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Reaching the Next Level

Blog Author: Mandy Fults, MS, LVT, CVPP, VTS-CP (Canine/Feline)
NAVTA Secretary

Early in my career, professional development seemed easy, given an established platform for becoming an LVT and the much-needed mentorship that supported my self-drive to build upon my foundational knowledge and skills.  As a result, my mindset has always been geared towards reaching the next level.  But honestly, the next level was not becoming a DVM for me.

Instead, the next level was to become the “mid-level provider.”   Given this role did not exist, I felt stagnant but still happy clinically since I was highly utilized for my knowledge and skills.  Still, though, I was looking to prepare myself for any potential opportunity that may arise.  Management!  I felt influenced to prepare for management roles, which led to my decision to get my B.S. in agricultural economics at Texas A&M.

Obtaining my degree started a domino effect and exposed me to veterinary academia and the resources that allowed me to dig deeper into medicine, ultimately preparing me to get my CVPP and VTS.

Again though, I’m feeling stagnant and want to prove that I have the knowledge and skills to practice at an advanced level. So my next move was to obtain my master’s degree from the University of Missouri in Veterinary Biomedical Science.  Through networking, I was fortunate enough to meet like-minded individuals, more specifically on the topic of advocating for the veterinary mid-level provider.  Networking has resulted in publication opportunities and to talk with leaders in this profession on issues related to advancing the veterinary nursing profession.

Looking back at my 20+ year career, I have had my share of ups and downs, but it has shaped who I am today.   I do not regret any decision made and feel that things happen for a reason, typically making you stronger or at least desensitizing you to negativity!  I look forward to seeing our profession move forward, allowing for career advancement opportunities for veterinary nursing professionals and paraprofessionals.