New Zealand

Definition and roles of veterinary nurses / technicians in New Zealand

In New Zealand veterinary nurses / technicians are considered allied veterinary professionals i.e. veterinary nursing / technology is a profession in its own right and VNs / VTs are an integral part of the veterinary team. The use of the title veterinary nurse is restricted to someone who has completed the national diploma in veterinary nursing while the title veterinary technician is reserved for someone who has completed the bachelor of veterinary technology. The BVetTech is a more recent qualification that the NDVN and the distinction between the roles in practice is not yet fully established, particularly between experience holders of either qualification. New Zealand veterinary nurses / technicians are responsible for providing care to maintain the health and wellbeing of their patients.

The roles VNs and VTs are trained to perform and expected to be able to carry out competently are:


Maintain patient records


Receive and relay information from and to clients and colleagues


Perform VN consults and triage emergencies


Obtain radiographic images and assist during other imaging procedures


Assess inpatients and attend to their general and specific clinical needs


Collect samples and conduct diagnostic texts


Dispense prescriptions


Assist in theatre either with anaesthesia or as a sterile or non sterile theatre assistant.