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Veterinary Nurse - where to start? watch

    • Thread Starter

    I'm 27 and currently working in an office environment but have realised I cannot do this for the remainder of my working life and my passion for animals is getting stronger everyday.
    I want to become a veterinary nurse but I have only done voluntary things such as walking dogs via BorrowMyDoggy.co.uk and dog siting for friends whilst they're on holiday.
    I have good GCSE's and a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts but this is the highest education I have.
    I privately rent at the moment so have no idea how I will survive full time education.
    Any advice on where to start and how to completely alter my life would be much appreciated!

    HI Jen,I have recently qualified as a veterinary nurse so I think I can give you some advice . There are a few different pathways you can take to become a vet nurse: level 3 diploma, foundation degree or BSc degree. Personally, I did the level 3 diploma as the course was only two years and much more practical. (You should know the rates of pay are pretty much the same regardless of whether you have a diploma or degree. From what I understand, the benefit of having a degree means you can specialise in research etc rather than just being a nurse in practice.) You need 5 GCSEs grade C or above including english, maths and science for the diploma (though some colleges have varying requirements so it is best to check with them). As for degree routes, again universities will have different ucas points and qualification requirements. Work experience is a MUST, as much as you can get. Ideally get at least 4 weeks experience in a couple of different veterinary practices. Any other animal related work will also help. Usually student nurses are employed in a practice and have day release to attend college (for the diploma). Degree students typically attend university for a certain amount of time then go on block placement. If you are concerned about affording rent etc, I would recommended considering the diploma route as being employed whilst learning at least provides you with a bit of income. I must mention that although I love my job, at times it is very difficult- the hours are long, the pay is poor and the work is often dirty; nursing is certainly not a glamorous profession. You should also know the majority of vet nurses do not stay in this career until retirement as the prospects for progression and increased pay are very low indeed. Once qualified, you can expect a starting salary of around 18k. With experience and further qualifications you may be lucky to earn up to 25k, but this will depend on the type of practice you work in and the location. Hope this helps! Abbey x
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