The two-year Veterinary Nursing Associates Degree program prepares students to join an animal-care team as entry-level technicians. Technicians collect samples, perform lab tests, take radiographs, prepare the surgical suite, assist in surgery, monitor anesthesia, provide general nursing care to patients, and assume other clinical duties. Second-year students complete clinical rotations in the Animal Care Center, a pet wellness center on the campus of Johnson College. The program prepares students to become Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVT) upon passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).
Watch the video below to learn why Veterinary Nursing might be right for you.
Immunizations & Scrubs
In addition to tuition and fees, students are responsible for the costs of immunizations.
Veterinary Nursing students will be required to purchase Johnson College scrubs during their 4th semester in preparation for VET 299. The student will be required to wear these scrubs during the entire 5-week rotation.
The Johnson College Veterinary Nursing program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA-CVTEA) as a program for educating veterinary technicians.
Animal Science licensure exam rates
3-year VTNE PASS RATE July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022
• Number of first-time candidates that have taken the VTNE: 25
• Three-year VTNE pass percentage: 88%
Veterinary Nursing students are responsible for reading and abiding by all policies and procedures in the Veterinary Nursing Program Student Handbook
Important Note for Prospective Students:
If you are considering a degree program that leads to a professional license or certification in a state other than Pennsylvania, it is highly recommended that you first seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in your home state BEFORE enrolling in an academic program or course at Johnson College.
Johnson College will not be held liable if you have not contacted your appropriate state agency prior to enrollment.
Graduates work in many areas of veterinary medicine such as small and large animal clinics, research facilities, academia, zoos, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Our Veterinary Nursing program graduates enter the region’s workforce at locations such as Bloomsburg Veterinary Hospital in Bloomsburg, PA, Northeast Veterinary Referral Hospital in Plains, PA, and Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center in Clarks Summit, PA.
Program Learning Goals
Goal 1: Graduates will be able to function as an entry-level certified veterinary technician in a variety of clinical settings.
Student Learning Outcomes – Students will:
- Demonstrate competence in the skills needed as outlined by the CVTEA, Policies & Procedures Manual, Veterinary Technology Students Essential and Recommended Skills List, and required tasks for licensure/certification as an entry level Veterinary Technician.
- Demonstrate preparedness and knowledge of skills based on the 9 VTNE prep exam domain scores
- Conduct themselves in a manner in accordance with the standards set forth by the AVMA-CVTEA & the Johnson College Veterinary Nursing Program for a Veterinary Technician.
Goal 2: Graduates will develop analytical, critical thinking, decision-making, and psychomotor skills necessary to perform in the animal health care industry.
Student Learning Outcomes – Students will:
- Demonstrate competency in medical nursing, surgical nursing & anesthetic nursing
- Competently perform laboratory procedures
- Demonstrate proficiency in a pharmacy setting and understand pharmacologic concepts
- Produce diagnostic images and understand radiologic concepts
Goal 3: Graduates will contribute as an integral member of a veterinary health care team while adhering to professional and ethical standards including compassion for clients and animals and personal responsibility.
Student Learning Outcomes:
- Demonstrate competence is performing hospital and office procedures, maintaining client relations, and public communication.
- Effectively communicate with the veterinary health care team and maintain a safe work environment for clients, animals, and staff.
- Demonstrate understanding of the laws, ethics, and professional organizations that govern the veterinary profession
Goal 4: Graduates will obtain the required skills to practice health promotion and animal disease prevention.
Student Learning Outcomes:
- Recognize significant zoonotic and animal diseases and the appropriate diagnostics, treatments, and prevention of those diseases.
- Contribute to improved public health by promoting biosecurity measures and disease prevention through communication with clients.
A five-week internship at an approved site must be completed after the last semester of the second year. Students must satisfy the internship requirements of both Johnson College and the internship provider as a condition of graduation.
Some internship sites may require a criminal background check and/or a drug test. Internship sites may bar students from an internship if a criminal record exists or a drug test has a positive result. Costs for travel to and from an internship site are the responsibility of the student.
Veterinary Nursing students are required to maintain a cumulative 2.33 GPA (76% or higher) in VET & MAT courses. Additionally, a student must receive an average grade of “C+” (76%) or higher in each VET & MAT courses. If the student’s GPA falls below 2.33, the student will be placed on academic probation. The following semester, your GPA must be brought up to a cumulative 2.33 in all courses listed above or you will be dismissed from the program. If a student receives a grade below a “C+” (76%), the student must re-take the course at their own expense in order to successfully complete the program. Please review to the Veterinary Nursing Academic Progression Policy for details concerning academic progress and probation details.
VET 275 and VET 277, Senior Clinical Rotations I and II are capstone courses. clinical experiences are to provide an environment allowing students to incorporate and enhance all AVMA required tasks. Students must receive a score of 76% or better on Clinical Rotation written final exams, oral/practical exams, and instructor evaluations of students. Students who do not obtain a minimum score of 76% in any of the three evaluations will receive a letter grade of “F” for the rotation and must repeat the course. Students are also required to adhere to strict guidelines on patient neglect or cruelty.
Special Program Enrollment Requirements
Prior to the start of the first semester, students must provide proof of tetanus and rabies. Rabies inoculation is in order to participate in any laboratory and clinical activities involving animals.
Special Admissions Requirements
A minimal high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 along with a minimal Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score of 900 (math and verbal) total or; a minimal American College Test (ACT) of 18 is required for admission. If SAT/ACT test were never taken, an online exam will be provided by the Recruitment Advisor. A score of 21 or above is required for English and 18 or above for Math.
• 1 year of Algebra with a “C+” or higher
• 2 year of English with a “C+” or higher
• 2 years of Biology or a Life Science with a “C+” or higher
• Recommended: 1 year of Chemistry with a “C+” or higher
Applicants must take 2 years of Biology and/or Life Sciences, and attain a grade of “C+” or higher.
Student must submit the following required documents before their application file will be reviewed:
- High School Transcripts
- SAT/ACT/online test scores
- A completed Veterinary Nursing questionnaire
- Observation Hour Form
- Ten hours of observation at a veterinary clinic is required.
- Letter of recommendation
- Personal references must be submitted from anyone except an immediate family member.
Rabies / Tetanus Inoculations:
The Center for Disease Control considers individuals working with animals (including veterinarians and their staff) to be in the high-risk category. The CDC’s recommendation for these individuals is to obtain a primary course of rabies vaccinations followed by serologic testing or booster vaccination every two years.
Vaccinations against tetanus and rabies are required for all Veterinary Technology students. Proof of Rabies Prophylactic Series and tetanus inoculation prior to handling animals is required.
|Major Courses (52 Credits)|
|MAT 205||Medicine & Mathematics||2|
|VET 151||Intro. to Veterinary Tech. / Clinical Management||1|
|VET 153||Clinical Applications for Large Animals||2|
|VET 154||Clinical Applications for Large Animals Lab||1|
|VET 155||Clinical Applications for Small Animals||2|
|VET 156||Clinical Applications for Small Animals Lab||1|
|VET 157||Animal Anatomy and Physiology I||3|
|VET 158||Animal Anatomy and Physiology Lab I||1|
|VET 159||Animal Anatomy and Physiology II||3|
|VET 160||Animal Anatomy and Physiology Lab II||1|
|VET 161||Parasitology & Immunology||2|
|VET 162||Parasitology & Immunology Lab||1|
|VET 251||Pharmacology & Anesthesia||3|
|VET 253||Clinical Pathology||2|
|VET 254||Clinical Pathology Lab||1|
|VET 259||Surgical Nursing I||2|
|VET 263||Surgical Nursing II||2|
|VET 267||Veterinary Radiology||1|
|VET 268||Veterinary Radiology Lab||1|
|VET 269||Intensive Care Applications||3|
|VET 271||Diseases & Zoonoses||3|
|VET 275||Clinical Rotation – surgery||3|
|VET 277||Clinical Rotation – Medicine||3|
|VET 280||Kennel Rotation I||1|
|VET 282||Kennel Rotation II||1|
|VET 295||Professional Seminar||1|
|Core Career Courses (23 Credits)|
|ART ###||Art Elective||3|
|CHM 101||Chemistry I||3|
|CHM 101L||Chemistry I Lab||1|
|COM 212||Public Speaking||3|
|CPT 101||Microcomputer I||3|
|CSM 105||Customer Service and Our World||3|
|ENG 101||English Composition I||3|
|MAT 101||College Algebra I and Trigonometry||3|
|SSS 101||Student Success Seminar||1|
|Minimum Credits to Graduate||74|
For course descriptions, please visit the Course Catalog.