NZ Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant) (Level 5)

Study Options



1 year


Level 5

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Start your path to becoming a vet nurse

If you’re passionate about animal health and welfare, this programme is perfect for you. This qualification will prepare you to work in a veterinary-related field under the supervision and direction of other veterinary staff.

You’ll learn all about animal husbandry and how to maintain animal health within a veterinary clinic, how to care for hospitalised animal patients, assist in surgery preparation and anaesthesia, and conduct routine diagnostic procedures. You will complete a total of 240 hours of clinic work placement in veterinary clinics and rostered hours in the EIT | Te Pūkenga animal facility to further develop your skills.


The purpose of this qualification is to prepare you as a veterinary nursing assistant by providing you with the skills, knowledge and attributes needed to help assist veterinarians and veterinary nurses in a companion animal practice.

This qualification is targeted at those who wish to work in a veterinary related field or in a veterinary clinic with companion animals. The animal industry will benefit by having graduates qualified with skills to allow them to be ready to work in a veterinary clinic, under the direction of a veterinarian and senior nursing staff.

Study areas

  • Structure and function of animals
  • Animal behaviour, handling and care
  • Ethics
  • Legislation
  • Welfare
  • Client interaction
  • Surgical and diagnostic services
  • Anaesthetic and analgesic monitoring
  • Care of hospitalised patients

As a graduate of the NZ Certificate of Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant) (Level 5) you will be able to provide assistance to veterinarians and veterinary nurses in a clinic environment and perform some tasks independently.

You will also be able to:

  • Maintain animal health and husbandry of animals in a veterinary clinic
  • Care for hospitalised patients
  • Assist in surgery preparation and anaesthesia
  • Assist with routine diagnostic procedures

You are welcome to make an appointment to discuss your study options with our staff either in person or by phone and also to visit at any time to view our facilities. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Clinic work placements

As a learner in the NZ Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant strand) you must complete clinic work placements as set by the Programme Coordinator and Workplace Coordinator. EIT | Te Pūkenga will source and organise clinic work placements that are within the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions. There will be one 120 hour placement per semester clinic work placement blocks in veterinary clinics. In addition, hours to be completed in the EIT | Te Pūkenga animal facility as rostered on by the Animal Room Technician.

In order to provide learners with different perspectives on veterinary nursing you will complete your clinic work placements in at least two different veterinary practices.

While on clinic work placement, you must maintain a portfolio with evidence of completion of the practical assessments and clinical skills sign-off when competent. You will meet with the Workplace Coordinator on a regular basis to discuss progress on the workplace requirements.

A memorandum of agreement will be drawn up between the clinic work placement facility, yourself and EIT | Te Pūkenga to define the rights and responsibilities of each party involved in the work placements.



There is one entry date per year:

  • February



Entry requirements

Other entry requirements

English language entry requirements

Entry with credit

International entry requirements

Your future career and study opportunities

Your possible employment opportunities include: veterinary nursing assistant, veterinary sales representative, nutritional sales representative, animal welfare officer or animal technician.

Your study pathway could progress onto:

  • NZ Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6)
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing

Academic learning services

Academic Learning Services is here to assist you on your journey towards the successful completion of your studies at EIT | Te Pūkenga. Our aim is for you to become confident, competent and independent learners.

We have dedicated advisors who can assist with your learning.

Find out more:

Hawke’s Bay Campus


EIT | Te Pūkenga offers a variety of scholarships across various subjects and programme levels.  Some scholarships are based on your age, some are specific to the subject you want to study.  Not all scholarships are based on your academic ability and anyone wanting to study should investigate what scholarships are available to them.  

You can find a list of EIT | Te Pūkenga scholarships here however there are many more scholarships offered nationally.  Information about these is on an database called “givME”. givME is accessible at EIT | Te Pūkenga or at some public libraries. If you would like to come to EIT | Te Pūkenga to look through the giveME database don’t hesitate to contact or call in for a chat.