ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing


ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing


ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing


become an advocate for animals. Study veterinary nursing.

Vet nurse holding black puppy

Veterinary Nurses are an important member of the veterinary team. They do more than just assist the veterinarian. Vet Nurses are involved in consulting, monitoring anaesthesia, administering medications, managing sterile instruments, assisting in surgery, wound care and bandaging, client counselling, providing animal care advice and more. Veterinary Nurses get to work with animals all day, and people too!

ACVN’s ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing is Australia’s most comprehensive veterinary nursing course. When you graduate, you’ll be an ACVN Nurse. You’ll be known for your skills and be able to provide a high standard of care for your patients. ACVN Nurses are on top of the recruitment lists of great veterinary clinics. Being an ACVN Nurse will make you stand out when applying for jobs. Your skills and knowledge will ensure you’re a trusted part of the veterinary team and able to help the animals under your care.

Our Nurse Educators are all highly experienced veterinary nurses, and veterinary nursing is all we do. To become an expert, you need to be taught by experts. Our passion for vet nursing is just as strong as yours and our expertise is second to none – so study with the best and become the best.

Veterinary Nurses can have a diverse career and there are many options to expand your career further. See our Vet Nurse career page for more information on all the places your veterinary nursing career can take you.

The ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing is the industry-standard qualification for veterinary nurses in Australia and enables you to register as a veterinary nursing in those states requiring registration.

Our nationally accredited ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing is designed to help you make a positive impact on patient care in your clinic. You’ll learn how to care for animals and provide advice to owners.

Our course is so jam packed with relevant information, current students are finding they use their newfound knowledge to adapt and change their clinic protocols after only a few months of study.

Written and delivered by highly knowledgeable and skilled Veterinary Nurses, this course will ensure you are taught what you need to know to be an outstanding nurse, an asset to the clinic and your patient’s best advocate.

We give you the right tools. If you want to be the best veterinary nurse you can, you need to study with the experts.
Veterinary Nursing is all we do.
Why would you study anywhere else?

Nationally Recognised Training

This certificate is delivered in conjunction with Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (RTO31258)

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ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing Brochure Cover

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What will I study in the ACM40412
Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing?

Animal Behaviour & Handling
Animal Handling Techniques

Animal Behaviour & Handling is a whole subject devoted to the correct handling and restraint of the animals in our care. Although a large focus is on dogs and cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds are also covered. Providing safe and low stress animal handling is a vital skill for any Veterinary Nurse. You will also learn the basics of reading animal body language and how animals learn.

Workplace Health & Safety in the Vet Clinic
Health and Safety Icon

Health and safety are vital aspects of working in any animal care workplace. We’ll introduce you to Work Health and Safety legislation and how it applies to employees, the basics of risk management and controls, how to deal with sharps, allergies, noise, dangerous chemicals and drugs, fire safety and emergencies, biological hazards and zoonoses. Then we’ll finish off with a closer look at animal hazards and manual handling when it comes to animal care workplaces and how you can minimise risks.

Small Animal Nutrition
animal nutrition icon

Correct nutrition is not only vital for the patients we nurse and animals we care for, but advising owners on correct nutrition for their pets is often a daily occurrence for Veterinary Nurses. This subject will ensure students understand what makes up nutrition, how to feed for particular life stages, how to read pet labels, diseases that are influenced by nutrition, and how to calculate energy requirements. The digestive system is also included in this subject.

Nursing Patients
stethoscope icon

Patients are often kept in hospital and knowing how to look after them from food to bedding, exercising, taking vital signs, recording observations and knowing when to alert the Vet are all skills that form the basis of good nursing. This subject goes into detail on how to really look after your patients well, providing nursing interventions where necessary, and looking at the patient as a whole – not just ticking off a box that a treatment has been given.

Veterinary Reception & Office Duties
Reception & Office Duties icon

Almost all Veterinary Nurses are required to perform reception duties. This can cover making appointments, triaging emergency cases, admissions and discharges, product advice, and some basic office procedures. All of this is covered in this subject along with communication techniques, customer service skills and just how to deal with those clients that complain.

Practical Infection Control
Practical Infection Control icon

Infection control is extremely important in any veterinary clinic and this subject is structured to help you with understanding both basic and advanced precautions that are necessary to keep you and your patients safe from transmissible diseases.

Surgical Nursing A
Surgical Nursing A icon

This subject covers a vast array of surgical topics from asepsis and disinfection, the correct patient preparation for surgery and post-operative care. Students also learn how to master those medical terms, how to correctly clean and sterilise instruments, how to assist in surgery, basic after care instructions for routine surgeries, and how to maintain the theatre suite. You will also be introduced to anatomy with the study of the tissues and body cavities. This subject does not cover monitoring anaesthesia.

Medical Nursing
Medical Nursing icon

Medical Nursing will introduce the student to a wide variety of equipment found within the veterinary clinic from otoscopes to endoscopes and ultrasounds to ECGs. Students study not only how to set it up and what it is used for, but how to assist the Vet, and the correct maintenance of this equipment. Students are also introduced to the urinary system, as well as study a basic overview of fluid therapy, IV catheterisation and urinary catheterisation. Chemotherapy is also covered, with an emphasis on the WHS considerations of chemo administration in the veterinary practice, and how to correctly nurse these patients to minimise any risks of exposure when handling them.

Disease Pathophysiology
Disease Pathophysiology icon

Having an understanding on the diseases of cats and dogs is essential for Veterinary Nurses, not only to assist the Vet in their treatment, but to educate the client and nurse these patients appropriately. This subject covers the common diseases found in companion animals, zoonotic and infectious diseases, vaccinations and how the immune system works.

Preventative Medications & Advice
medicine bottle icon

This subject prepares students for recognising, treating and preventing the common parasites found on and in domestic animals. You will also learn what vaccinations animals need, the diseases they cover, and why they are so important. This will ensure you are prepared to educate clients on protecting their pets and family and achieve a high compliance.

Anaesthesia icon

Monitoring Anaesthesia is a large part of the Veterinary Nurse’s job. This subject introduces students to the basics of anaesthesia – how to set up, what circuits to pick and when, how the drugs we use affect the body, and why premedication is necessary. Studying the cardiovascular system is also undertaken as part of this subject. Judgement of anaesthetic depth and monitoring techniques are discussed, from manual monitoring to equipment such as pulse oximetry, ap-alerts, blood pressure, capnography and ECG. Students also learn how to classify ASA statuses, and recognise and respond to anaesthetic complications.

Surgical Nursing B
surgical nursing b icon

Building on from Surgical Nursing A, this subject will give students the knowledge and skills to work as an accomplished Surgical Nurse. This includes learning about scrubbing in to assist, complicated surgeries, orthopaedic implants and instruments. Students will also learn how to schedule surgical caseloads so the clinic runs efficiently; about the reproductive system, and wound management and bandaging.

Fluid Therapy

Fluid therapy is an integral part of the modern veterinary clinic. This subject will teach students about the various fluids available, when to use them, and how to monitor patients receiving fluid therapy. Students will also learn about osmosis, and how to calculate correct fluid rates.

Emergency Nursing
Emergency Nursing icon

Emergency nursing can be exciting and very daunting. This subject will teach students how to effectively triage cases over the phone, and in clinic; first aid advice to provide to owner, how to prepare for the arrival of the emergency patient and how to assist the Veterinarian in the management of these cases. Setting up and maintaining crash-carts is also covered along with CPR.

Pain Management
Pain Management icon

Analgesia knowledge and the ability to recognise pain is vital in so many aspects of veterinary nursing. This subject will teach students about 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 we can provide.

Clinical Pathology
Clinical Pathology icon

Clinical pathology will introduce students to laboratory techniques used in the veterinary clinic, what equipment is used and how to maintain it including microscopes, refractometers, in-house lab machines, centrifuges etc. Students will also learn how to perform a urinalysis including sediment, PCV/TP, faecal floats, blood smears and will also cover the basics on haematology and biochemistry, and cell structure. Correct sample handling and storage techniques are also covered.

Dental Nursing
Dental Nursing icon

Dentals! You either love them or hate them. This subject will teach students dental anatomy and diseases, how to perform a dental prophylaxis, charting, why extractions are sometimes necessary, and the home care required for dental health, and post op.

Work Placement (if not employed in a clinic)
work placement icon

The ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing is delivered entirely by distance education using our online ‘Learning Centre’. It gives you the flexibility to study as it suits you without having to attend campus, whilst completing your practicals in your own clinic.

If you are employed as a Veterinary Nurse in a clinic, you will complete all your practical components in your clinic. In the event your clinic does not have particular equipment, you may be required to do some work experience at another clinic to cover the necessary skills. We will let you know as part of your Student Induction.

If you are planning on completing the practical component via work experience, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • You will need to find a clinic willing to take you on for Vocational Placement. As part of this you will need to do one 8 hr day a week at this clinic, starting after you finish your first two subjects (please note, you can only do one day a week, not more, not less). This placement will continue until you finish the course, so plan for it to last 2 years. If you start the placement late, you will have to extend your course to ensure you meet the minimum hours required. You will complete 768 hours of vocational placement across the two year course.
  • If you are in Tasmania, there is legislation that prevents you from doing more than 240 hours a year of vocational placement – please be aware you will have to extend your course to complete the practical component.
  • As well as the Vocational Placement, you will complete four Intensive Placements covering around another 300 hours. These are two week placements (10 days) that focus on particular skill sets such as Reception, Surgical Nursing, Ward Nursing and Anaesthesia. These must be performed after completing the associated subjects and must be 10 days over a maximum of a three week period. Some of these placements can be performed at your Vocational Placement clinic and some must be at a different clinic to ensure you receive wider experience.

It is not possible to complete the course with less placement hours. Our standards are high and employers recognise this and seek out our graduates. If you have credits from previous study, we will adjust your placement hours to suit.

If you are completing the ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing with placement, you will need to allow and extra $350 to cover administration and insurance.

It is highly recommended that you discuss placement with clinics in your area to ensure they are willing to take on students for long term placement. For ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, you must pre-arrange your placement location prior to enrolment.

We offer clinics free continuing education as a thank you for taking on our students.



Grab some savings!

Don’t miss out on this deal! Pay in full and receive $300 off!




interest free payment plan

Enrol now with a first instalment of $495

Then simply pay 20 x $300/month

That’s just $75/week!





Grab some savings!

Don’t miss out on this deal! Pay in full and receive $300 off!




interest free payment plan

Enrol now with a first instalment of $795

Then simply pay 20 x $300/month

That’s just $75/week!




Additional Information on the ACM40412
Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing


Working in clinic?

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

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be employed in a veterinary practice with a minimum of 15 hrs per week on average.

Not working in clinic?

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

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have successfully completed a ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies or ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies, or ACM30410 Certificate III in Companion Animal Services
  • Be able to undertake vocational placement in a veterinary practice with a minimum of 8 hrs per week for the duration of the course AND complete additional work experience for specific skill placements (4 x 2 week blocks). You must pre-arrange this prior to enrolment and supply evidence as part of your enrolment.

Tasmanian students are not able to enrol under placement due to legislative requirements restricting placement hours. Tasmanian students must be employed at their clinic.

If you have a ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies or higher in a related area, you can apply for credit transfer towards your ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. This may reduce your course fees and your workload.

If you don’t meet the above criteria, please look at our ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies as a pathway to gaining the required knowledge for a junior vet nurse. We have specially designed this to enable you to complete the first 12 months of your ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing as part of your ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies. Once complete, you can enrol in the ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing and complete the second year to become a qualified veterinary nurse.

The Enrolment Process

Enrolling is very simple!

  1. Click on the ‘Enrol Now’ button below.
  2. Fill out the form.
  3. Check your email account for the enrolment package, emailed once we accept you onto the course. This may take a few days, but if you haven’t heard back from us within a week, contact us!
  4. Fill out the enrolment and payment forms, and post or email it back in to us.

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

Course Price

Pay in Full and save $300!



Pay only $6195!



Pay only $6495!

Need a Payment Plan?


Enrol now with a first instalment of $495

Then simply pay 20 x $300/month

or 40 x $150/fortnight




Enrol now with a first instalment of $795

Then simply pay 20 x $300/month

or 40 x $150/fortnight



Course costs vary depending on your credits for previous qualifications. Please note: If you have already completed units of competency, you won’t be required to pay for these units or study them again.

Please budget approximately $200 to $250 for additional textbooks.

If you are not employed in a clinic, your course price is a little higher, covering 2 years of insurance and additional administration time for placement paperwork.

Important 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.

* 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.

Government Funding

Is there government funding for this course?

Please contact our partner RTO Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges on 1800 888 710 for details on available funding.

If you are not eligible you can enrol with one of our easy interest free payment plans.

We do encourage you to contact your local job seeker service or apprenticeship centre for further suggestions.

Course Dates

We accept new students every day of the week!

  • No waiting for a semester to start. Enrol now to get qualified!
  • You can secure your place by enrolling and sending us your first payment. You’ll receive your online access and printed learner’s guides in around a week!
  • You will be given 2 years to complete your course, and if you need more time, that’s ok! Arranging an enrolment extension is easy, however be aware that it attracts a fee.
Units of Competency

ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

For this qualification to be awarded, you must complete 23 units of competency. Nineteen of these are core units, and the remaining four are electives. Electives are set within our course structure and you will not be able to change these.

The core units you will cover within your subjects are:

  • ACMGAS202A Participate in workplace communications
  • ACMGAS205A Assist in the health care of animals
  • ACMVET202A Carry Out Daily Clinic routines
  • ACMVET201A Carry out veterinary nursing reception duties
  • ACMVET203A Assist with surgery preparation
  • ACMGAS204A Feed & Water Animals
  • ACMGAS208A Source information for animal care needs
  • ACMWHS301A Contribute to work health and safety processes
  • ACMINF031A Comply with infection control policies & procedures in animal work
  • ACMVET401A Coordinate patient admission and discharge
  • ACMVET402A Apply imaging routines
  • ACMVET403A Perform clinic pathology procedures
  • ACMVET404A Perform clinic office procedures
  • ACMVET405A Carry out surgical nursing routines
  • ACMVET406A Nurse animals
  • ACMVET407A Carry out medical nursing routines
  • ACMVET408A Coordinate and perform theatre routines
  • ACMVET409A Provide specific animal care advice
  • ACMVET410A Carry out veterinary dental nursing procedures

Your electives are:

  • BSBCUS402 Address Customer Needs
  • ACMCAS304A Capture, handle and transport companion animal
  • ACMGAS301A Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing
  • ACMGAS303A Plan for and provide nutritional requirements for animals

We can take into account the knowledge and skills you’ve already gained through your previous education and work, including:

  • Formal or informal training
  • Paid or unpaid work experience
  • Credit if your work is relevant to the course.

Please speak to us to gain recognition for your previous studies and work skills.

Your previous studies may also count as credits towards your new qualification. If so, you’ll be entitled to a lower course fee (depending on units of competency completed).

To claim a credit transfer, please include transcripts of your previous qualifications with your application form. We will then advise you of any adjustments to your course fee. Certified copies will need to be supplied when you enroll for the credits to be officially granted.

You will complete your ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing over 2 years.

Generally, you will need to dedicate approximately 10 hours per week to your studies, completing assessments and undertaking the required reading.

Please note:
Additional fees apply if you want to extend your study beyond two years.

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. Many of our students work full time in addition to their study.

Once the course starts, you’ll receive printed learner’s guides, which will guide you through your studies and prepare you for assessments. You’ll also have access to the extra study resources available via our ‘Learning Centre’ online. You can submit assignments through this portal, too.

Each subject contains various assessment tasks:

    • Expect to complete written assessments like assignments, case studies, projects, and reports.
    • Multiple choice questions are in our learning activities so you can check your learning as you progress through the course.
    • Workplace-based assessments for practical skills will be completed at the clinic in which you work or at your placement clinic. These will include completing skills log books and some video assessments. Don’t stress, we provide full instructions for the video assessments so you know what to include.
    • On average, expect to submit one short assessment task each week to keep on track.

If you’ve been working in a practice for several years at the same level as qualified nurses, we suggest you consider the 40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing via RPL FastTrack.

This course assesses your prior learning both on the job (called Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL) and through formal study. It’s a quicker way for you to gain qualifications for the experience and skills you already possess.

Please note:
FastTrack is NOT a course and no learning resources are provided. If you want to learn more, we suggest a combination of RPL and formal study.

The program is designed so you can demonstrate that you already have the necessary knowledge and skills gained from working as a Veterinary Nurse.

You’ll still need to complete some written assignments and workplace assessments. You will also need to provide evidence of your competency levels.

For more information, please visit our ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing via RPL FastTrack page.

Yes, but you must have either completed an ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies (Veterinary Assisting) or ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies (Veterinary Nursing), OR completed Year 12, OR have a minimum of 5 years of employment history (any profession) after leaving school. You will also need to commit to 1 day a week vocational placement in a vet clinic for the duration of the course, and complete some specific work experience placements.

As our course is very comprehensive and we train well above the standard training package guidelines, undertaking it with less than the 8 hours a week in a clinic would not enable you to develop the appropriate level of knowledge or practical skills to become the successful Veterinary Nurse we would like to see you become. Many of the assessments are also based on cases you nurse, so less contact time at a clinic would mean you may not see the kinds of patients you need to write about in your course work.

Please note:
Our Equine Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing is only available to nurses employed in an equine or mixed practice. It is not available for nurses looking to complete with vocational placement.

No. You’ll study the required units of competency throughout your ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

If you already have an ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies, you can apply extra credit towards your ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

Yes, you can enrol in our standard ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing (not equine)!

You will need to commit to 1 day a week vocational placement in a vet clinic for the duration of the course, and complete some specific work experience placements.

If you can’t make this commitment, then we’d suggest you consider our ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies. It allows you to complete the course with work experience, and it covers the first year of the ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, so you still get to study towards your ultimate goal.

You will receive credits for the work already done in your ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies.

If you have completed units of competency elsewhere relevant to you ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, we will apply these credit transfers to your course.

You will not be required to pay for enrolment in these units. However some of our subjects cover more than one unit of competency, so you may find you’ll need to pay for and complete an associated subject.

If you’ve already completed an ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies or ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies, or commenced your ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing with another training organisation, it’s vital you supply us with a copy of your transcript as part of your application. This will allow us to give you an accurate price and tell you exactly what units and subjects you’ll need to complete. A certified copy of the transcript must be supplied with your enrolment for the credits to be applied.

If you have credit transfers, secure your place with a first instalment of $500 with enrolment. Then we will adjust your further instalments to suit your study and remaining course cost.

After achieving this qualification candidates may undertake:

Yes! We welcome international students.

As an international student, payment plans are not available. You will be required to pay the full course fee prior to starting. We also do not offer the pay in full discount to international students however we do not charge you extra for resources to be sent to you, or for bank fees.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you can legally perform the practical tasks required in your country. In some countries, like the UK, it is illegal for a non-qualified person to perform some of the practical skills necessary to complete the course. Check with your local veterinary surgeons board.

If you are completing placement, you will also need to arrange your own insurance and provide evidence of this to us.


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.

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