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Indiana Bill to Change Veterinary Technician Titles Headed to Full Senate

Patricia WuestVice President of Media Strategy, NAVC

Indiana Bill to Change Veterinary Technician Titles Headed to Full Senate
Indiana Senate Bill 351 — the Registered Veterinary Nurse Bill — would change the title for those registered as veterinary technicians to veterinary nurses. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
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A bill to change the job title for veterinary techs — supported by the Veterinary Nurse Initiative — goes to the full Indiana state senate after being passed by the Committee on Agriculture by a bipartisan vote of 8 to 1. The bill, which was authored by Indiana state senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg), would change the job title for veterinary technicians.

Senate Bill 351 — Registered Veterinary Nurse Bill — would change the title for those registered as veterinary technicians to veterinary nurses.

“We are very excited the Indiana State Senate swiftly moved the bill to the full senate with near unanimous vote,” says Kenichiro Yagi, MS, RVT, VTS (ECC) (SAIM) and president-elect of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). “This means that the change just makes sense to legislators and that they care about the future of our profession. NAVTA and the Veterinary Nurse Initiative will continue to coordinate efforts with state stakeholders like the Indiana Veterinary Technician Association, Indiana Veterinary Medical Association, Purdue University, and Humane Society VMA to advocate for our profession.”

Tami Lind, BS, RVT, VTS (ECC), president of Indiana Veterinary Technician Association (IVTA), and Megan Brashear, CVT, VTS (ECC), nursing manager for Purdue’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, spoke on behalf of the bill.

“Right now, a large portion of the public does not understand the job of veterinary technicians because of their title,” Sen. Leising said. “If passed, this bill would not only address any confusion, but it would elevate those in this important profession to the level they deserve.”

Next Steps for SB 351

SB 351 will now move to the full Senate for further consideration.

The bill’s summary language is succinct, but it would mark a major step forward for veterinary technicians working in the Hoosier State:

“Veterinary nurses. Changes the title for persons registered as veterinary technicians to veterinary nurses. Provides that the professional licensing agency is not required to issue certificates of registration that use the term “veterinary nurse” until the next license renewal period. Makes conforming changes.”

The Veterinary Nurse Initiative announced at the annual Veterinary Technician Summit meeting earlier this January that Indiana and Georgia (in addition to Ohio) would be the target states to continue the pursuit of initiative goals for 2019. Those who have been actively involved in the initiative have been working with state legislatures to get it passed into law.

Courtney Waxman, BAS, CVT, RVT, VTS (ECC), instructional technologist at Purdue University, is the NAVTA District 6 representative and a member of the Veterinary Nurse Initiative working group based in Indiana. (Purdue University recently changed the name of its Veterinary Technology Program to a Veterinary Nursing Program.) NAVTA developed the NDRS to help facilitate a working communication network between NAVTA, state veterinary technician associations and it members. The NDRS is comprised of 11 districts which incorporate all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Next Steps for VNI

Waxman says the vote by Indiana’s Senate Committee on Agriculture to allow the bill to proceed to a full Senate vote is a major step forward for those working to make the initiative a national one.

“The passing of SB351 in the Indiana State Senate means that legislators understand and agree with the goals of the Veterinary Nurse Initiative,” says Waxman. “The Indiana veterinary community as a whole has been at the forefront of the VNI, collaborating together and with NAVTA to make this change a reality. It’s very exciting to think about Indiana being the first state to lead the nation by elevating, unifying, and moving the profession forward. I am proud to be an advocate and positive voice for our profession, and plan to continue having a national conversation about the value of veterinary nurses as part of the veterinary healthcare team.”

Learn More

What is the Veterinary Nurse Initiative? Learn more here.