Advanced Certificate in Professional Veterinary Nursing

(Emergency & Critical Care)

apply now

Do you enjoy the rush of saving lives and the challenge of nursing the critical patients?

Finding the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Emergency & Critical Care) entry requirements hard to meet or cost prohibitive? Perhaps you want to learn more about emergency and critical care so you can transition into this exciting field of nursing. Our Advanced Certificate of Professional Veterinary Nursing (Emergency & Critical Care) was made to be your perfect match. Utilising the clinical and emergency subjects from our Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (ECC), graduates will be invaluable team members and capable of being the vet’s trusted partner in helping patients suffering from life threatening injuries or diseases.

Just like the Diploma, this professional development course places a large emphasis on advanced nursing skills for critical care patients and emergency procedures for saving lives.

You’ll learn about emergency cases, including:

  • Trauma and wounds
  • Multiple traumatic injuries (e.g. resulting from car accidents)
  • Abdominal emergencies such as GDV
  • Reproductive emergencies
  • Ingested toxins and snake bites
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Sepsis
  • Addisonian crisis
  • and many more
apply now

Entry requirements:

To be eligible to enrol in this course, you must:

  • Have successfully completed a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing or equivalent (including overseas qualifications) or have significant clinical and surgical experience (more than 5 years).
  • Be employed in a veterinary practice for a minimum of 15 hrs a week that has a case load that includes emergency and critical care.
  • If you don’t have access to all the right equipment and cases to complete the course, work experience will be utilised to fill any gaps (additional fees for insurance apply).
apply now

Advanced Certificate in Professional Veterinary Nursing
(ECC)

The units you will cover for this certificate are:

  • Fluid Therapy
  • Advanced InPatient and Critical Care
  • Pain Management
  • Wound Management
  • Cardiovascular & Respiratory Emergencies
  • Endocrine, Haemolymphatic & Immunologic Emergencies
  • Gastrointestinal, Urogenital & Reproductive Emergencies
  • Neurological, Musculoskeletal & Ocular Emergencies
  • Advanced Anaesthesia & Analgesia
  • Responding to Emergencies
  • Toxicoses
apply now

Enrolling is very simple!

  1. Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below.
  2. Fill out the form, it will only take a couple of minutes. Have proof of employment and a copy of your Certificate IV ready.
  3. Once we assess your application and verify your eligibility, you will receive confirmation via email (allow a few days).
  4. You then accept the place offered and arrange payment, and get started!

Once your enrolment and payment has been processed, you will receive an email from us with all the information you need to access the portal, then your folders will arrive by overnight courier.

Finding the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Emergency & Critical Care) entry requirements hard to meet or cost prohibitive? Perhaps you want to learn more about emergency and critical care so you can transition into this exciting field of nursing. Our Advanced Certificate of Professional Veterinary Nursing (Emergency & Critical Care) was made to be your perfect match. Utilising the clinical and emergency subjects from our Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (ECC), graduates will be invaluable team members and capable of being the vet’s trusted partner in helping patients suffering from life threatening injuries or diseases.

Just like the Diploma, this professional development course places a large emphasis on advanced nursing skills for critical care patients and emergency procedures for saving lives.

You’ll learn about emergency cases, including:

  • Trauma and wounds
  • Multiple traumatic injuries (e.g. resulting from car accidents)
  • Abdominal emergencies such as GDV
  • Reproductive emergencies
  • Ingested toxins and snake bites
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Sepsis
  • Addisonian crisis
  • and many more
apply now

Entry requirements:

To be eligible to enrol in this course, you must:

  • Have successfully completed a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing or equivalent (including overseas qualifications) or have significant clinical and surgical experience (more than 5 years).
  • Be employed in a veterinary practice for a minimum of 15 hrs a week that has a case load that includes emergency and critical care.
  • If you don’t have access to all the right equipment and cases to complete the course, work experience will be utilised to fill any gaps (additional fees for insurance apply).
apply now

Advanced Certificate in Professional Veterinary Nursing
(ECC)

The units you will cover for this certificate are:

  • Fluid Therapy
  • Advanced InPatient and Critical Care
  • Pain Management
  • Wound Management
  • Cardiovascular & Respiratory Emergencies
  • Endocrine, Haemolymphatic & Immunologic Emergencies
  • Gastrointestinal, Urogenital & Reproductive Emergencies
  • Neurological, Musculoskeletal & Ocular Emergencies
  • Advanced Anaesthesia & Analgesia
  • Responding to Emergencies
  • Toxicoses
apply now

Enrolling is very simple!

  1. Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below.
  2. Fill out the form, it will only take a couple of minutes. Have proof of employment and a copy of your Certificate IV ready.
  3. Once we assess your application and verify your eligibility, you will receive confirmation via email (allow a few days).
  4. You then accept the place offered and arrange payment, and get started!

Once your enrolment and payment has been processed, you will receive an email from us with all the information you need to access the portal, then your folders will arrive by overnight courier.

Frequently asked questions

How is this course different to the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (ECC)?

The Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (ECC) is for those nurses working in an emergency facility. It requires access and exposure to an extensive range of emergent and critical cases including those requiring resuscitation and CPR. Most general practice clinics cannot meet these requirements as they transport their critical care cases to an emergency facility for afterhours care.

It also requires that you have your current Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing (ACM40412). For those students who don’t, upgrading or obtaining the Certificate IV can be a costly process costing thousands. If you are more interested in gaining the knowledge and skill, than the full piece of paper, then this course is for you.

Our entry requirements for the Certificate in Advanced Professional Veterinary Nursing are more relaxed, as we want all nurses to have access to the best education available to become the most amazing nurse we know you can be.

When does the course start?

We start student intakes off several times a month. Spaces are limited on each intake, so it’s advisable to get your application and enrolment in quickly if you’re keen to start asap.

We look at applications every day and process acceptance emails. Once you receive your enrolment pack, the enrolment process can take a few days to complete. You can scan and email your enrolment form to speed it up.

How much study will I need to do?

Each student studies differently.

Most students need to dedicate around 8-10 hours per week to their studies.

We’ll give you a suggested timetable to guide you through completing your studies within the 12 months allocated. If you need, you’re able to extend your course past this, but be aware a fee will apply.

Some students finish the course in under 12 months, you can too if you wish. The trick is time management. Put dedicated study time aside each week and it’s achievable.

How is the course delivered?

The Advanced Certificate in Professional Veterinary Nursing (ECC) is a ‘blended’ course. This means there is an online or distance component as well as a practical hands-on component in a veterinary clinic.

Our online student ‘Learning Centre’ along with our printed resources means you can study from where you like. Sunny day? Pop outside and study whilst watching the dogs play.

We’ll give you a timetable to help you structure your study plan. We recommend allowing dedicated time each week to ensure you stay on track, but it is self paced. So there is no stress of missing a deadline.

In the Learning Centre, you’ll find:

  • Learning activities to help you remember everything
  • Interactive learning modules
  • Videos showing you how to perform tasks
  • Recorded lectures to learn even more
  • Links to upload your assessments.

In your printed resources, you’ll find all the reading material and references you need to successfully pass the course and become an amazing veterinary nurse.

We also run optional workshops around the country, where you can get more practice and experience. Boost your resume and learn more towards your qualification at the same time.

How is the course structured?

Our Advanced Certificate of Professional Veterinary Nursing is made up of a series of subjects designed to teach you everything you need to know to be successful.

You’ll still be required to undertake your own research for some assessments. However, we’ll guide you through what you need to know via ‘knowledge checklists,’ set textbooks, and structured self-assessment tasks to ensure you have the required knowledge before completing any exams or assessments.

What kind of assessments will I need to do?

Assessments are not only about assessing you, they are a valuable learning tool. As you complete them, you’ll learn more than just going through the reading materials alone.

We use a range of assessment types and match these to what is the best way to capture your new skills and knowledge.

Written Assessments

Every subject has some form of written assessment. We use short answer questions, scenarios and short case studies about the patients you nursed in your clinical placement.

Our Nurse Educators will provide thorough feedback on your assessments, including hints and tips and further learning opportunities. Anytime you need help with an assessment, you just contact the Nurse Educators through our Student Assist options.

Clinical Skills Assessment

Veterinary Nursing is a practical job, so we must assess your clinical skills.

In the clinic, you’ll be recording your participation in various tasks and nursing care through short forms called Key Skills. These showcase what you’ve been learning in the clinic and will be ‘signed off’ by your Clinical Mentor. You’ll also complete some case diaries, with photos of you performing skills and short descriptions.

Lastly, to ensure you graduate with the quality expected of ACVN Nurses, you’ll also submit some short videos of you performing vet nursing tasks. Again, Nurse Educators will provide thorough feedback on your learning and skills. Don’t be daunted by video assessment, they are a relaxed form of assessment. We love it when students leave in their bloopers. We provide full instructions. Some can be done at home to free up clinic time for more learning.

Alternatively, we can send in a Nurse Educator to perform a workplace assessment. This option does attract extra fees and you may need multiple visits across the course. Unlike video assessments where you can restart and try again if something doesn’t go to plan, your workplace assessment is a final assessment. Many students find video assessment less daunting than having a Nurse Educator watching their every move in clinic.

I don't work in a veterinary clinic. Can I still take this course?

This course is designed for nurses working in a clinic looking to develop their skills further. You need access to patients and equipment to complete this course, so it’s not generally suitable for people not in a clinic. However if you have a unique situation, please ensure you contact us to discuss.

How is ACVN different to other colleges?

We’re about veterinary nursing. Full stop. We live and breathe it.

For us, training veterinary nurses is not just about money. It’s how we can ensure best practice nursing care for animals everywhere. We’re here for the animals.

At ACVN, you have a name not a student number. We get to know all our students really well and love sharing in your achievements.

We care about you and your career. We want you to be job ready, employable and enjoying a long career in veterinary nursing. Some of our graduates love us so much, they’ve come to work for us.

Our student to educator ratio is the envy of many colleges. Because of this, your assessments are marked quickly and the feedback you receive is specific to you and designed to help you learn.The Nurse Educators are available to help you when you need it.

At our college, you’ll be a part of a group of students who are considered amongst the best in the country.

Do you accept international/overseas students?

Yes! We absolutely welcome overseas students, as long as you are remaining in your home country. If you wish to come to Australia to study, you’ll need to find a CRICOS registered provider. These are the only institutions approved for international student visas.

We have had students in many countries including America, Canada, Singapore, Japan, China, Portugal, Cyprus and South Africa, just to name a few.

Please check out our Overseas Student Information page for more details.

What support do you offer?

We’re here for you, for your entire course and beyond graduation. Once you graduate with us, you become an ACVN Nurse. The most trusted veterinary nurses out there.

Once you enrol, we’ve made it very easy to get help.

As a student, you’re our number one priority. It’s why we’re here.

Student Assist is our student support program and it’s manned by Nurse Educators. This means if you need help – you’ll get it quickly. You won’t have to wait days or weeks for an educator to help you.

We can help you understand something that you’re not sure about, help you find things, give you motivational support, help with an assessment or feedback. Basically anything you need course wise, we can help you with.

Phone

Student Assist has dedicated phone lines that go straight through to the Nurse Educators. You can call for help on weekdays between 8am and 5pm.

Email

Send us an email any time to the dedicated student support email, and we’ll answer it when we’re in the office. We check this email several times throughout the day, so most emails are replied to in under 24 hours. Weekends we even pop in to check for urgent problems.

Live Chat

Perhaps you have a super fast question and don’t want to call? We have Live Chat! This is like an instant messenger service where you can type your questions and we can reply in real time during business hours.

Facebook

If social media is part of your life, we have an active student Facebook group for you. It’s exclusive to our current students and grads. Our Nurse Educators are also in there and are known to answer questions at all times of the day or night.

Is this course accredited?

No, the Advanced Certificate in Professional Veterinary Nursing (ECC) is a non-accredited professional development course.

Is there government funding for this course?

Unfortunately there is no government funding or assistance for this course as it is a non-accredited professional development course.

Can I change the subjects in the course?

The short answer is no. The subjects have been carefully selected by ACVN to help you be the best Vet Nurse you can be.

What will I study in the ACPVN (Emergency & Critical Care)?

Our course is divided into three main sections:

1. Advanced Nursing Theory:
Fluid Therapy

Fluid therapy is an integral part of the modern veterinary clinic. This subject will teach students about the various types of fluids available, their indications and contraindications and how to monitor patients receiving fluid therapy. Students will also learn about osmosis, and how to correctly calculate fluid rates and influencing factors on fluid rates.

Advanced InPatient and Critical Care

You’ll learn more advanced nursing skills such as how to map out patient care plans and specific nursing interventions for individual patients. Students also learn about correct urinary catheter care and physiology and anatomy of the urinary system itself. Feeding tube maintenance is also covered along with managing recumbent patients, neonates, blood transfusions, and the provision of oxygen therapy.

Pain Management
Pain Management icon

Indepth analgesia knowledge and the ability to recognise pain is vital in so many different aspects of veterinary nursing. This subject will teach students about the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, pain pathways, and the drugs we use to control pain. It will look at recognising pain and pain scoring, and alternative methods of controlling pain in our patients including nursing interventions.

Wound Management

Wound Management is an area that nurses can be actively involved in. This subject starts off with learning about the integument system; it then branches into the physiology of wound healing. Students will learn about different dressings and bandages (both techniques and materials), which to use when, and how to decide on a wound care plan in conjunction with the veterinarian.

Advanced Anaesthesia & Analgesia
Anaesthesia icon

Having an indepth working knowledge of advanced anaesthesia, analgesia techniques and modalities is essential for any nurse working at the expected level of a Diploma nurse. This subject involves more advanced anaesthetic monitoring equipment such as capnography, ECG, and blood pressure in depth, as well as mechanical ventilation of the patient. Students will learn about the varied effects of drugs on the body, and utilising analgesia as part of their anaesthetic plan. As part of this subject you will develop indepth anaesthesia preparation protocols for your clinic as well as creating staff induction training plans for new staff to ensure they meet your clinic’s high standards of care.

Toxicoses

This subject covers toxicoses like snail bait ingestion, chocolate toxicity, snake bites, rodenticides and more. Once again the focus is on the role of the nurse. Learning about how to triage these cases, what to have ready for their arrival, how to assist the vet, treatment options, post treatment monitoring and discharge advice, nurses will finish this subject with a good working knowledge of many of the common toxicoses they will encounter.

2. Advanced Emergency & Critical Care Nursing:
Responding to Emergencies
Emergency Nursing icon

This subject will teach students about the triage process (both phone and in clinic), primary and secondary surveys, and initial patient stabilisation. Students will also learn about the risks and benefits of telephone advice and when to, or when to not, give it. Cardiopulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation and crash carts are covered in detail, as is the pathophysiology and treatment of shock and post resuscitation care. As part of this subject you will be required to look at your own clinics existing protocols and implement improvements which will include training for the entire veterinary team.

Cardiovascular & Respiratory Emergencies

This subject will cover emergency and critical care of patients suffering from diseases of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Full of useful reading and learning activities, this will prepare you to nurse these often difficult cases.

Endocrine, Haemolymphatic & Immunologic Emergencies

Often your critical care cases will be suffering from various diseases of the endocrine, haemolymphatic or immunological systems. This subjects supplies you with learning activities and reading to ensure you have a good grasp on some of the commonly seen disease states.

Gastrointestinal, Urogenital & Reproductive Emergencies

From GDV to foreign bodies, blocked cats and dystocia, this subject covers a large range of gastrointestinal, urogenital and reproductive emergencies, preparing for them, and nursing care. Lots of reading and learning activities to assist you. Reproductive emergencies are covered in greater detail in the Animal Reproduction subject.

Neurological, Musculoskeletal & Ocular Emergencies

Neurological, Musculoskeletal & Ocular Emergencies may not be the most common emergencies you will see, but they do involve some intensive nursing. This subject will prepare you for dealing with these cases.

3. Case Logs & Practical Skills:

You’ll then show off your new knowledge when writing your major case studies. In total, you will complete three major case studies, highlighting your skills and knowledge. These cases will cover a critical care anaesthesic patient, emergency response and resuscitation and a critical care nursing case. Practical skills are covered when you complete technical skill logs, and fill out nursing case logs.

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Important notes:

  1. Please budget approximately $200 to $400 for additional textbooks, although many will already be on your clinic shelves, saving you money.
  2. Graduates of the ACVN Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing will receive a lower course fee due to internal credits for subjects already studied.
  3. Prices include resource fees, tuition, and administration fees.
  4. Additional fees may apply if you do not pass a subject, you need to re-enrol in a subject for any reason, or you extend your enrolment period
  5. Payment in Full Discount does not apply to international students. Instead we will cover bank transfer fees at our end, and send out your learner’s guides via international express post at no additional charge.

Notes on Payment Plans:

  1. Even if you have completed your studies, you’ll not receive your certificate until you’ve paid for your course in full.
  2. You are also responsible for paying the entire course cost, even if you decide to not complete the full course.
  3. Instalments will start from the month your course commences. Payments are by direct debit or credit card only, and to make your life easier, you can elect the day the automatic payment is debited from your account.
  4. If you fall behind in your instalments by more than 14 days without arranging an alternative payment, you may be withdrawn from the course. So it’s important to contact us if you are struggling.
  5. International students are not eligible for instalment plans.

Our students are raving about our courses!

The ACVN Nurse Educators are second to none. Where else could you ask a question on Facebook at 10pm at night and have a real Nurse Educator answer?

Jane Bracken / Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Veterinary Nursing

I love the fact that I can do these studies via distance learning and still work. That makes the studying easier because you can relate to real life scenarios.

Yvonne Funk / Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

ACVN allows me to have a work/study/life balance as I can complete my course to the pace of my chaotic life.

Sam Petzer / Whale beach, Sydney

I like the fact that ACVN allows me to work at my own pace, it means I can balance part time work and travel with my studies.

Kate Paterson / Stellenbosch, South Africa

OVERSEAS STUDENTS WELCOME!

You don’t need to be living in Australia to study with us. We welcome students from all over the world! You have the same student benefits as a local student, and we don’t charge you huge fees for being overseas. There are however, some considerations you need to factor in before enrolling with us. Please read the Overseas Student Information by clicking the button below.

Learn more
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