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 require extensive vocational expertise and should expect that access through paid employment within 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.


A total of eight (8) Units of Competency must be achieved as specified below:

complete eight (8) CORE Units.

CORE: Complete the following eight (8) CORE Units

Unit code

Unit title

add topic ACMSUS301A

Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices

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

add topic ACMVET508A

Support veterinary practice communication and professional development

add topic ACMWHS501A

Manage workplace health and safety processes

add topic BSBCUS501C

Manage quality customer service

add topic BSBWOR502B

Ensure team effectiveness


    Job Roles

    The job role that this Qualification describes includes:

    Veterinary emergency and critical care nurse.

    Pathways into the Qualification

    Pathways for candidates considering this Qualification are after achieving ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

    Pathways from the Qualification

    After achieving the ACM50412 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

Entrants into ACM50412 Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Emergency and Critical Care) are required to hold the 19 Core Units from the ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

Licensing Information

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.


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.