NAVTA seeks national veterinary nurse credential

May 22, 2017

Veterinary Nurse Initiative Coalition will pursue legislative amendments in all 50 states.

Photo: Getty Images.The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) board of directors has created a coalition that will seek legislation in all 50 states establishing a credential of registered veterinary nurse (RVN). The new credential would be a substitute for the titles of registered veterinary technician (RVT), licensed veterinary technician (LVT), certified veterinary technician (CVT) and licensed veterinary medical technician (LVMT).

The Veterinary Nurse Initiative Coalition is currently defining its legislative strategy and targeting 2018 to begin initial legislation reform efforts, according to a NAVTA release. Along with a single title used nationwide, the association is also looking to unify credentialing requirements and scope of practice. 

The title change and standardization of requirements will help the profession gain better recognition, increased job mobility and elevated practice standards, says Kara M. Burns, MS, MEd, LVT, VTS (nutrition), president-elect of NAVTA. “All of this will lead to better patient care and consumer protection,” she says in the release.

The Veterinary Nurse Initiative Coalition will work with the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Veterinary State Boards, industry and professional organizations, and legislators to create common terminology, policies and procedures. These will be made to ease the burden on individual states and associations in governing credentials, NAVTA states. The Initiative will start with a few states in 2018 and then work with any other state interested in the change.

Coalition member Heather Prendergast, BS, RVT, CVPM, SPHR, says, “Our goal is to reduce and remove the confusion associated with the designations for a veterinary technician. … Once a single designation is established, each state will be able to align with a standardized credential for the profession.”

Kenichiro Yagi, MS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM), another member of the coalition, says the process of evolving from “veterinary technician” to “veterinary nurse” 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. The process could take several years, Yagi says, because of the need to ensure alignment and support at the national and local level from a legislative, industry and individual perspective.

To learn more about the Veterinary Nurse Initiative, email