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 to learn more about the Veterinary Nurse Initiative.


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14 thoughts on “NAVTA pursues registered veterinary nurse credential

  1. This a bad idea and an insult to every Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse in the USA. This will create confusion between medical and veterinary providers and their customers across the country.

    1. How exactly is this an insult to every RN or LPN…as Licensed Veterinary Technicians we also have to go through a very rigorous education program that ends in an AAS or BS…the same as an RN or a BSN. RN’s and BSN’s need to get off their high horses. I personally wouldn’t mind the title or LVN (Licensed Veterinary Nurse)…though technically we do WAY more than just nursing to include, dental prophylaxis, surgical assistance, radiographs, cystocentesis, just to name a FEW. Oh and not to mention people can talk and tell RN’s BSN’s their issues…animals cannot. That in and of itself can be a challenge in an effort to observe your patient and make your best judgment as to how they’re feeling. It’s not easy, I don’t know why the human medicine “world” can’t seem to understand this. The only people who it will create confusion with is those who do not educate themselves so please by all means give a reason of why it will create confusion instead of just making that ridiculous statement.

      1. Beautifully said April!
        I several friend who are human nurses and they constantly give our profession kudos for all that our title encompasses. But like anything else, if you are ignorant to something then you will not fully understand the other side and should therefore keep your uneducated opinion to yourself.

    2. I think RN’s think that LVT’s are “playing” medical professionals when in fact we went to school just as long, and do far more on a daily basis that most RN’s! I I can’t tell you the last time I have ever heard of an RN following patients from start to finish we do their signalment and TPR for the doctor draw up their vaccines help with annual exam‘s run our own lab work… (not with machines, manual CBC’s with diff and urine analysis) our own radiology, we are also used as ultrasonographers, dental hygienists, surgical technicians and anesthesiologists all in the same day. I think it’s more of an insult that unlicensed technicians are able to practice at all of the above as veterinary assistants and without any education at all! There are several states that allow them to call themselves techs and to do drug calculations and administer medication along with controlled substances with no licensing at all. We are only looking for better defined laws,I would never diminish anyone’s career choice, I don’t know why you think its OK to do the same to LICENSED Veterinary Technicians. All we are looking for as a veterinary medical professionals is recognition for the job that we do and more regulations set so that people who are not licensed and not educated in the field cannot practice aspects of our jobs that they are not qualified to do! Im sure a human hospital wouldn’t allow me to say that I had worked for years as nurse with on the job training and allow me to call myself a Registered Nurse, Just as I’m sure you wouldn’t want a veterinarian operating on you. Our jobs are very different and I believe that both of us deserve respect for the education and effort that we put into getting those jobs and our titles. The next time your beloved pet or “four legged” child is deathly ill maybe you will think twice about whether the “vet tech” drawing blood, radiographing, placing and IV cath, and administering fentanyl to your pet ever went to school at all, or is just playing Tech!

  2. It will never happen. Human medicine is more powerful and ANA will not stand for it. Yes technicians do go through a rigorous program but nothing compared to making care plans and having a NANDA. Nurses have autonomy in their progression and it completely different from what technicians do. So yes we are nurses and you are technicians. You do more “technical” work and should be called that.

    1. Stella, the “technicians” as you called it, help the doctor make care plans, and they are very autonomous. Have you ever looked in to what it takes to be “just” a “Technician”?

    2. Apparently you have never seen what a “technician” does. My emergency medical doctor husband, human by the way is blown away with the skill, knowledge,and responsibilities of me and my “technician” co-workers. It Should not come to a comparison or a competition if anything I would hope my human nurse friends would support and hold us up knowing how hard we all work and how important we all are.

  3. I’m not sure you know what veterinary “technicians” do.
    Having both nurses and veterinary technicians in my family I do believe it is VERY comparable.

  4. Do veterinary technicians do nursing diagnosis? Can they practice medicine alone as advanced DNP’s? Do they offer Ph. D’s in veterinary technician education? Do they have a Florence Nightingale? Yes the work may be comparable but veterinary technicians are not, nurses.

    1. Cathy, I think you are confusing past importance with present importance. Just because vet techs have a different history doesn’t mean they don’t do pretty much the same job as human nurses. The history of the profession does not give you the ability to deny others use of the title. Facts are facts. Vet techs ARE animal nurses. It’s time that they be recognized as such.

      At the moment, Vet techs are often confused with vet assistants, who have no formal schooling. Do you know what that would be like for a nurse? It would be like if you called a nurse a PCA… A patient care assistant. I don’t know how you feel about that, but I’m pretty sure my mother, who is a nurse, would take someone’s head off for calling her a PCA.

  5. I don’t understand what’s with all the hate of being called a veterinary nurse? In the UK they are called a veterinary nurse and the Register Nurses aren’t up in arms about it.

    So strange that they can claim a word.

    Just my two cents.

  6. I don’t know if you have read over the other posts but i was wondering if you are saying an RN with an associates degree is not really a nurse??????
    Advanced DNP and PhD’s are not nurses with an associates degree. Apples and oranges are being compared with your statement.
    Florence Nightengale laid the foundation of modern nursing in 1860. I do not believe animals were as important in people’s lives in the 1800’s as they are today in 2018.
    I’m sorry for the people that are so upset by modern updates in the medical profession.

    People love their pets. It has been proven that pets offer health benefits to humans for example to reduce anxiety. Therapudic Pets visit hospitals all the time.
    Why is it so wrong to be a nurse to an animal?
    Why is it wrong to be a nurse with an associates degree human or animal?