- Current students
- Under 25s
The New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing provides a platform for you to build the hands-on skills and knowledge you need to become a qualified veterinary nurse and help animals maintain the best possible health and quality of life in a clinical environment. It's the ideal next step if you have already completed the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant) or equivalent, and want to advance your capabilities to the next level.
Through demonstrations, practical sessions, group work, small group tutorials, and real-life case studies, you'll learn how to manage animal patients and clients, and contribute to the treatment and care of animals. There are plenty of opportunities to put theory into practice at your choice of external clinics across Aotearoa.
You will graduate as a qualified veterinary nurse who is able to work effectively and efficiently in a clinical setting, and you’ll be eligible for registration with the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association.
- Build advanced technical skills through a significant amount of clinical practice at external clinics across New Zealand
- Develop a thorough understanding of what's considered best practice in a clinical environment, and the ethical and welfare implications of veterinary care
- Learn from experienced lecturers who are knowledgeable in veterinary medicine/science, animal health and welfare, microbiology, genetics, and animal behaviour
- Benefit from a varied learning approach that includes practical sessions, group work, online/small group tutorials, and one-on-one supervision
- The opportunity to apply for a practical placement at the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine at Auckland Zoo (placements limited)
To study from a distance, you need to be self-motivated, committed and have excellent time management skills. You need to attend all block courses, exams, practical assessments, work experience, as well as complete your self-directed study (research, reading, revision) and assessment writing.
You'll also need to have consistent access to a computer with a reliable internet connection and appropriate office software i.e. Microsoft Office, which we'll provide once you‘re enrolled.
Students also need to take part in three compulsory five-day block courses throughout the year at our Mt. Albert campus.
To help you with your Vet Nursing career, we have a whole range of scholarships and awards that you may be eligible for.
Once you’ve completed this programme, you could continue your studies in the third year of our Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing.
Please note: International students who graduate will NOT be eligible for a post-study work visa upon completion of this programme, unless you've already completed the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant), in which case you will be eligible.
For this programme, you will need the following:
- Successfully completed the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant) or equivalent;
- Sign a consent form allowing a Ministry of Justice convictions database search by Unitec Institute of Technology;
- Complete a medical declaration which provides evidence of your ability to practice safely as a veterinary nurse;
- Please provide referee details; one from an employer where you have worked with the public and one from a teacher (or similar) attesting to your social skills;
- 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing).
If you don’t meet the academic criteria above, we have a range of Foundation and Bridging Education programmes which will help you prepare for further academic study.
If English is not your first language you will also need one or more of the following:
- Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
- Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
- Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years
If you don’t meet the English criteria above, we have a range of English Language programmes available, depending on your current level of ability.
If you don’t meet these requirements, you may still apply under special or discretionary entrance. Graduates of Unitec's Certificate in Animal Management (Animal Clinical Care) who have two or more years of practice as a veterinary nursing assistant.
For more information download the programme regulations:
Courses and timetables
For more details on the courses, please click on the course names below. Please note that our systems are updating with new course timetable information for 2024; please check back again soon.
|Veterinary Medical & Surgical Care Practicum (Sem A) (NSCI6101-SA)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||To enable students to employ advanced veterinary nursing skills required to support the medical and surgical team within a veterinary clinic and a specialist veterinary hospital.|
|Veterinary Medical and Surgical Care Practicum (Sem B) (NSCI6101-SB)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||To enable students to employ advanced veterinary nursing skills required to support the medical and surgical team within a veterinary clinic and a specialist veterinary hospital.|
|Animal Disease & Pharmacology (NSCI6102)||15 credits (0.125 EFTS)||To enable students to understand disease processes as well as the prevention, identification and treatment of diseases.|
|Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (NSCI6103)||15 credits (0.125 EFTS)||To enable students to develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical application and the use of diagnostic tools within a veterinary clinic setting.|
|Veterinary Medical and Surgical Care (Sem A) (NSCI6104-SA)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||To enable students to manage and apply the principles and practices of veterinary nursing care in a range of clinical situations.|
|Veterinary Medical and Surgical Care (Sem B) (NSCI6104-SB)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||To enable students to manage and apply the principles and practices of veterinary nursing care in a range of clinical situations.|
|Veterinary Anaesthesia (NSCI6300)||15 credits (0.125 EFTS)||To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic and analgesic procedures in the role of the veterinary nurse.|
|Veterinary Laboratory Procedures (NSCI6504)||15 credits (0.125 EFTS)||To enable the student to integrate microbiology knowledge with laboratory procedures to detect and identify pathogens and parasites that cause diseases relevant to the New Zealand Veterinary Industry.|
Unitec is part of Te Pūkenga
On 1 October 2022 Unitec became part of Te Pūkenga. Find out more about Te Pūkenga and what this means for you.