in lieu of the usual requirements at the discretion of the RCVS. If you are unsure whether you can meet the entry requirements, please contact the RCVS directly.

Alternatively, if you wanted to undertake a BSc Honours in Veterinary Nursing degree, the minimum requirements are as above plus at least:- two A Levels, BTEC National Diploma in a science subject or Advanced GNVQs. Equivalent qualifications (including the VN Certificate) will also be considered. If you are over 21 without formal qualifications and can show high levels of ability and experience then you can also apply.

Training to be a Veterinary Nurse

As a Student Veterinary Nurse, you must:-

  • Contact the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to enroll as a Student Veterinary Nurse
  • Training to be a Veterinary Nurse usually takes at least two years and leads to a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at levels 2 and 3.
  • During training, students undertake a broad range of veterinary nursing practice under supervision.
  • Practical training will usually be supported by a college-based course on either a day or block release basis. This is arranged through the training centre.
  • Students will be assessed in practice and will also undertake RCVS examinations at the end of their first and second years.
  • Complete portfolios of evidence
  • Alternatively, you can study for a BSc Honours in Veterinary Nursing degree, which consists of four years full-time study.
  • During the degree programme, students will be eligible to take Level 2 (Par 1) and Level 3 (Part 2) of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons veterinary nursing examination leading to the professional qualification for veterinary nursing.
  • There is also a Higher National Diploma for Veterinary Nursing available at a number of Colleges.
  • If you are specifically interested in equine veterinary nursing, contact the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for details of the RCVS Certificate in Equine Veterinary Nursing.