Column | Opinion

Veterinary Nurse Initiative: A Call to Action

The Veterinary Nurse Initiative is building momentum to create one title with set standards across the United States in 2018.

In January 2018, the states of Ohio and Tennessee introduced legislation. Both states already recognize credentialed technicians in their Veterinary Practice Act or Rules and Regulations. This legislation will simply change the title from Registered Veterinary Technician (in Ohio) and Licensed Veterinary Medical Technician (in Tennessee) to Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). Both states already have high standards to become a credentialed veterinary technician (graduating from an AVMA accredited program, passing the VTNE, and meeting set state requirements), a designated scope of practice, and continuing education requirements for relicensing. Upon passing of legislation these states will serve as models for implementation of the RVN title and the VNI will continue working with the boards of veterinary medicine in regulating the various professional distinctions.

Banfield Pet Hospital, Royal Canin, and BluePearl Veterinary Partners have announced their commitment to the profession’s vital role in pet health by stepping up as sponsors for the Veterinary Nurse Initiative. The NAVC rebranded and redesigned their peer-reviewed journal, Today’s Veterinary Technician, into Today’s Veterinary Nurse, and Veterinary Team Brief has incorporated the “veterinary nurse” terminology in their publications to be on the forefront of integrating the veterinary nursing profession into the veterinary culture and language. Petplan has announced their intent to rename their award to Registered Veterinary Technician/Nurse of the Year in 2019. Various organizations such as Michigan State University, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Ohio Association of Veterinary Technicians, and Tennessee Association of Veterinary Technician have endorsed the change. The Veterinary Technician profession continues to enjoy overwhelming support for the Veterinary Nurse Initiative.

Most recently, the American Veterinary Medical Association has taken a position supporting the standardizing of credential and the development of consistent scope of practice and title. While remaining neutral as to the exact title in use, this allows the veterinary technician profession to decide on the title. Respondents to numerous surveys indicate the choice for Veterinary Nurse, aiding NAVTA’s decision to move forward with title.1

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1. Data on file in NAVTA office; NAVTA, PO Box 1227, Albert Lea, MN 56007