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Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

Agriculture > Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

Course Duration

Part-time: 2 years (approx)

Course Location

Greenmount Campus

Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

The VetSkill Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Companion Animal) course is designed for those working in practice to become a Registered Veterinary Nurse with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Upon successful completion of the qualification students can complete their enrolment with the RCVS and practice as a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). To apply to this course applicants must gain employment in a CAFRE approved training practice.

Course content

The course covers the cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs.

Year 1

  • Diagnostic principles
  • Pharmacology and dispensary management
  • Practical veterinary nursing skills 1
  • Principles of veterinary nursing care 1
  • Professional veterinary nursing responsibilities
Year 2
  • Anaesthesia and theatre nursing skills
  • Life stage nursing care and support
  • Practical veterinary nursing skills 2
  • Principles of veterinary nursing care 2
  • Surgical nursing and patient care

Students will attend College up to a 2 ½ year period and aim to gain full RCVS registration within 27 months. During this time students will be required to attend Greenmount campus one day per week.

Modules are assessed through online multiple choice examinations, written assignments and an online e-portfolio of Clinical Skills. The final assessed component of the course is a clinical examination (OSCE), which is currently taken at an assessment centre in England.

Attendance at College is supported by employment in a CAFRE approved training practice throughout the course duration. Only when all components of the course are successfully completed are individuals eligible to join the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses. To become a registered veterinary nurse students must successfully complete both the clinical employed period as a student nurse and the college based components of the course.

Work placement

When not attending College, individuals are employed in an approved veterinary training practice during which time they work on completing their online e-portfolio of Clinical Skills and developing practical veterinary nursing competence.

Progression opportunities and career destinations

Embedded within this qualification is the content required for a Student Veterinary Nurse to become a
Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) for Companion Animals.

This course provides individuals with the opportunity to progress onto a Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.

If you would like a better understanding of the role of a Veterinary Nurse watch this video created by Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

Booking Terms and Conditions

CAFRE Booking terms and conditions are available by clicking here.

Course Entry Requirements

Applicants at the time of entry to the course must:
-Have at least five GCSE passes at Grade C or above including English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject.

-Be at least 16 years old on or before 1st July in the year in which they wish to enrol.

-Be employed in an approved veterinary practice. A list of current approved veterinary practices in Northern Ireland can be found by clicking here. Applicants should also demonstrate that they have gained a minimum of three months or 400 hours experience of working in a veterinary practice before commencing the course.

Students will incur fees to cover registration and training. Fees are £1400 (Excluding the cost to travel to GB for final Clinical Examination).

Applicants will be allocated a place based on the points achieved at GCSE/Level 2 equivalents. If places are oversubscribed minimum entry criteria may be enhanced and date of application may be considered.

International student applications

All international qualifications presented for entry must be officially translated into English with a notorised stamp.
International qualifications not taught and assessed in English may be acceptable provided they are supported by proof of competence in the English Language by holding IELTS at a minimum score of 6.0 or recognised equivalent.

Further clarification on this course can be obtained from reading the Frequently asked questions or by Emailing:

Greenmount Campus

Greenmount Campus is the centre of all things green – that’s agricultural, horticultural and environmental providing an idyllic rural setting for your land-based studies.

      Course validated by:

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      Bethan Pinhey

      Key Contact

      Bethan Pinhey
      Senior Lecturer (Agriculture)