Becoming a Veterinary Nurse

If you have a passion for animal health and welfare, an interest in science and yearn to be part of a varied profession with a plethora of opportunities to develop your career, veterinary nursing could be for you.

At Goddard Vets we see a bright future for the veterinary nursing profession and we are delighted to promote and support it in our very own, direct way. Setting up our veterinary nurse (VN) training college in 2005, we are proud to offer aspiring VNs the opportunity to complete a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. We currently employ and train 30 student nurses to our own high standards, producing a workforce of skilled, knowledgeable and well respected VNs. Fully certified by Central Qualifications, our training course prepares and qualifies students for the world of work in veterinary nursing; most going on to join our current, registered team, already 91 nurses strong across the group.

Qualification criteria

Whilst the role of a VN is undoubtedly a very practical one, it is underpinned by the necessity to have a good grasp of mathematics, science and written English. From calculating medication doses to understanding the physiology of animals and communicating well with a team, it is easy to see why minimum entry requirements onto a course such as this include a grade 4 or above (C for slightly more mature applicants) in GCSE maths, English and a biological science or equivalent – there is a very practical need for these subjects. Should you fall short of the criteria, it is never too late to gain maths and English GCSEs and we are happy to announce our Veterinary Care Assistant (VCA) course which can replace the science element. Usually taking one year to complete, the VCA course benefits from a highly tailored approach to the science required for veterinary nursing as well as many other valuable animal health and husbandry modules.

The diploma: Teaching and learning methods

Our diploma combines theory based study with practical learning which reflects the nature of the VN role in practice. Most student VNs will complete our course within two and a half or three years. The first two years involves the teaching of the theoretical elements on a day-release scheme at college, whilst learning much of the practical side working in practice. Time spent in the classroom within a small class of fellow students will teach you the theory that underpins the practical side of the job; fascinating and vitally important in order to be the best VN that you can be. Physiology and anatomy, anaesthesia and medical nursing are just some topics covered which will leave you feeling excited and enthused to put your knowledge into practice. Moving into the third year, college time concentrates on fine-tuning practical skills when students learn and are assessed on tasks such as blood taking, intravenous catheter placement, anaesthetic monitoring, bandaging, medicating, infection control and many more elements.

Facilities and people

We are proud of the super-supportive environment that our students get to learn in. Our highly trained and knowledgeable lecturers are also very personable and encouraging. Teaching in relatively small class sizes means they have the time to invest in the needs of individual students, and provide a great deal of support so that every student VN gets the most from our course.

Our facilities include a purpose-built training room packed to the brim with much of the equipment required to learn the practical skills of a VN; from anaesthetic machines and patient breathing circuits, to laboratory and X-ray equipment. Our students learn how to make blood slides for the microscope; how to test urine; how to set up for, and monitor, anaesthesia; how to bandage patients; how to take X-rays; how to set up and calculate fluid therapy rates and much, much more… and all within the familiar environment that is our training room, and with friendly, patient professionals on hand to guide.

Beyond the diploma

Once you’ve gained your professional qualification, the support and development doesn’t stop there. Many nurses stay within the group where there is lots of potential for continued learning and career development. Registered VNs must complete a number of learning hours each year in order to remain on the register; we at Goddard Veterinary Group value the worth of continued learning in a field that is constantly changing, growing and developing. As such, we fully support and encourage continued learning, providing our nurses with a financial budget to do so.

So, might your love for animals move you towards veterinary nursing? If yes, please do get in touch!