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ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

National ID: ACM40418 State ID: BED9
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Are you passionate about the care of pets and want to build a career working day to day with a range of animals and creatures great and small? This course will give you the job ready skills to become a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse or Animal Welfare Worker.

Playing an essential role in animal health care, a Veterinary Nurse dedicates their daily work to maintaining and monitoring the welfare and wellbeing of sick animals. Be guided by from our expert team of lecturers who are professionals in the field as you learn how to assist Veterinarians with surgery procedures on animals both pre and post-operation.

Develop clinical skills in administering anaesthesia and medication, radiology (x-ray), dental procedures, nutrition and applying bandages to wounds. Build knowledge of how to nurse animals back to health and providing advice and support to animal caregivers, as well as daily tasks such as keeping equipment clean and sterilised.

Vet nurses are in high demand and you can work in a range of diverse settings such as at a veterinary clinic, animal hospital, specialist clinic, in wildlife rescue or at a zoo.

This course is popular and highly competitive to get into. Please ensure you enter all your work and work experience, both related to the field and unrelated, in your application.

Study in specialist facilities

SM TAFE is the only TAFE to offer a live veterinary clinic open to the general public, staff and students to make bookings for consults and surgeries. The clinic is based at our Bentley campus and allows our training Vet Nurses real-world experience while being supervised by qualified Veterinarians and Vet Nurses.

Students can gain on-the-job skills in animal care with a range of species including dogs, rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, lizards, fish, along with an aviary housing various birdlife. The clinic allows development of skills in a safe and supported environment, in preparation for industry work placement.

You can visit the Student Vet Clinic at South Metropolitan TAFE(opens in a new tab) on Facebook.


  • work effectively in a veterinary practice
  • provide care to a wide variety of animals
  • assist with surgery preparation and procedures
  • perform pathology and imaging procedures
  • provide post-surgery care and advice
  • workplace safety and health

This qualification is directly aligned with priority industry areas where the jobs are today, and into the future. As part of the state government Lower fees, local skills initiative, from 1 January 2020 through to 31 December 2025 you'll only pay half the course fees, capped for each year at $1,200; or $400 (plus resource fee) if you're aged 15—24 or eligible for a concession. Find out more

This course requires police clearance. See the important information tab for instructions. 

Entry into this qualification is open to students who:

  • hold a Certificate II in Animal Care or Certificate III in Animal Care Services
  • hold a relevant Certificate III or higher level qualification in an animal science discipline OR
  • can demonstrate equivalent skills and knowledge in a relevant animal science discipline to any of the above qualifications.
  • have (or can obtain) a national Police Clearance within the last 12 months (certain offences on your police clearance may affect your registration with the Veterinary Surgeons Board)

Attendance in class

The full-time study mode course runs over two semesters. Students swill be required to attend campus 3 days per week for face-to-face classes and a minimum of 1 day (8 hours) per week work placement as a trainee veterinary nurse in a private veterinary practice for the duration of the course. Some units of this qualification may be delivered via blended delivery model which involves both online and face to face learning.

At-home study

As well as the in-class component, you will need to complete approximately 1 day of additional study each week outside of class hours, including private study, assignment preparation, and research.

You will need to have the basic technical requirements for at-home study. If you don’t have access to a computer and WiFi at home, we recommend using our library computers during library hours.

Work placement

Students will be required to complete a minimum of 240 hours (at least one day per week or 8 hours per week) as a trainee veterinary nurse in a private veterinary practice for the duration of their studies. In Western Australia, students are required to be approved by the Veterinary Surgeons Board and be supervised by a registered veterinary surgeon to perform the duties and veterinary services as a trainee veterinary nurse, as set out in the regulations 65 and 66 of the Veterinary Surgeons Regulations of 1979.

Uniforms and workwear requirements: enclosed, non-slip shoes and SM TAFE scrub top and pants.

What you need for your first day of class

On your first day you should bring your SM TAFE confirmation enrolment receipt, your student ID, stationery (pen, pencil, exercise book, eraser, ruler and calculator) and wear enclosed non-slip footwear.

In addition, the following uniform is required to be purchased and worn at all practical activities:

  • SM TAFE scrub top and pants - these can be ordered at orientation

A national Police Clearance within the last 12 months (certain offences on your police clearance may affect your registration with the Veterinary Surgeons Board).

Please note this list should be used as a guide only as job titles and qualification requirements may vary between organisations.

Work placement is mandatory for completion of this course. SM TAFE will arrange a suitable work placement within industry for you which will involve your attendance at a workplace.

To access free career planning and job search assistance, visit the Jobs and Skills Centres page.

Select your preferred campus and apply

Click on your preferred campus and study mode below to get started with your application. 

Semester 1, 2024

Duration 2 Semesters
When Semester 1, 2024
Where Bentley
How On Campus

All year round

When All year round
How Traineeship

Indicative fees and charges 

The fees quoted are estimates only and are for all units in the course for students enrolling on a full-time basis. If you're a student that has successfully completed a lower-level qualification that is a prerequisite for this course, you'll only pay for the units that you need to enrol in to complete this course. Please view the full list of fee disclaimers. 

Semester 2, 2023

Duration 2 Semesters
When Semester 2, 2023
Where Bentley
How On Campus

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