Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Emergency and Critical Care)

This qualification is the industry standard for veterinary nurses who provide support for an extensive range of emergency and critical care procedures within a veterinary hospital or emergency/specialist veterinary clinic.

Candidates undertaking study for this qualification should expect that access through paid employment to a veterinary hospital or emergency/specialist veterinary clinic where emergency and critical care procedures are performed will be essential for meeting assessment requirements of some units.

The Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Emergency and Critical Care) is extremely complex and requires access and exposure to an extensive range of specialised emergency and critical care procedures, including medical emergencies; trauma, including road traffic accident, chest, abdominal, head and respiratory; surgical (thoracic and abdominal); haematological (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy), resulting in blood transfusions; septic (systemic inflammatory response syndrome), relating to organ dysfunction; toxin recognition and management of topical and ingested toxins; and advanced critical care and intensive care monitoring (post-surgical). It also requires access to a veterinary hospital or emergency/specialist veterinary clinic where emergency and specialised critical care procedures are performed; veterinarians who perform emergency and specialised critical care procedures; patients and clients requiring emergency and specialised critical care surgery, nursing and discharge; and the equipment, instruments and resources required to perform emergency and specialised critical care procedures.

Job role

The job role that this qualification describes includes:

Veterinary emergency and critical care nurse.


Packaging Rules

A total of fifteen (15) units of competency must be achieved as specified below.

Complete fifteen (15) CORE units.

CORE: Complete the following fifteen (15) units

add topic ACMOHS401A

Maintain occupational health and safety processes

add topic ACMSUS301A

Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices

add topic ACMVET401A

Coordinate patient admission and discharge

add topic ACMVET402A

Apply imaging routines

add topic ACMVET403A

Perform clinic pathology procedures

add topic ACMVET404A

Perform clinic office procedures

add topic ACMVET405A

Carry out surgical nursing routines

add topic ACMVET406A

Nurse animals

add topic ACMVET407A

Carry out medical nursing routines

add topic ACMVET408A

Coordinate and perform theatre routines

add topic ACMVET409A

Provide specific animal care advice

add topic ACMVET410A

Carry out veterinary dental nursing procedures

add topic ACMVET505A

Prepare for emergency response

add topic ACMVET506A

Perform emergency procedures to sustain life

add topic ACMVET507A

Provide nursing support for critical care surgery


    Pathways into the qualification

    Pathways for candidates considering this qualification include:

    direct entry

    after achieving ACM40409 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

    vocational training and/or work experience related to veterinary nursing.

    Pathways from the qualification

    After achieving the ACM50410 Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Emergency and Critical Care), candidates may undertake professional development activities in areas of benefit to their workplace and their personal aspirations.

Entry Requirements

Not applicable.

Licensing Information

Licensing, Legislative, Regulatory or Certification Considerations

There is a direct link between this qualification and approval to perform veterinary nursing duties under the Western Australian (WA) Veterinary Surgeons Act 1960 as amended. The WA Veterinary Surgeons Board must approve qualified persons to carry out the duties of veterinary nurses and must authorise persons enrolled in approved courses to perform the duties of trainee veterinary nurses. Candidates should confirm the regulatory requirements that apply in their relevant state or territory. In addition, individual units of competency may specify relevant licensing, legislative and/or regulatory requirements.

Employability Skills


Employability Skill

Industry/enterprise requirements for this qualification include:


analyse and apply technical information

analyse data and information to determine implications for work operations

communicate with all people at all levels of the organisation in a professional manner

complete a range of workplace documentation and records

select communication technologies to support work operations

demonstrate effective and appropriate communication and interpersonal skills when dealing with people

develop work instructions, specifications and procedures

select and apply documentation, communication and interpersonal strategies when dealing with internal and external clients

select communication methods according to priority, cost and audience needs.


determine performance required to meet internal and external customer needs

facilitate team achievements

lead cooperative work relations with people of different ages, gender, race or religion

manage organisational processes and provide problem solving support to others

provide leadership.

Problem solving

identify and address potential and actual problems associated with work operations or in achieving work outcomes

investigate problem causes and implement corrective strategies

identify environmental features, regulations, legislative requirements and other factors which may affect the process or service to be provided

use material and process knowledge to solve problems

identify hazards and suggest control measures

analyse animal welfare and safety practices.

Initiative and enterprise

determine and act on situations requiring further information or problem solving

determine information gathering requirements to monitor work processes and procedures

determine quality and other indicators of work outcomes

identify efficient production processes

implement continuous improvement processes

provide leadership in the workplace.

Planning and organising

demonstrate time-management skills

determine resource requirements

determine work timelines and quality service targets

identify hazards and implement appropriate hazard control measures

optimise work processes.


analyse implications of relevant Acts and regulations on work practices

conduct work reviews to determine improvement requirements

determine workplace procedures and instructions

monitor work operations and identify and act on any quality and performance issues

manage own time to meet deadlines.


assess work data and information to identify areas for improved performance

be supportive, assertive and use interpersonal skills to encourage workplace learning

develop learning opportunities

gather feedback on own work to assess effectiveness in meeting objectives and integrate information into own practice

identify own training needs and seek skill development if required

maintain currency of industry skill and knowledge.


ensure readiness and operational efficiency of workplace technology

help others use technology efficiently and safely

select computer software applications to perform work operations

work with technology safely and according to workplace standards.