Advanced Cert of Professional Veterinary Nursing (ECC)

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

The course is delivered entirely by distance education using our online ‘Learning Centre.’ This allows you the flexibility to study when it suits your schedule. You won’t need to attend any on-campus classes. We’ve designed the course to fit around your work and lifestyle.

Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Emergency & Critical Care)

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.

Our course is divided into three distinct sections:

1. Advanced Nursing Theory

You’ll learn all the vital skills you need to nurse advanced cases, including:

  • Fluid therapy
  • Wound management
  • Pain Management
  • Advanced inpatient care
  • Animal reproduction
  • Advanced anesthetic monitoring.

2. Advanced Emergency & Critical Care Nursing

We’ll teach you about the types of emergency and critical cases you can expect when working in an emergency centre, and:

  • Preparing for and responding to emergencies
  • Sustaining life
  • CPR resuscitation
  • Dealing with toxicoses
  • Critical care nursing for a huge range of diseases across all body systems.

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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Need Interest Free Instalments?

Enrol now with a first instalment of $595.

Then pay ten easy payments of $280 interest free.

Internal credit with ACVN towards the Diploma of Vet Nursing (ECC) available.

What will I learn in the Advanced Certificate of Professional Veterinary Nursing (ECC)?

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

This subject follows on from Nursing Patients, and students will 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

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.

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.

Advanced Anaesthesia & Analgesia

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.

Responding to Emergencies

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.


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.

Additional Information on the Adv Cert in Veterinary Nursing (ECC)

Entry Requirements

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

  • Have successfully completed a Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing or equivalent (including overseas qualifications) or have significant clinical and surgical experience (more than 10 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 can be utilised to fill any gaps (additional insurance fees apply).

Enrolling is very simple!

  1. Click on ‘Apply Now’.
  2. Fill out the form, it will only take a couple of minutes. Have proof of employment and a copy of your Cert 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.

Advanced Certificate of Professional Veterinary Nursing (ECC)

Is there government funding for this course?

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

$3395, all inclusive including thorough printed Learner’s Guides.

Need Instalments? Enrol now with a first instalment of $595. Then simply pay $280/month for ten months.

Please budget approximately $200 to $400 for additional textbooks, although many will already be on your clinic shelves, saving you money.

The Advanced Certificate of Professional Veterinary Nursing (ECC) is completed over 12 months.

Graduates of the ACVN Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing will receive a lower course fee due to internal credits for subjects already studied.

Important notes on Instalment 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 from a credit card or Australia bank account only, and to make your life easier, you can elect to pay monthly if you prefer. Need a different payment plan? That’s ok too, just talk to us to discuss a suitable arrangement.
  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.
Please note:
All prices include resource fees, tuition, and administration fees. 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.

Start Now!

No waiting for the course to start, we start new students every day of the working week.

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 Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing (ACM40412). For those students who don’t, upgrading or obtaining the Cert 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.