If you’re interested in studying veterinary nursing with us, you may have noticed that due to the work-based nature of the course, entry onto our Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Small Animal Pathway) programme requires you to either;
- have completed a minimum of two weeks’ work experience in a veterinary environment within the last 12 months (non-employed students), or;
- have secured employment within an RCVS approved TP or aTP that is willing to support you through the qualification (employed students)
Veterinary nursing is a popular profession and entry onto our training programmes is often very competitive, therefore work experience opportunities for aspiring student veterinary nurses can sometimes be hard to come by…
If you’re struggling to gain the experience needed to apply for the course, don’t give up! Take a look at our tips and advice about how to gain work experience in a veterinary practice:
Check local newspapers and online job boards
Job boards such as the CAW jobs board, Vet Times Jobs or Animal Jobs Direct list advertisements from veterinary practices for veterinary care assistants (undertaking the VCA course could be an alternative way for you to qualify for veterinary nurse training), animal nursing assistants or student veterinary nurses (SVNs)
Follow local veterinary colleges and veterinary practices on social media
Many training providers and veterinary practices will post their latest vacancies for student veterinary nurses on their social media pages, so it’s worth following those pages to ensure you are the first to see any new opportunities. Follow The College of Animal Welfare on Facebook
Check out your local veterinary practices’ websites
Many practices have their own vacancy page or further information about placement opportunities on their website, which can help you learn more about what they’re looking for. This way, you’ll also read more about who the practice is and what they do. Find a veterinary practice near you
Contact your local veterinary practices directly
By contacting practices to introduce yourself and enquire about work placements/employment directly, you are putting a face to your name and showing commitment and enthusiasm! You can drop them an email, give them a call or even stop by the practice to meet staff members in person. Even if they are unable to offer you a placement at that moment, they may be able to hold your details ready for future opportunities, or introduce you to other members of the profession who can help you gain a placement. Find a veterinary practice near you
Be aware that veterinary practices are often very busy, so don’t be disheartened if you aren’t able to speak to someone straight away. Practices are particularly busy at peak times such as Mondays and Fridays, so it’s worth trying to contact them mid-week.
Ensure your CV is up-to-date
Keeping your CV up-to-date means you’ll be able to apply for positions as soon as they become available. Make sure your CV contains any relevant experience or hobbies that you may have that will complement your application for work experience, for example any additional animal care studies or work experience in a related environment such as a farm, rehoming centre or kennels/cattery.
Have a look at veterinary work experience opportunities abroad
Many experience providers such as Oyster Worldwide offer veterinary and animal care internships/work placements abroad for those keen to gain more experience. These projects give you the opportunity to gain practical experience with animals and in some cases shadow qualified vets and vet nurses to learn more about what they do. What’s more – you can see more of a new place too! If you consider undertaking a placement abroad, it is worth contacting us to check your programme will meet the minimum entry requirements for the course first.
Attend relevant open evenings and career days
Career days such as our Careers With Animals Day bring local veterinary employers and colleges under one roof, which is the perfect opportunity to discuss your career plans and gain advice from industry professionals. What’s more – they can be a good opportunity to meet with local practices directly to enquire about work opportunities.
Gain other relevant veterinary work experience
Any experience you can gain working with animals will help to boost your employability prospects and increase the likelihood of you securing a placement in a veterinary practice at a later date. For example, if you’re struggling to get a placement in a practice due to lack of experience, could you volunteer elsewhere to build up more skills and knowledge – for example in a local kennels or rehoming centre?
Please do not be put off from applying if you do not have years of work experience. Good veterinary nurses come from all walks of life, with varying amounts of prior experience and we welcome each application on its own merit.
If you have any questions about the entry requirements for the Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Small Animal) programme, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or call us on 01480 422060.