National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing - Dunedin Campus

Otago Polytechnic
Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Study mode
Full-time, Part-time
1 year
February July
Total tuition fee (local)
USD 3,963
Total tuition fee (foreign)
USD 12,606

Entry Requirements

  • To enter the full-time, on-campus programme: 60 NCEA credits at Level 2 OR equivalent.
  • To enter the full-time or part-time online programme: National Certificate in Animal Care.
  • International students may only enter the full-time programme and will be individually assessed to ensure they meet the entry requirements.
  • All applicants
    • must have access to a computer, camera, video and the internet
    • must submit a health declaration
    • must declare any criminal convictions and give permission for a police check.

English Language Requirement

  • IELTS: overall band score of 6.0, with no less than 6.0 in writing and speaking, and no less than 5.5 in reading and listening. 


Course Units

  • Monitor health and provide husbandry for cats
  • Collect and test diagnostic samples from companion animals and prepare the samples for dispatch
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of animals
  • Follow safe working practices and standards in the animal facility
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills providing veterinary reception services
  • Prepare for an intravenous drip and monitor an animal while on fluid therapy
  • Recognise and interpret problems of behaviour in companion animals
  • Monitor health and provide husbandry for dogs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of zoonoses and their control
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge related to animal facility environmental hygiene
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ethical behaviour in companion animals
  • Handle and transport injured companion animals
  • Describe parturition and after care of companion animals
  • Prepare animal patients for surgery
  • Assist with animal surgery as a circulating veterinary nurse
  • Assist with animal surgery as a surgical veterinary nurse
  • Assist the veterinarian with animal anaesthetic and analgesic procedures
  • Nurse a hospitalised animal patient
  • Assist to take radiographs of animals and process
  • Conduct preliminary clinical examination of an animal
  • Provide emergency first aid care to companion animals
  • Admit and discharge animal patients
  • Dispense animal drugs as directed by the veterinarian
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of professional behaviour for veterinary nurses
  • Demonstrate time management
  • Demonstrate knowledge of stress and ways of dealing with it
  • Monitor health and provide husbandry for rodents and rabbits
  • Monitor health and provide husbandry for caged birds
  • Assist the veterinarian to perform post-mortem procedures
  • Assist with artificial breeding of dogs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of requirements relating to transport of cats and dogs
  • Conduct a one-to-one interview
  • Apply listening techniques
  • Participate and communicate in a team to complete a routine task
  • Monitor health and husbandry for horses
  • Participate in groups and/or team which has an objective(s)
  • Apply skills and qualities of a salesperson in a retail or distribution environment

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