Veterinary Nursing - Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship


Duration: 30 months
Location: Workplace and College
Sector: Science & Forensics, Animal Care & Veterinary Nursing

About the Course

Important note: You have to be already working with a veterinary practice which has approval to train employees BEFORE you can be enrolled onto this veterinary nurse apprenticeship course.

As an apprentice, you will have a job and earn a wage whilst learning all the skills, knowledge, and behaviours necessary for a successful career within the veterinary industry.

The course combines developing your existing knowledge in veterinary nursing with building your practical experience by being directly employed by an RCVS Training Practice.

As a veterinary nurse, you should be hard-working, passionate about animals, pragmatic, and dedicated. On this pathway you will study in a flexible way - typically students attend college one day a week and work with their employer for the rest. You will also complete work-related tasks and assessments to a deadline.

Some of the tasks you may be involved with include:

  • Preparing animals for surgery and performing minor surgical procedures
  • Monitoring anaesthetised animals
  • Nursing sick animals and administering medication
  • Taking x-rays and carrying out diagnostic tests
  • Advising owners on the health and welfare of their pets
  • Taking bookings, payments and completing necessary paperwork
  • Running nurse clinics, such as diet, worming and grooming consultations

Apprentices looking to progress in their employment from the Advanced Apprenticeship may be able to find supervisory or managerial positions such as Head Veterinary Nurse. Other options include specialising further or taking positions in other areas of the animal care industry such as animal welfare or training. The qualification can also be used as a springboard for university.

Meet two of our Veterinary Nursing Apprentices, Ellie and Luke

What will the apprentice study?

You will cover the following requirements from Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours


  • Legislative compliance and regulatory requirements
  • Comparative functional anatomy for veterinary nursing practice
  • Infection control in veterinary practice
  • Materials, equipment and resources
  • Veterinary Nursing Care
  • Emergency and critical care
  • Diagnostic techniques for veterinary nurses
  • Communication
  • Self-Management

Skill covered include: Legislation affecting practice, communication, clinical skills, self-management and professionalism.


  • Work within legal and ethical limits
  • Accountability
  • Responsibility
  • Self-improvement

With this pathway you will learn and expand your knowledge in;

  • Essential veterinary nursing skills
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Animal welfare, health and husbandry
  • Nursing support in the provision of veterinary care
  • Principles and practices of diagnostics for veterinary nurses
  • Pharmacology and pharmacy support for veterinary nursing practice
  • Surgical theatre practice for veterinary nurses
  • Supporting anaesthesia in veterinary practice
  • Relationships and accountability in veterinary nursing practice
  • Health and safety in veterinary nursing practice.

Entry criteria

You will need:

  • To be aged 16 or older
  • To be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week with 20% of your normal working hours set aside for you to complete your training and study
  • 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Science, English and Maths or a relevant Level 2 qualification and Functional Skills at Level 2 in English and Maths

All applicants must have an interview and assessment in English and Maths to confirm that the apprenticeship is suitable for them.

How is the apprentice assessed?

This apprenticeship is awarded by Lantra. Apprenticeships are assessed by classroom study coursework and assessments along with on-the-job practicals.

Occupational profile

On completion of this course, you can progress onto further study in this field or into a career in the sector.


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