Vet Nursing

Our animal care and vet nursing programmes focus on promoting the health, husbandry and welfare of animals. So, if you are passionate about working with animals, you could find yourself in a range of rewarding settings.

Learn the skills you need to succeed in the animal care industry. We have a wide range of qualifications and courses, from general veterinary nursing qualifications to specialist programmes in Avarian wildlife and equine care. You’ll gain significant industry-related work experience and benefit from the Wildlife Hospital based at our Dunedin campus. The Wildlife Hospital has a fully equipped veterinary clinic, surgery, hospital and surgical preparation area, kennels, and a laboratory.

Otago Polytechnic is the first New Zealand Polytechnic to hold the Certified Low Stress Handling for Dogs and Cats Award, which means you’ll also graduate knowing the best way to handle an animal.

The biggest point of difference at Otago Polytechnic is our real-world approach to learning. The experience you’ll gain on your work placements as part of your studies will give you the skills to seamlessly transition from study to employment or promotion.

Vet Nursing qualifications

Agriculture & Animal Care

This programme is your first step towards an animal-related profession such as kennel and cattery management, pet grooming, wildlife management or education. Learn about companion animals (cats, dogs, rabbits and birds), their health, welfare and husbandry, anatomy, physiology, and low stress handling techniques.

Duration

20 Weeks

Delivery

Online with a work placement

Career potential

Animal Education, Animal Trainer, Kennel and Cattery Management, Pet Grooming, SPCA Work, Wildlife Management

Agriculture & Animal Care

Gain the skills to become a Rural Veterinary Technician, working with larger farm animals such as cows, sheep, horses and pigs. You’ll learn how to manage client education and understand veterinary practice management. You will have access to first-rate facilities and a range of rural veterinary equipment including a well-resourced training laboratory and simulation models.

Duration

1 Year

Delivery

Online with block course(s)

Career potential

Rural Veterinary Technician

Agriculture & Animal Care

This programme will enable you to work alongside veterinarians and veterinary nurses in a clinical environment as a Veterinary Nursing Assistant and will fulfil education requirements for you to become a listed Veterinary Nursing Assistant (LVNA). Industry-based experience is a major part of this programme, with both blended on-campus and distance learning.

Duration

1 Year

Delivery

Online with block course(s), On campus

Location

Online, Dunedin

Career potential

Veterinary Nursing Assistant

Agriculture & Animal Care

Become a fully qualified, professional Veterinary Nurse and enter the New Zealand Register of Veterinary Nurses. In this programme, you’ll learn to make independent and informed decisions to develop and deliver quality care to animal patients. You’ll be able to provide surgical and medical veterinary nursing, manage veterinary nursing services, and perform diagnostic sampling and medical imaging. Industry experience is key to this programme, so you will complete a large chunk of your study through work placement.

Duration

1 Year

Delivery

On campus, Online with block course(s)

Location

Online, Wellington, Dunedin

Career potential

Veterinary Nurse

Agriculture & Animal Care

For the first time in the South Island, and in collaboration with the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), we are now offering the third year of this qualification online. Otago Polytechnic Veterinary Nursing learners can now pathway through the Level 5 Certificate during year one, the Level 6 Diploma during year two and then move into this EIT qualification to complete their degree-level Veterinary Nursing study.

Duration

1 Year

Delivery

Online with a work placement

Career potential

Animal Career Educator, Specialist Clinic Roles, Veterinary Nurse, Veterinary Nurse Educator

Specialise in Avian Wildlife

Specialise in Avian Wildlife

Our specialist avian wildlife courses are tailored to qualified veterinary nurses and vets.

Chris Neville

Chris Neville

After graduating, Chris now supervises at a dog-care facility, interacting, playing with and monitoring the dogs in his care.

Contact us

If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.