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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Eastern Institute of Technology
Eastern Institute of Technology logo

Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing

This course is available

Online, On-Campus

Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date



The BVN programme is designed for individuals wishing to become highly regarded industry professionals within the veterinary nursing sector. Graduates of the BVN will:

  • place animal welfare at the forefront of every veterinary nursing task and procedure performed while also considering human and environmental factors;
  • integrate extensive knowledge and understanding of the professional, cultural, ethical and moral responsibilities of a veterinary nurse;
  • confidently apply advanced theoretical knowledge and skills in veterinary medical nursing, anaesthesia and surgical assistance in practice;
  • think and reflect critically to continuously improve animal well-being, their own practice and the industry as a whole;
  • proactively engage in continuous learning and undertake research to support evidence-based practice, solving complex problems in relation to patient care and health;
  • advise clients on the management of individual animal care based on contemporary evidence; and
  • recognise the need for and lead the development of strategies to deal with emotionally and otherwise stressful situations.

Make Your Passion For Animals Your Career

The Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing (BVN) programme will produce degree-level veterinary nurses capable of applying advanced subject-specific knowledge and skills, critical thinking, problem-solving and reflection, who place animal welfare at the forefront of their evidence-based practice. Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to make well-informed choices of a career or academic path and the language, literacy and numeracy skills required for study.

EIT offers the Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing in collaboration with Otago Polytechnic. You can attend the block courses at EIT Hawke’s Bay or Otago Polytechnic.

Career Opportunities & Outcomes

Veterinary nurse, veterinary nurse educator, animal care educator, DOC roles, MPI roles, Humane Society roles, commercial representative, medical representative, specialist clinic roles, veterinary nursing or animal care researcher.

Practicum work experience

Students in the Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing must complete work experience commitments as set by the Programme Co-ordinator. Students will be required to complete 240 hours in Year One, 240 hours in Year Two and 160 hours in Year Three of clinic work placements. In order to provide students with different perspectives on veterinary nursing, they will complete their work experience in at least two different veterinary practices, unless currently employed at a veterinary clinic.

Students will be required to find their own work placements with assistance from programme staff where needed. It is recommended work placements will be in two or three week blocks.

While on work experience, students must maintain a portfolio with evidence of completion of practical assessments and clinical skills. Students are in contact with the Programme Co-ordinator on a regular basis, to discuss progress on the workplace requirements.

Entry criteria

The academic entry requirement for the BVN is either:

University Entrance, as defined by the NZQA, OR
Evidence regarded as sufficient by the Head of School of the capability to undertake and complete the programme of study, OR
At the discretion of the Head of School, where the applicant is over 20 years of age and demonstrates the capability to undertake and complete the programme of study.

Preference will be given to applicants who have achieved either:

12 credits or more at NCEA Level 3 in Science-rich subjects (such as Biology, Physical Education, Health, Physics and Chemistry), OR
12 credits or more in English-rich subjects (such as English, History, Art History, Classics, Geography and Economics).

Other entry requirements

  • Veterinary clinic observation requirement
  • Animal handling experience requirement
  • Practical requirements
  • Good character requirement

English Language Entry Requirements

All applicants must demonstrate an acceptable level of English Language fluency prior to acceptance in the programme. English Language fluency can be verified by achievement of one of the following within the last two years:

• New Zealand Certificate in English Language Level 4 (Academic)
• IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with no band score lower than 5.5
• PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42
• International equivalents to IELTS accepted by NZQA or successful study of a programme in which English was the language of instruction (conditions apply)

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