There are two routes to becoming a qualified veterinary nurse; either via vocational training or via a higher education qualification. Both routes lead to registration as a veterinary nurse.
If you are very practically-minded, and want to get 'stuck in' to a job in a veterinary practice, vocational training is probably best for you.
The Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing is a vocational qualification designed to prepare veterinary nurses for professional registration on the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses. It is available on either a full-time basis or apprenticeship-style alongside a job in veterinary practice. For further information on training and entry requirements, please contact one of the awarding organisations that offer the Level 3 Diploma included in the List of RCVS Accredited Further Education Qualifications in Veterinary Nursing, available to download from the 'Related documents' box.
You can also view a list of Approved Training Practices by region on our website for veterinary professionals (please note this link opens in a new window).
A degree course will take a little longer than a vocational qualification and is more academic, but you will be required to undertake clinical placements in an approved training practice. A degree in veterinary nursing can lead to additional career opportunities, such as research, the pharmaceutical industry and teaching, in addition to work in clinical veterinary practice.
A number of institutions offer full-time integrated higher education courses leading to a Foundation or Honours Degree in veterinary nursing. Details are shown in the List of RCVS Accredited Higher Education Qualifications in Veterinary Nursing, available to download from the 'Related documents' box. The RCVS Certificate in Veterinary Nursing is also awarded to all graduates of courses approved by us. It should be noted that candidates for veterinary nurse training must satisfy the entry requirements of their chosen university. Please note that applications for university should be made through UCAS.
Once you’ve decided which route is best for you or if you need more information before you decide, download either the List of RCVS Accredited Further Education Qualifications in Veterinary Nursing or the List of RCVS Accredited Higher Education Qualifications in Veterinary Nursing. These contain the details of all the educational institutions that offer qualifications (both vocational and higher education) leading to registration as a qualified veterinary nurse and the centres (colleges) where the training is delivered. Please contact centres directly for more information on the qualifications they offer.