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NAVTA Pursues Registered Veterinary Nurse Credential

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America seeks to unite the profession under a single title.


The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has formed the Veterinary Nurse Initiative Coalition to pursue legislative amendments in the 50 states to establish the credential of registered veterinary nurse, substituting registered veterinary technician (RVT), licensed veterinary technician (LVT), certified veterinary technician or licensed veterinary medical technician. NAVTA’s board approved the action to unite the profession under a single title, credentialing requirements and scope of practice. The coalition is looking at 2018 to begin initial legislation reform efforts, according to the organization.

“Through the standardization and public awareness of the registered veterinary nurse credential, the entire profession will make significant strides toward better recognition, mobility and elevated practice standards,” said Kara M. Burns, MS, MEd, LVT, VTS (Nutrition) and NAVTA president-elect. “All of this will lead to better patient care and consumer protection.”

U.S. veterinary technicians credentialing requirements, titles and scopes of practice vary, which can be confusing to pet owners; a single title and credential nationwide is the next step to improve patient care, align public perceptions and bring clarity to the field of veterinary medicine, said NAVTA in a statement.

The coalition will work with the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, industry and professional veterinary organizations, and legislators to create common terminology, policies and procedures.

“Our goal is to reduce and remove the confusion associated with the designations for a veterinary technician,” said Heather Prendergast, BS, RVT, CVPM, SPHR and coalition member. “Licensed veterinary technician, certified veterinary technician, registered veterinary technician and licensed veterinary medical technician describe credentials held by veterinary technicians throughout the nation. Once a single designation is established, each state will be able to align with a standardized credential for the profession.”

The process to evolve the name began last year with extensive research on the legality of the name change and the level of industry support, as well as a review of the current credentialing, according to coalition member Kenichiro Yagi, MS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM). The process could take several years because of the need to ensure alignment and support at the national and local level from a legislative, industry and individual perspective, Yagi added.  

Email vetnurse@navta.net to learn more about the Veterinary Nurse Initiative.  


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