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Veterinary Nursing Level 3 Diploma

This apprenticeship aims to enable a young person to develop specific skills in the nursing care of animals and apply them to practical situations in the veterinary environment. The employer benefits from well trained and motivated members of staff who can make significant contributions to the company.

The Veterinary Nurse Advanced Apprenticeship follows an approved framework of training at level 3 and level 4 that will meet the different needs of both small and large animal veterinary practices.

Course content

  • Understanding the operational requirements of a veterinary practice
  • Comparative functional anatomy for veterinary nursing practice
  • Professional relationships and communication for veterinary nursing practice
  • Applied animal welfare, health and husbandry for veterinary nurses
  • Infection control in veterinary practice
  • Essentials of practical nursing care for hospitalised animals
  • Supporting the supply of veterinary medicines
  • Veterinary nursing support of diagnostic imaging
  • Veterinary nursing support of laboratory diagnostics
  • Supporting veterinary operating theatre practice
  • Understanding the essentials of veterinary nursing care for hospitalised animals
  • Principles of supporting veterinary anaesthesia
  • Preparing for professional registration

ProCo offers the small animal pathway

  • Principles of peri-operative veterinary nursing support for small animals
  • Principles of veterinary nursing support for small animal patients
  • Principles of small animal veterinary nursing emergency and critical care
  • Practical monitoring of small animal veterinary anaesthesia
  • Practical peri-operative veterinary nursing support for small animals
  • Practical veterinary nursing support of small animal patients

Entry requirements

Entry Criteria: 5 GCSEs grade C or above must include maths, English and science or equivalent. A young person must be in paid employment working within a veterinary training practice.

Method of assessment

  • Assignments
  • External and internal examinations,
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • Completion of a Nursing Progress Log (NPL)

Potential careers

  • Working within a Veterinary clinic/hospital
  • Animal welfare
  • Nursing abroad
  • University
  • Practice manager
  • Instructor/lecturer
  • Theatre nurse
  • Laboratory technician
  • Pharmacological or nutrition representative

What can I progress onto?

Higher Education Diploma Clinical Veterinary Nursing leading to RCVS Diploma Advanced Nursing leading to BSc (Hons) Clinical Veterinary Nursing.


Royal College of Veterinary Nursing (RCVS) regulatory bye-laws requires that a student must undertake a minimum period of training as follows:

  • Overall period of training – minimum of 94 weeks (3290 hours) excluding annual leave and absence, and includes all elements of your training (including educational programme).
  • Practical training – the overall period of training must include a minimum period of 60 weeks (2100 hours) of employment in an approved training practice (veterinary practice).

Course Application

Case Study

“I love the course and knew this was what I wanted to do when I left high school”.

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Kate Miller

Animal Care Apprentice