Veterinary Nurse Initiative Gains Ground

October 18, 2017
Maureen McKinney

Several companies have announced their support of the title change from veterinary technician to veterinary nurse.

Three key industry partners and a publication dedicated to educating veterinary team members have announced their support of the Veterinary Nurse Initiative (VNI). Banfield Pet Hospital, Royal Canin USA, and BluePearl Veterinary Partners — all members of the Mars Inc. family of companies — now support and sponsor the VNI. In addition, the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) has announced that it will reposition its peer-reviewed publication Today’s Veterinary Technician as Today’s Veterinary Nurse.

The VNI Coalition, spearheaded by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), is actively pursuing legislative amendments in all 50 states to establish the name and credentialing of registered veterinary nurse (RVN).

“The commitment from veterinary organizations to recognize and promote the veterinary nurse and veterinary technician profession is necessary for the profession to continue thriving and be taken to another level,” said NAVTA President Mary Berg, BS, LATG, RVT, VTS (Dentistry).

Kenichiro Yagi, MS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM), co-chair of the VNI, agrees that industry support will give further momentum to the VNI. “The endorsement by these industry leaders demonstrates just how important we are to a hospital, our colleagues, and the communities in which we serve as professionals in veterinary nursing,” he said.

Spokespeople for the four supporting companies offered their reason for supporting the VNI:

  • Banfield Pet Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Daniel Aja, DVM, said, “We are passionate about the incredible work that veterinary technicians do and are committed to investing in them. For Banfield, that includes supporting initiatives that raise awareness about the unique training and skill set these professionals have.” Moreover, he noted that Banfield associates have offered “overwhelmingly positive feedback about this effort, which solidified our decision to support it.”
  • Royal Canin also believes veterinary technicians are vital to the hospital team. “The amount of training veterinary technicians receive builds their knowledge and skills in many areas from patient care to radiography to nutrition,” said Chief Veterinary Officer Brent Mayabb, DVM. “With this extensive training and their commitment to the profession, we fully support the NAVTA-led Veterinary Nurse Initiative to recognize the value veterinary technicians bring to pets and to the veterinary team.”
  • According to Jennifer Welser, DVM, DAVCO, chief medical officer at BluePearl Veterinary Partners, the company believes “the Veterinary Nurse Initiative is an important step toward acknowledging the skill exhibited by our veterinary technicians. By supporting the effort, we are fully recognizing nursing as a valued profession in veterinary medicine.”
  • “The NAVC fully supports a single credential for veterinary nurses nationwide and we believe it will improve the level of patient care, reduce pet owners’ confusion, and lead to an improved public perception for the great work these individuals are doing on a daily basis,” said Tom Bohn, CAE, NAVC’s chief executive officer.

For its part, NAVTA plans to change the name of its publication and organization after states begin to pass the use of the term “veterinary nurse” and the credentialing requirements.