About the Veterinary Nurse Initiative (VNI)

The current veterinary technician credentials and credentialing systems, which vary state to state, have led to confusion for the veterinary consumer and within the veterinary profession of the important role our profession plays on the veterinary health care team. Veterinary technicians tend to leave the field due to lack of respect from the public and the veterinary profession, low wages, frustration from lack of proper utilization, burnout, compassion fatigue, and a variety of other reasons.

The NAVTA National Credential Task Force, established by the NAVTA Executive Board in November 2015, spent 2016 researching the best option to address this issue, consulting with attorney’s, professional organizations, global, national and state veterinary medical associations, and legislatures. They also deployed the 2016 NAVTA National Credential Initiative Survey.

The Task Force recommended the credential “Registered Veterinary Nurse” (RVN) be adopted as this was the preferred title/credential of veterinary technicians responding to the NAVTA National Credential Initiative Survey with 81% of responders supporting or being neutral to the term/credential. Multiple surveys conducted by state associations and NAVTA since 2016 have shown similar or increased support.

The VNI Working Group with the approval of the NAVTA Executive Board is working with various state veterinary technician associations interested in pursuing some or all of the VNI goals. The most visible efforts involve states with credentialing requirements which include graduation from an AVMA accredited veterinary technology or nursing program, passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), a defined scope of practice and title protection. In these states the focus is to officially change the existing credential to RVN. This approach has led to some in the veterinary community incorrectly believing that this change is the only or primary focus of NAVTA and the VNI