The mission of the Murray State College Veterinary Nursing program is to produce graduates who will be credentialed professional members of the Veterinary Medical Team.

Veterinary Technicians are an integral member of the veterinary medical team. Areas of study include: veterinary nursing, nutritional counseling, anesthesiology, veterinary imaging, clinical pathology, surgical nursing, dental hygiene and client education. Veterinary technician duties include all facets of veterinary medicine except diagnosis, prescribing medication and performing surgery. The Associate of Applied Science Degree and/or the credits in Veterinary Nursing are discipline specific and do not substitute for or transfer to pre-veterinary medical school curriculum.

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In 1978 Murray State College began Oklahoma’s first Veterinary Nursing Program.

The Veterinary Nursing Program emphasizes “hands-on” training with multiple species and offers 3 options for the curriculum.

Pre-Veterinary Nursing option gives students the opportunity to take required general education courses prior to beginning the core veterinary nursing curriculum. The Pre-Veterinary Nursing option consists of 13 to 15 credit hours per semester.

Veterinary Assistant Certificate program offers students the ability to take a one year course and obtain a veterinary assistant certificate from Murray State College, upon passing both VA1114 and VA1214. The veterinary assistant program will assist in preparing the student to enter into the veterinary nursing program however, they must go through the veterinary nursing application process.

Students who meet the requirements and elect to take general education courses concurrently with the Veterinary Nursing core curriculum (2 year option) will be required to take 16-19 credit hours per semester.

All options are designed to provide basic principles, knowledge and skill development pertaining to care and handling of normal and abnormal animals.

Murray State College Veterinary Nursing students will have opportunities to gain skills that encourage life-long learning and professionalism. Successful graduates will become excellent providers of quality health care for animals and outstanding members of society.

Graduates of this program are eligible to take the State and National Board Examination for registration as a Veterinary Technician.

Veterinary Nursing (A.A.S.)

Science (A.S.)

Admission to the Veterinary Nursing Program

In order to apply to the Veterinary Nursing Program, all applicants must meet the MSC admission requirements as well as the following:

  1. Enhanced National ACT composite score of 19 or above and sub-scores of 19 or above. SAT sub-scores above 480 SAT2/PSAT102 in Evidence Based-Reading & Writing and 530 in Math.

    1. Deficiency in sub-scores can be removed by taking appropriate courses.

  2. An accumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on all completed college course work.

The admission procedures are:

  1. Submit a Murray State College application to the Registrar’s Office.(

  2. Submit a completed Veterinary Nursing Application to the Veterinary Nursing Office. (Priority is given to complete applications received by March 15th)

  3. Submit to the Veterinary Nursing Program all of the following:

 a. Official National ACT, SAT &/or ACCUPLACER Score Reports

  • ​If Applicant has below a 19 ACT sub score in Reading, English or Math they must take the ACCUPLACER exam at Murray State College

  • If Applicant has below a 480 SAT2/PSAT102 sub score in Evidence BasedReading & Writing or 530 Math they must take the ACCUPLACER exam at Murray State College.

  •  ACCUPLACER – Student practice exams –

b. High school transcript or equivalent – Copy of Official transcript

c. College transcript (s), if applicable - Copy of Official transcript

d. Immunization record

  • Rabies Pre-exposure vaccination or adequate titer levels if previously vaccinated

e. Two Letters of Recommendation

f. Clinical Observation Record – 16 Hours 

  1.  Student must be able to meet the Essential Functions (physical and mental) requirements for Veterinary Technicians. A detailed list of these requirements is available in the Veterinary Nursing Application link on the web page.  

  1. Students accepted into the Program are required to attend the Veterinary Nursing Orientation, which will be scheduled during the week prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

  1.  Students accepted into the Program are required to have a complete primary series of rabies pre-exposure vaccine administered prior to direct contact with animals. If previously vaccinated for rabies the student must have serum antibody levels checked, with a booster dose of rabies vaccine administered if the titer is inadequate according to current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Veterinary Nursing Program Admission Selection Procedure is as follows:

  1. Only completed applications with all documents will be considered for acceptance.

  2. Acceptance into the MSC Veterinary Nursing Program is competitive. Applicants will be awarded points and ranked according to the admission point system. The Veterinary Nursing Selection Committee will make the final determination regarding applicant ranking and total selection point calculations. Priority for acceptance is based on the applicants rank.

  3.  Applicants having identical selection point totals will be ranked according to individual GPA, ACT and Science course grades.

  4. Qualified applicants who have not been selected for admission into the Fall Class may be placed on an alternate list.

  5. Alternates will be notified after summer semester grades are released of the current application year.

Readmission to the Program

If a student that has been accepted into the Veterinary Nursing Program and begins the program finds for any reason they must discontinue the program, they may be readmitted to the program in accordance with the following:

  1. Student will submit a current Veterinary Nursing Program Application.
  2. Application will be awarded points and ranked according to the admission point system.
  3. Please note, our distance learning students must complete their core veterinary nursing classes within 6 years of starting.
  4. MSC Veterinary Nursing allows 2 attempts at completing the program before readmission is no longer accepted due to insufficient grades in core classes. This applies to our in-person and distance learning students. 

Application for Murray State College

Essential Functions (Technical Skills) List (PDF)

Application Checklist (PDF)

The assistant may be asked to perform kennel work, assist in the restraint and handling of animals, feed and exercise the animals, or spend time on clerical duties. The veterinary assistant certificate program will assist in preparing the student to enter into the veterinary technology program.

  • Passing the two courses do not guarantee admittance to the veterinary nursing program

The program consists of one year, students take two courses and must pass both courses to receive a certificate.

Veterinary Assistant I (VA1114)

This course will provide the student with necessary skills utilized in the everyday duties of the veterinary assistant, including, but not limited to: office procedures and client relations, medical terminology, pharmacology and pharmacy, and various related studies.

Veterinary Assistant II (VA1214)

This course will provide the student with nursing skills related to animal behavior, restraint, surgery, anesthesia, laboratory procedures, and diagnostic imaging. It will also cover avian and exotic animal care and nursing skills.

Q: When can I apply to the Veterinary Nursing Program?
A: Applicants are taken each spring for the following fall semester. The application process must be
completed by June, 15. Priority will be given to those applicants that apply before March 15.

Q: What are the requirements to be eligible to apply to the VN program?
A: In order to apply to the Veterinary Nursing Program all applicants must meet MSC admission
requirements and preference is given to students who meet the following requirements:
1. Enhanced ACT composite score of 19 or above. SAT total score 990 or above.
2. Enhanced ACT math score of 19 or above or MTH 0403. SAT Math score of 510.
3. Enhanced ACT reading score of 19 or higher or ENG 0103 or ENG 0203. SAT Reading & Writing
score of 330.

Q: How long will it take me to complete this program?
A: The program consists of four semesters and an externship which is an 8-week summer course.

Q: I have taken some of the prerequisite courses at another college or university. Will these courses
transfer and will I get credit for them for this program?
A: Most college credit courses that have been taken within the last ten years will transfer to Murray
State College. Applicants need to make an appointment with the registrar office for a transcript

Q: Is clinical experience included in the program?
A: Yes, clinical experience will be incorporated in the curriculum throughout the entirety of the program.

Q: When I finish the program, will I be a Registered Veterinary Technician?
A: Students who finish the program will receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary
Nursing from Murray State College and will be eligible to sit for your state and Veterinary Technician
National Examination (VTNE). Upon passing these exams, you will receive your license as a credentialed
veterinary technician.

Q: What is an externship?
A: Clinical externship is the culmination of a student’s Veterinary Technician education. It is the training
ground where students are challenged to integrate all aspects of their education. This phase of training
offers students the excitement and responsibility of applying the knowledge and skills they have learned.

Q: If I am still in high school, what courses should I take now to prepare myself for a career as a Registered Veterinary Technician?
A: Physical Science, Biology, Physiology, Chemistry, Zoology, Algebra, and Computer Science


This program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.


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Program Highlights

Murray State College Veterinary Nursing graduates are successful professionals, providing quality health care for animals.

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