NAVTA Report Shows: Title Protection for “Veterinary Technician” Is Needed and Desired, But Absent and Misunderstood in Most States

Bridgewater, NJ – February 17, 2022 – A new report by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) shows a vast majority of Veterinary Technicians/Nurses want their title of “Veterinary Technician” to be protected by law, but most states do not provide such protection.

The report (available here) shows that 31 states and jurisdictions have no title protection for “Veterinary Technician” within their veterinary practice acts, while another 10 states have limited title protection.

“The veterinary technician profession has long been challenged by a lack of cohesion and standards in the United States,” said NAVTA President Ashli Selke, CVT.  “As a result, the title of ‘Veterinary Technician’ is used inconsistently and, oftentimes, incorrectly, and suffers from a lack of clarity and understanding, both within the veterinary world and among consumers.”

For example, a consumer may not know the specific differences between licensing requirements for registered nurses, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners, but consumers have an underlying understanding that there is a standard of professional education that individuals with these titles hold. This same consumer understanding needs to exist for the veterinary profession, where Veterinary Technicians are clearly differentiated from Veterinary Assistants and other paraprofessionals on the veterinary team.

The report also shows that nearly 40% of Veterinary Technicians responding to a survey were misinformed about their state’s title protection laws.  When asked if their state restricts the title “Veterinary Technician” to those licensed through state law, only 61% of responses were consistent with the actual status of title protection in the state.

To cure these problems, the report provides recommendations for legislatures and regulatory agencies, academic institutions, veterinary medical and technician associations, veterinary practices, and others.

The report was created by NAVTA’s Veterinary Nurse Initiative Task Force, which reviewed each state’s veterinary practice act language and conducted a survey of Veterinary Technicians in the United States.

About NAVTA

NAVTA is a US-based not-for-profit membership community of more than 8,500 Credentialed Veterinary Technicians, Veterinary Assistants, and other veterinary support staff involved in veterinary care.  NAVTA advances the profession of veterinary technology and veterinary nursing through its advocacy and awareness programs, and by providing continuing professional development opportunities.  NAVTA supports the veterinary technology and veterinary nursing profession with a host of programs and benefits, available at https://navta.net/membership/

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