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

Study Options

Full-time, Part-time


1 year


Level 5

Button for easy access to information about this qualification

Become a Veterinary Nurse of the Future

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 EIT’s 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.

You’ll study:

  • 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.

Career Opportunities and Outcomes

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 [Level 7]


Study vet nursing @ EIT - two students partake in surgery aftercare.


There is one entry date per year:

  • February

EIT students partake in vet animal care as part of their vet nurse training.


Entry Requirements

English Language Entry Requirements

Entry with Credit

International Entry Requirements

Academic Learning Services

Academic Learning Services is here to assist you on your journey towards the successful completion of your studies at EIT. 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 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 scholarships here however there are many more scholarships offered nationally.  Information about these is on an database called “givME”. givME is accessible at EIT or at some public libraries. If you would like to come to EIT to look through the giveME database don’t hesitate to contact or call in for a chat.