Veterinary Nurse

Level 3 Apprenticeship

A veterinary nurse works as a member of the veterinary team, providing expert nursing care for sick animals. Veterinary nurses also play a significant role in educating owners on maintaining the health of their pets.

They carry out technical work and are skilled in undertaking a range of diagnostic tests, medical treatments and minor surgical procedures, under veterinary direction. Veterinary Nurses are registered professionals and work within the standards and scope of practice defined by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

Successful apprentices will be eligible to apply for professional registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

What apprentices will learn

  • How to handle animals calmly and safely
  • Clinical skills
  • Looking after injured or sick animals
  • Preparing and maintaining veterinary practices
  • How to be tactful and sympathetic with pet owners

Apprenticeship Qualifications

  • Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Licence to Practise Veterinary Nursing qualification at Level 3

Delivery model

A mix of online teaching and in college learning 1 day a week for 35 weeks per year along with regular workplace competency and efficiency observation and assessments.

End Point Assessment

  • A professional discussion
  • A practical assessment in the form of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)

Apprenticeship Graded

  • Fail, Pass, Distinction

Course details

Dates & Location
  • Next cohort enrolment in September 2024 with commencement of in college delivery from September 2024. 
  • Second cohort enrolment in December 2024 with commencement of in college delivery from January 2025.

Typically 36 months (some apprentices could complete sooner depending on their previous experience and qualifications, their perfomance during the apprenticeship and the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in the workplace) practical period with 3-month End Point Assessment window.


Costs to the employer will be dependent on several factors such as age of apprentice and size (number of employees) of the business. Please contact our Business Services team on 01273 892127 for more information.

Entry Requirements

  • Maths and English assessment
  • Apprenticeship programme interview
  • 5 GCSEs of grade A-C or 4-9 (or equivalent e.g. functional skills level 2) to include Mathematics, English and Biology. 
  • Level 3 Animal Management or Level 2 Veterinary Care Assistant qualifications may provide Biology and 2 additional GSCEs, however, Maths and English would need to be in addition of these qualifications
  • International students will be required to provide an Enic Statement of Comparability for Maths and English Language, and prove their Right to Work status
  • 6 months minimum full-time employment as a student veterinary nurse (svn) within  a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) approved training practice.

To enrol onto an apprenticeship programme you need to be employed with a contract of employment. If you have an employer lined up or are already employed please contact our Apprenticeship Team on 01273 892127 or via email.

If you do not currently have an employer please visit the main Apprenticeships page for guidance on how to find and apply for an apprenticeship opportunity or register for our Talent Bank service.


  • Apprentices will have access to our first-class facilities and tutors for their in-college learning and development, including our VN clinical training suite and animal management unit.
  • Our industry experienced team of registered veterinary nurses deliver objectively structured clinical examinations (OSCE) focused training to prepare apprentices for the practical element of their end point assessment.

Future Opportunities

Successful apprentices will be eligible to apply for professional registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

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