ACM50512 Diploma of Veterinary Nursing
(General Practice)

Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice)

Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice) – The perfect next step in your veterinary nursing career.

Aimed at senior and head nurses, this qualification will enable you to extend your knowledge in clinical nursing, as well as learn more about managing teams, training and motivating staff. Perfect if you already manage a team of nurses, or would like to move up into a senior role within a clinic.

Our course places a large emphasis on advanced clinical nursing of patients, as well as animal behaviour, nurse consulting, and developing your nursing team further. We have ensured that this course will build on your nursing skills and knowledge learnt in the Cert IV, and equip you to provide amazing patient care and inspire your team to do the same!

Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice)

Nationally Recognised Training

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

As a veterinary nurse, you are already a master at juggling and multi-tasking! Instead of having to juggle attending a campus too, you will complete your theory online using our ‘Learning Centre’ combined with printed learner’s guides.

So everything you learn is completely relevant, you will complete your practical skills in your clinic. No travelling and days off to co-ordinate, unless you want to participate in our optional practical skills workshops we run around the country. But they are so fun and useful, it makes up for the roster juggling!

Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice)

How is the course structured?

Our Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice) is a ‘taught’ courses.

That means we teach you the skills and knowledge required and then you apply that knowledge to your own, real-world cases, rather than just being asked to do a stack of assessments and research.

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 two main 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
  • Companion Animal Behaviour
  • Disease Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Anaesthesia

Each subject walks you through common procedures and disease processes, how to assist, the equipment required and how to nurse a patient in ICU or post-operatively. You’ll then put this knowledge into practice in your real-world cases. You’ll need to complete a range of case studies complete technical skill logs, and fill out nursing case logs.

2. Nursing Management

During the course you will cover some key areas of nursing management including:

  • General management of your nursing team
  • Mentoring and inspiring your team of nurses to deliver great customer service and patient care.
  • Professional Development of you and your team
  • Development and implementation of policies and procedures
  • Managing WHS in the vet clinic
  • Training your nursing team

This section of the course is designed to assist you to review and improve on your existing clinic policies and develop new ones.

Veterinary Nurse

Become a Team Leader!


Pay in full and receive a $300 discount, pay only $4499

Veterinary Nurse

Need Interest Free Instalments?

Enrol now and pay a deposit of $639, followed by 16 monthly payments of $260.00

Subjects Covered in Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice)

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.

Working Sustainably

This short subject covers the process required to analyse the workplace for environmentally sustainable work practices and how to implement improvements and monitor their effectiveness. This subject is included as part of the government requirements and aims to increase awareness of sustainable work practices.

Managing WHS in the Veterinary Clinic

As a senior nurse, you will be expected to have a role in the management and monitoring of WHS policies and procedures in the clinic. This short subject will take you through the legal requirements and the process of managing WHS from a nursing team point of view. During this subject, you will prepare a report on WHS issues that matter to your clinic.

Managing Your Nursing Team

All senior nurses are required to have some input into the management of the nursing team within their clinic. This subject looks at the essential areas of managing a nursing team including encouraging team cohesiveness, dealing with ‘clinic politics’, nursing care as a customer service product, and hospital rounds as an effective communication tool. We also look at improving on and developing practical gold-standard nursing care protocols, and how to implement these successfully within your clinic and team.

Professional Development & Communication

Veterinary Nursing is a profession that requires constant and ongoing learning to keep your skills and knowledge up to date. This subject looks at the various available options you can access to advance your own skills and knowledge as well as that of your nursing team. As part of this subject we will discuss how you can become actively involved in the veterinary nursing profession and effective communication methods between Veterinary Nurses and other health care professionals.

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.

Emergency Nursing

Emergency nursing can be exciting and very daunting. This subject will teach students about 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 crashcarts is also covered along with cardio-pulmonary cerebral resuscitation.

Companion Animal Behaviour

Understanding how animals learn is covered in this subject and will assist students in understanding why animals act the way they do. Basic training techniques are also covered, along with some strategies for dealing with common behaviour problems, such as barking and digging. Environmental enrichment is also essential for animals to have good mental health, and helps control those unwanted behaviours. This subject will give you a basic understanding so you can advise owners on common problems, assist with puppy school, and know when to refer owners to professional help.Students also learn how to structure a good puppy class, what your handouts should cover, and how to manage those problem dogs, whether too boisterous or too shy. We also cover the basics of how to communicate with owners in regards to providing training advice. This subject also focuses on individual clients and their pets. Looking at aspects from problem behaviours to the legal responsibilities of pet ownership, you will learn about taking behavioural histories, undertaking behavioural consults in conjunction with Veterinarians, behaviour modification products and medications, as well as how to provide excellent customer service with follow up care for behaviour cases. We will also touch on dealing with and assessing aggressive animals, the legal implications, and when to refer these cases to a Veterinary Behaviourist.

Training Your Team

When working as a senior nurse, the training of new and existing team members are likely to be one of your responsibilities. This subject looks at the different learning styles you may encounter and how best to train for each style. We also look at effective training methods you can use in the workplace, and how to implement these into your staff training protocols. As part of this subject you will develop a training manual for staff based on the skills and knowledge you need your team members to possess at various levels, and then implement this into your clinic.

Understanding Disease Pathophysiology

Having an understanding of the common diseases in cats and dogs is essential for veterinary nurses, not only to assist the vet in their treatment, but to educate the client accurately and also to provide appropriate nursing support to patient. This subject covers the common diseases found in companion animals, zoonotic and infectious diseases, vaccinations, how the immune system works and the anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system.

Additional Information on Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice)

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to enrol in the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice), you must:

  • Have successfully completed Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing (ACM40412). Students holding older qualifications or overseas qualifications will need to RPL to upgrade their qualification first.
  • Be employed in a veterinary practice for a minimum of 15 hrs a week

Enrolments now open!

  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 will then receive an enrolment package via email/post.
  5. Fill out the enrolment and payment forms, and send it all 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 and get started.


Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice)

Veterinary Nurse

To apply you need:

– Transcripts of ACM40412

– Proof of employment

$4799 including printed learner’s resources and our amazing student support!

Pay in full and receive $300 off, pay only $4499

Need Instalments?

Enrol now with a $639 deposit, followed by 16 monthly payments of $260.00

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

The Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice) is completed over 18 months. Students utilising work placements may need to allow up to two years to complete all the practical components.

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.
  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 instalments.
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.

Is there government funding for this course?

Unfortunately there is no government funding for this Diploma.

You can start your Diploma whenever you’re ready.

  • You can secure your place by enrolling and sending us your first payment.
  • You will be given 18 months 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.

ACM50512 Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice)

For this qualification to be awarded, you must complete eight units of competency.

The units you will cover in this course are:-

  • ACMVET510A Apply veterinary pathophysiology
  • ACMVET511A Apply principles of animal behaviour
  • ACMSUS301A Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMVET509A Manage veterinary nursing procedures
  • ACMWHS501A Manage workplace health and safety processes
  • BSBCUS501C Manage quality customer service
  • BSBWOR502B Ensure team effectiveness
  • TAEDEL402A Plan, organise and facilitate learning in the workplace

Do I need to be in a special kind of vet clinic?

No, a general practice veterinary clinic is fine. However you will need access to certain equipment and cases to base your assignments and practical assessments on. If your clinic doesn’t have the right access, you can arrange work experience at another clinic nearby who does.

Will my previous experience or study count?

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.

How long will the course take, and how much study will I need to do?

You will have 18 months to complete the course in. For some students, we may allow 2 years where work experience will need to be coordinated.

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 your original enrollment period.

How is the course delivered?

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.

Do you take international students?

Yes! We welcome international students! You will still need to meet the same entry requirements. This generally means you will have to complete the Cert IV via RPL frst.

As an international student, instalment 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.

I have credits from other qualifications or study. What do I do?

If you have completed units of competency elsewhere relevant to your Diploma of 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.

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.