Introduction to Veterinary Nursing

I've always been interested in working with animals and the unknown thrill of what emergency is going to come through the door next. There are plenty of jobs available for veterinary nurses and you get a lot of job satisfaction from these kinds of careers.

Keri Clayton
FdSc Veterinary Nursing

Who studies veterinary nursing?

Veterinary nurses (or VNs, as they are often known), work with veterinary surgeons to provide animal care. Most work within a veterinary surgery or hospital. Their work often includes client advice, minor surgical procedures, diagnostic tests and medical treatments while supervised by a vet. Some go on to become practice managers, ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the surgery or hospital. If you are considering veterinary nursing courses you will obviously need to have an interest in animals, and a desire to work with them in a practical hands-on way, while also learning the theory behind the practice. If you enjoy being with animals, whether they are pets, livestock or more exotic species, care about their health and welfare, and would like to work as part of a strong team of professionals, veterinary nursing is for you. Our courses cater from those starting at entry level to vet nurses already in practice who wish to top-up their existing qualifications to a degree.

Do I need experience of working with animals?

Yes. As these courses are highly vocational you must have had experience in a veterinary practice to be considered for a veterinary nursing course. For all courses your practical experience should preferably include both large animals (farm livestock or horses) and companion (pet) animals. Obviously, we don't expect you to have worked with every species, but the more experience you have acquired by the start of the course, the more meaningful the lectures will be and the more you will get out of your studies.



Harper Adams is a veterinary nurse approved centre (VNAC) and approved course provider. There are a wide range of facilities on campus to support the veterinary courses including the Veterinary Services Centre (which includes hydrotherapy and practical/consulting facilities), Companion Animal House and extensive laboratory facilities. The University Farm allows veterinary nursing students to widen their skills and experience.


Harper Adams veterinary nursing graduates are highly employable. They have the skills that enable them to do the job from day one, including good technical knowledge, a hands-on approach, experience gained during placement and good interpersonal skills. As well as working in veterinary surgeries and animal hospitals VNs can also work in laboratories, zoos, the pharmaceutical industry, education, wildlife centre management and animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA.


As a veterinary nursing student you will be part of the wider animal-related studies department. As well as veterinary surgeons and nurses, you will benefit from the knowledge of animal scientists specialising in physiology, nutrition, behaviour, welfare and molecular biology. Lecturers are well supported by laboratory and farm-based technical staff with a wealth of experience and hands-on skills.

Accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary of Surgeons

Veterinary nurses must meet the standards set out by the RCVS, and we ensure that the required criteria are built into our courses to fully equip you for the workplace. Graduates in BSc Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management and FdSc Veterinary Nursing will receive the RCVS Veterinary Nursing License to Practice at graduation and will be able to register with the professional body as a qualified veterinary nurse.