Advanced Cert of Professional Veterinary Nursing (Surgical)

Is surgery your passion? Finding entry into the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) too restrictive or expensive? We have designed the perfect course for you. Our Advanced Certificate in Professional Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) will enable you to take your surgical nursing skills to the next level and if you decide to complete the Diploma down the track – it will give you internal credit too!

Utilising the surgical related subjects from our Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Surgical), this professional development course ensures you graduate with the same clinical and surgical knowledge as one of our Diploma students. Fully equipping you to nurse advanced surgical cases and provide assistance to veterinary surgeons, this course will open doors for you.

Studying our Advanced Certificate of Professional Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) means you will grow your skills and knowledge in:

  • Advanced orthopaedic procedures
  • Complicated thoracic cases
  • Neurosurgical procedures
  • Wound care and bandaging
  • Soft tissue surgery and reconstruction.

Some of the key areas you’ll master include:

  • Advanced anaesthetic monitoring
  • Scrubbing in to assist the surgeon with surgical procedures
  • Nursing complex cases with intensive needs such as feeding tubes, chest drains, etc.

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.

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 sections:

1. Advanced Nursing Theory

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

  • Fluid therapy
  • Wound management
  • Physical therapy techniques
  • Advanced inpatient care
  • Pain management
  • Advanced anaesthesia monitoring
  • Advanced instrumentation including care.

2. Advanced Surgical Nursing

We’ll teach you about advanced surgical cases and procedures, including:

  • Being a scrubbed surgical assistant
  • Soft tissue surgery
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Neurosurgical 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 orthopaedics, soft tissue and anaesthesia. Practical skills are covered when you complete technical skill logs, and fill out nursing case logs.

Veterinary Nurse

Expert Surgical Nurse!


Veterinary Nurse

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 Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) available.

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

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.

Scrubbed Surgical Assistance

This quick subject will take you through the correct procedures for scrubbing in to assist with surgery. From proper scrubbing techniques and gloving and gowning, to acting as an assistant and handling instruments and tissues correctly.

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.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an essential part of the post op recovery period and an area of care where nurses can be actively involved. Providing physical therapy is a great way to improve owner compliance with post op care, and allow regular contact with the clinic to monitor the patient’s progress. This subject will prepare students to discuss physical therapy with clients, devise routines they can follow, and recognise when to refer to a Veterinary Physiotherapist. It also covers techniques they can implement in clinic to help speed up the recovery of the post op patient. This subject will also teach students about the various muscles and muscle groups.

Orthopaedic Surgical Nursing

Orthopaedic cases form a large part of any surgeons case load, and nursing these patients has their own challenges. Students will learn about various orthopaedic cases including internal and external fracture fixation methods, corrective operations like Tibial Plateau Leveling Operation (TPLO), ulna osteotomies, total hip replacements and much more. For each procedure covered, students will learn what is involved in the procedure, patient preparation, assisting in surgery, instrumentation required, and how to nurse the cases post-operatively including physical therapy suitable for these cases.

Soft Tissue Surgical Nursing

Similar in structure to orthopaedic nursing, this subject will look at various soft tissue procedures and what is involved in the procedure, patient preparation, assisting in surgery, instrumentation required, and how to nurse the cases post-operatively. Procedures covered include cystotomy, enterotomy, mast cell tumor removal, various -pexy procedures, shunt related procedures and large wound reconstructive surgeries. Students will also learn about ophthalmic nursing.

Thoracic Surgical Nursing

Once again following the same overall layout as orthopaedic and soft tissue nursing, this subject looks at thoracic surgeries like lung lobectomies, PDA ligations, chest wall resections, and oesophageal foreign body removal when the thoracic cavity needs to be opened.

Neurosurgical Nursing

The final subject of the surgical Diploma looks at neurosurgical procedures like the various laminectomies for intraverterbral disc disease and spine stabilisation for conditions like Cervical Vertebral Instability. A large portion of this subject is aimed at the post operative rehabilitation of these patients and their special requirements.

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

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 non-routine surgical cases
  • 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 fees for insurance 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 (Surgical)

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 (Surgical) 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 (Surgical)?

The Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) is extremely complex. It requires access and exposure to an extensive range of specialised surgical procedures and a high case load of non-routine surgical cases including neurosurgical. Most general practice clinics cannot meet these requirements, and you need access to a registered specialist surgeon at some point in your course.

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 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.