Course Overview

The animal care industry is experiencing growing demand, with an increasing need for more veterinary nurses to work in vet clinics and animal care centres. Veterinary nurses help assess, treat and care for a wide range of animals, working alongside veterinarians to ensure the best health and welfare outcomes for all breeds.

This diploma will prepare you with the skills and knowledge to provide surgical and medical veterinary nursing, and manage veterinary nursing services. You'll also learn how to perform diagnostic sampling and medical imaging.

This diploma aligns with international standards for veterinary nursing. Successful completion will enable you to meet the educational standards for entrance to the NZVNA/Allied Veterinary Professional Regulatory Council's voluntary register where you will be able to use the title of Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN).

Upon successfully completing the requirements you'll receive the award of:

  • New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6)
Locations Online
Next intake Feb, 2024 View more details
Study options

1 year full-time, including holidays (if applicable)

2 years part-time, including holidays (if applicable)
Total credits 120
StudyLink assistance Available
Indicative Fees $7,826 for domestic students View full fees information
Eligibility View entry criteria

To see the information for international students change your location using the button at the top right of the screen.

Career opportunities

  • Registered Veterinary Nurse
  • Veterinary Nursing Supervisor
  • Veterinary Practice Manager
  • Veterinary Laboratory Technician
  • Veterinary Related Account Manager

Topics you'll cover

  • Veterinary Nursing Professional Practice
  • Nursing Process, Disease Pathology, and Life Support
  • Fluid Therapy, Nutrition, Wound Care and Bandaging
  • Clinical Skills 1
  • Surgery, Anaesthesia, and Pharmacology
  • Imaging, Diagnostics and Dentistry
  • Clinical Skills 2
  • Veterinary Nursing Services

Course Fees

Indicative Fees * $7,826 for domestic students
Course related costs
  • Ongoing access to a computer, camera, video, and the internet.
  • Travel, accommodation, and food costs associated with attendance at work placements and block courses.
  • Highly recommended textbooks: $400 (approx.)
  • Clinical uniform: $50 (approx.) – buy a scrub shirt if your veterinary clinic work placement doesn’t provide a uniform.
  • Name badge: $15 (pin-back) or $18.50 (magnetic) - buy a name badge if your veterinary clinic work placement doesn’t provide a one for you.
  • Scrub top: $45
  • Stethoscope: $21 (if you do not have one)
  • Closed-in shoes: $100 (approx.) - health and safety requirement for block courses and clinical work placement.

*Please note, fees for our 2024 intakes are yet to be confirmed. Once they are, we will update our website to reflect the new 2024 fee amount.

* Important fee information, and hints and tips

Help with fees

Are you Eligible for Free Fees?

There are several ways to take advantage of free study at Toi Ohomai. Find out how on our Fees Free FAQ page.

Student Loans and Allowances

This course meets the requirements for student allowance and student loan applications through StudyLink.

  • A student loan helps to pay for your course fees (the compulsory fees), study materials e.g. books, equipment, and living costs. You'll have to pay this money back.
  • A student allowance is a weekly payment that can help with your living expenses while you're studying. You don't have to pay the money back.

Find out more and apply at


Scholarships are one way you might be able to get some financial help. Any scholarships specifically related to this course are shown below, otherwise check out the full list of scholarships promoted by Toi Ohomai.

Course Entry Information

Entry criteria

  • You must have the pre-requisite qualification New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) (Veterinary Nursing Assistant) OR equivalent.
  • Evidence of a companion veterinary clinic who will support the practical components of the course.
  • Criminal Convictions History (via the Ministry of Justice), which is 6 months old or less, before the start date of your course (even if your report is clean we are required to sight this, your enrolment will be contingent on this report).  If you have studied with us in the previous year, supplied a criminal convictions report and are returning to the School of Veterinary Nursing, you will only need to make a declaration stating your history hasn’t changed since the previous report.
  • If you don’t hold the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) or equivalent but do have significant clinical veterinary experience, knowledge and skills, you may be eligible to have this experience assessed and applied towards the entry criteria for this course.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you meet the entry requirements. If English is not your first language, you must provide:
    • New Zealand University Entrance OR
    • Overall Academic IELTS 6.0 with no individual band score lower than 5.5 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years), OR
    • Acceptable alternative evidence of the required IELTS (see here for NZQA proficiency table and here for list of recognised proficiency tests).

*Once your application has been received, if successful, you will be sent an unconditional offer into the course. In this unconditional offer, there will be a link provided to enable you to complete your enrolment. This will include forms where you can provide details of your veterinary clinic work placement where you will complete the required hours of work experience for this course.

Standard Entry Criteria

Admission, entry, selection, and enrolment into programmes will be in accordance with the Academic Regulations and/or, where approved, specific programme regulations.

For Levels 5, 6 and 7 certificate or diploma, domestic students under 20 and all international students must have:

NCEA Level 2 with passes in English/Te Reo Māori or education achievement at least equivalent to NCEA Level 2 and a minimum of 42 credits at level 3; OR

Evidence of ability to complete academic requirements for the programme.

Other Considerations

  • Current basic First Aid Certificate (highly recommended).

English language requirements

IELTS Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5 or completed New Zealand Certificate in English Language Level 4 with the Academic Endorsement or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined by NZQA.

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Course Locations and Intake Information

You'll attend 3 blocks of study face-to-face on campus at set times at our Windermere Campus in Tauranga. Part-time students will attend up to 2 blocks of study each year of study. Each block is usually 2-3 days on campus.

Location Campus Start Date
Online Online Feb 2024 Apply via Otago

Study options

  • 1 year full-time, including holidays (if applicable)
  • 2 years part-time, including holidays (if applicable)

Important dates

View calendar of start dates and events

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