The national average salary for a veterinary nurse in the United States is $36,683 per year.
How to Make More Money as a Veterinary Nurse
Being proactive about your job growth as a veterinary nurse will help you earn more money. Accept opportunities to take on new responsibilities at work, learn new skills, and demonstrate why you deserve to be paid more. The following are some specific steps you can take:
Seek post grad education.
Veterinary nursing is a professional field that necessitates a high level of academic understanding and technical expertise. You can increase your technical knowledge while also demonstrating your dedication and commitment to employers by taking additional courses and training in veterinary nursing. If you don’t have a degree, you could pursue an RCVS-accredited veterinary nursing program.
At work, ask for extra responsibilities.
Simply asking for increased responsibility at work is one of the quickest methods to improve your skill set and your veterinary nursing CV. Take advantage of any opportunity to learn something new, and make it clear to your boss that as your experience and confidence grow, you desire additional responsibilities. Your employer is most likely impressed by your zeal. This, combined with successfully carrying out your increased responsibilities, could lead to a pay raise.
Consider alternative veterinary nursing specialties.
If you work in a veterinary clinic or surgery, you might want to consider applying for positions in other fields. Vet nurses could specialize in lab work to earn a higher veterinary nurse salary. Veterinary nursing in laboratories and research pays better, owing to the fact that it demands a deeper understanding of animal anatomy. You could also pursue more training to become a teacher or lecturer.
Look for fresh possibilities.
If you believe your experience and compensation aren’t aligned, you can always request a raise from your current job. Because your function as a veterinary nurse is so important at work, most companies recognize the value you provide to your team. You might also explore for fresh job opportunities at other clinics. Because average prices for these specialists vary widely among businesses, you may be able to find a new job that pays more.
What is the role of a Veterinary Nurse?
A Veterinary Nurse provides basic medical care to animals under the supervision of a certified veterinarian. Veterinary Nurses are similar to human Nurses, except that their patients are hairier and wag their tails during appointments. You shouldn’t be scared to get dirty because a normal day as a Veterinary Nurse will find you scrubbing floors and cages and preparing patients for surgery on your hands and knees. You’ll also be responsible for restraining unwell animals as needed, doing physical examinations, and testing blood for heartworms.
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Frequently, you see animals before the veterinarian does. You weigh them, take their vitals, vaccinate them, and send them on their way in most cases. You are responsible for a pet’s care if it has to stay overnight for surgery. You make sure that it receives the proper treatment and that it recovers quickly.
Caring for four-legged friends necessitates an unwavering devotion to animals, which you possess in spades. It can be messy (those litter boxes don’t clean themselves), stressful (what did Fluffy eat? ), and heartbreaking (every animal crosses the rainbow bridge eventually). But, in the end, the job is gratifying since the majority of the animals you care for are happier and healthier as a result of their time with you.
Communication skills are also crucial, especially when bad news must be delivered. What if the poodle is 13 pounds and has the appearance of a barking mop? He is her offspring to his owner. Be prepared to offer your shoulder to cry on and a caring heart to assist her figure out what to do next if you have to tell her he has an incurable condition.
What does it take to become a veterinary nurse?
Completion of high school
Complete your high school education or obtain a GED in order to attend veterinary school. Focus on science and math in school because those subjects are useful in the veterinary field for tasks like weighing animals and measuring medicine dosages.
Become acquainted with animals.
It is beneficial to gain experience with animals early on because work experience is usually a requirement for finding a job as a veterinary nurse. This can assist you in determining whether or not becoming a veterinary nurse is a career path you wish to follow. Consider volunteering at a local animal shelter or kennel in addition to a veterinarian clinic.
Enroll in a nursing program.
A veterinary nursing degree can be obtained from an American Veterinary Medical Association-accredited college (AVMA). Veterinary nurses can pursue a career as a veterinary technician or a veterinary technologist with a two-year or four-year degree.
Obtain a license.
A licensure is required for the majority of veterinary nurse professions. To prepare for your license to practice as a nurse, research the requirements in your state.
Obtain a certificate
You might also choose to get a relevant certification in animal studies, veterinary nursing, or another related field, depending on where you live. Earning a certificate might help you specialize your sector knowledge and increase your employment marketability. A certificate can be earned entirely online, and it usually takes less than a year to complete.
Abilities expected of a Veterinary nurse
The following are some abilities that will help a veterinary nurse succeed:
Communication: This is important because a veterinary nurse collaborates with a veterinarian, other personnel, and interacts with an animal’s owner about the animal’s condition and treatment plan.
Veterinary nurses collaborate with a veterinarian and other veterinarian personnel to achieve the common aim of assisting animals.
A veterinary nurse learns and understands animal anatomy in order to assist vets in working on a specific portion of an animal’s body.
Compassion: Veterinary nurses may be needed to provide disappointing or alarming information to an animal’s owner on a regular basis, thus compassion and understanding are essential.
Patient care: Veterinary nurses can support veterinarians by understanding patient care, or how to prevent and treat infections and injuries.
Physical stamina: When lifting animals to examination tables and working on their feet all day, veterinary nurses rely on their physical strength to complete tasks.
What personal qualities are required to work as a veterinary nurse?
Are you in a good mood?
The ability to remain calm is one of the most important qualities required of vet nurses. In a surgery, anything can happen, and the vet will need to know that you can stay calm in any situation.
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Are you capable of displaying resiliency?
It goes without saying that you must love animals, but do you also have the ability to keep your emotions separate from the task at hand?
Seeing animals being euthanized, or suffering from illness or an accident, can be extremely upsetting, especially for animal lovers.
Is it possible for you to be robust and separate your emotions in order to focus on your work? Veterinary nurses must strike a delicate balance between compassion and logic.
Are you sure of yourself?
You might think that working as a veterinary nurse means you’ll be told what to do at every turn by the doctor, but you’ll need to be able to make decisions on your own at many points throughout the day.
To become a veterinary nurse, you’ll need to be self-assured and aggressive, with the ability to accept responsibility for your judgments and actions.
Nurses are in charge of dispensing medicine, taking blood tests, and verifying vital statistics and, in some situations, diagnoses. Speaking with pet owners is another area where you may need to be assertive.
Are you a dedicated worker?
Veterinary nurses put quite a lot of effort. There isn’t much time in the day to sit down, and if you’re having surgery, you might end up working longer than you planned.
Veterinary nurses must be willing to put in long hours and face numerous physical challenges.
For people who enjoy working with animals, becoming a veterinary nurse is an excellent career choice. However, whether you pursue an apprenticeship or pursue a degree in veterinary nursing, you’ll need to possess the aforementioned personal skills to be successful.
Career Advice for Veterinary Nurses
Veterinary nursing can be a rewarding and challenging career, but the rewards are numerous. It’s an exciting and demanding job that necessitates a wide range of abilities. Veterinary nursing is a very hands-on profession that will expose you to a wide range of animals and their owners. You can be sure that no day will be the same, so you will never have a boring moment.
A veterinary nurse is an important and vital member of the veterinary team. Communication, sensitivity, adaptability, and a strong dedication to expanding their knowledge and abilities are all required for a career in veterinary nursing.
The Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing is the most recent qualification that provides an individual with the skills to provide competent support to veterinary clinics (ACM40418). This is a national qualification that is accepted in all Australian states. Animal care management, reception tasks, communication, basic animal care, hygiene, animal welfare, nutrition, occupational health and safety, teamwork, and animal handling are among the skills that students will learn.
This industry-recognized credential is for people who want to work as a veterinary nurse in a veterinary practice. Students can expect that having access to a veterinary clinic will be necessary for satisfying assessment requirements while studying for this certification. This access can be gained through volunteer or paid work, as well as work experience. These certifications are intended to provide you with excellent foundational skills that will give you a competitive advantage. It also demonstrates that you are motivated and taking concrete actions to improve your employability.
Networking is important in many professions, and networking is no exception. Rather than relying on the plethora of CVs on file, many clinics will recruit by word of mouth. When it comes to networking with other veterinary nurses, online social media and websites are invaluable resources. Maintain contact with veterinary clinics and provide them with an updated CV every six to twelve months.
Volunteering in animal shelters such as the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League is recommended for anyone interested in a career in veterinary nursing. You will be assisting a noble cause while also obtaining valuable industry experience.
Frequently Asked Questions about Veterinary Nurses
Answers to some frequently asked questions about veterinary nurses can be found below:
What makes a veterinarian nurse different from a veterinary technician or assistant?
While all three roles assist veterinarians in their duties, the quantity of education required and the tasks performed varied. There are no educational requirements for a veterinary nursing assistant position, however it does require certification. Veterinary technicians, on the other hand, need a bachelor’s degree, while veterinary nurses need an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.
A veterinary nurse assistant’s job responsibilities are less technical, such as feeding animals or weighing them for a visit, and are performed under the supervision of a veterinarian nurse. Veterinary nurses handle more medical tasks, such as medicine administration, whereas veterinary technicians handle similar tasks, such as equipment preparation.
Is it possible for a veterinary nurse to become a veterinarian?
A veterinary nurse would continue their study and obtain their veterinarian’s license in order to become a veterinarian. Changing careers necessitates four additional years of education, but it is rewarded with a higher salary. Because of your previous experience as a veterinary nurse, finding work may be easier.
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