School of Veterinary Nursing

Assessment of Prior Learning

The School of Veterinary Nursing APL process centres around you and your career. We reflect on where you have come from, where you are now and where you want to head next.

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How it works

You could gain academic recognition and a qualification for your knowledge and experience as a practicing professional. To achieve your chosen qualification, we’ll support you to:

  • identify early experiences and influences that have shaped you and how these relate to your working life as a veterinary nurse, veterinary nursing assistant or rural animal technician.
  • evaluate your work and life experiences and skills.
  • research relevant literature and reflect on how these have informed your practice and influenced your work.
  • complete in-depth case studies that evaluate key learning experiences from your work and align these with relevant literature.
  • identify and fill gaps in your knowledge or experience and apply new learning.

A key part of this programme is those in-depth case studies where you evaluate your learning experiences from your veterinary nursing career and present an evidence portfolio to demonstrate how you meet the requirements of your chosen programme.

On completion of your programme, you may be eligible to be added to the Register List held by the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association.

Entry requirements

  • 5-7 years of professional veterinary nurse/rural animal technician practice experience.
  • Any academic records you have.
  • A copy of your CV.
  • Online/telephone chat with a staff member from the School of Veterinary Nursing to determine your suitability for studying via the APL pathway (or to chat through further options for gaining your desired qualification).

COVID-19 vaccination information

  • As this programme is delivered through distance learning and is based in your workplace, you do not need to provide us with a My Vaccine Pass. Please ensure you follow your workplace vaccination guidelines.
  • You will need to provide us with a valid My Vaccine Pass if you want to visit an Otago Polytechnic site for any reason while you are studying with us (e.g. meetings, events, presentations) or attend graduation in person at the end of this programme.
  • You do not need to provide a valid My Vaccine Pass if you are attending on campus health services (e.g. student health, Kowhai Centre).
  • In exceptional circumstances, exemptions may be granted to this. You can find out more about this in our vaccination policy. If you think you have grounds to be exempt from our vaccination requirements, please email

Available qualifications

Contact us

If you like the sound of the APL pathway but aren’t sure whether you have the required or relevant experience, please contact us. We’re happy to talk through your options.

Email or call us at 0800 762 786 (and ask for the School of Veterinary Nursing)

Contact us

If you want to know more about what we offer or you would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.