A day in the life of a Vet Nursing Distance Student

Distance student Libby Evans prefers studying online on her own terms; with her furry friend Twitch by her side.

Libby Evans


This course has encouraged me towards looking at other distance study options, I’d also like to look into doing more work in animal welfare as well as wildlife in the future

Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing (third year) distance student, Libby Evans had no idea about vet nursing until she was looking for a career change. Fast forward a few years and she's been fortunate enough to work in both emergency veterinary clinics and general practice positions around New Zealand.

Libby is just one of Otago Polytechnic's students studying via distance learning. Along with her studies, she's also working full time as a general practice nurse at Taranaki Vet Centre in Hawera.
"My former manager and close friend Erika, told me about vet nursing at Otago Polytechnic, and how it’s completely online. Both of us decided we were going to enrol in full-time study and get it done in a year."

The Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing (third year) is made up of online learning directed by tutors, tutorials, industry-based learning, and self-directed online learning and study.
"Having completed my first semester now, I can say it's challenging, it’s not for everybody but it's achievable.

“With distance learning, I can set my own schedule and work at my own pace.
The majority of my weekends are spent at home with my cat Twitch for full study days. This is when I get the bulk of my work done, especially writing up my assignments. My entire approach to distance learning is to keep on top of schedule and stay ahead of weekly activities and assignments as much as possible."

Although the workload can be intense at times, the payoff is well worth it, especially when it comes to treating furry friends.
"It can be quite exciting at times when you’re learning new things about intense medical cases while working in clinic. A very similar patient could be admitted for treatment and you can immediately apply what you've just learnt."

Libby found studying online most of her support comes from her close friend Erika, who initially found the course.
"We’ve both found great support in study groups for certain papers, it's reassuring comparing marks and feedback with some of the other students.  Although it's distance learning, it's so comforting to realise you're not the only one struggling and getting frustrated at times. Having someone else going through the same issues and being able to help each other talk it through can be very beneficial and reassuring."


Libby Evans