Veterinary nurses and technicians play a vital role in every practice, making critical contributions toward improved patient health, client relationships, and practice culture. That is why the third week of October is set aside each year for National Veterinary Technician Week (Oct. 11-17, 2021), giving the veterinary community a dedicated time to honor these individuals. The NAVC is proud to offer learning opportunities to help veterinary nurses and technicians progress in their educational journey and advocacy programs to elevate the profession as a whole. Take a look below at these special offerings:
Veterinary Innovation Council
Veterinary nurses were at the forefront of the Veterinary Innovation Council’s (VIC) recently completed initiative to build better teams. The VIC was created as a space for leaders in all areas of pet health to collaborate on industry-wide initiatives focused on leading innovation in global animal health and finding solutions for emerging issues.
Before “telehealth” and “telemedicine” were common terms, the VIC took the lead in advocating for and developing solutions to expand virtual care starting in 2015. After virtual care, the VIC turned its attention to shortages in staff by “Building Better Teams.”
The recently completed Building Better Teams initiative stemmed from a few problems facing veterinary health care in the United States, including growing demand for service, a shortage of qualified professionals, inconsistency of job titles and training, and more.
In order to better utilize current staff and create opportunities for more professionals to enter the profession, the VIC developed 5 key focuses.
- Build understanding and respect across the veterinary profession for the vital, underutilized talents of credentialed veterinary technicians/nurses, including specialists.
- Support the Veterinary Nurse Initiative to standardize the credentialed veterinary technician profession in Veterinary Practice Acts under the title of “Registered Veterinary Nurse.”
- Focus on the quality, requirements, and outcomes for the 2 current professional degrees of a 2-year A.S. degree in veterinary technology/nursing and a 4-year B.S. degree in veterinary technology/nursing, and differentiate meaningfully between each degree.
- Work with stakeholders to create an accreditation process for the 4-year B.S. degree plus a national certification examination through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (modeled after its VTNE examination for A.S. degree holders).
- Work with stakeholders to design and implement (including accreditation and a certification examination) a master’s degree to be offered by accredited veterinary colleges, building upon the B.S. degree (or equivalent) with additional scope of practice training and privileges.
The VIC has completed an action plan and developed strategic partnerships to help make these goals a reality and elevate and empower veterinary nurses.
VMX, the world’s leading veterinary conference, hosts thousands of veterinary nurses and technicians each year so they can advance their skills at sessions with some of the top speakers in the profession as well as attend the expo hall. VMX offers a Veterinary Nurse/Technician Program with tracks specifically designed to offer critical knowledge and skills for veterinary nurses.
The NAVC also publishes the only peer-reviewed journal that produces clinical content specifically created for veterinary nurses and technicians. Today’s Veterinary Nurse is designed to advance the knowledge, competency, and confidence of practicing veterinary nurses and students. The publication offers free subscriptions (todaysveterinarynurse.com/subscribe) and includes RACE-approved continuing education articles that allow readers to earn credit for learning material and passing an online quiz.
VetFolio, an online learning platform powered by the NAVC, offers CE topics geared specifically toward veterinary nurses and free subscriptions for students and faculty (vetfolio.com/pages/resource-center-veterinary-nurse).
Veterinary nurses also have the opportunity to participate in certification programs developed by the NAVC (navc.com/certifications). The Pet Nutrition Coach Certification program enables veterinary nurses to step up as a leader in veterinary nutrition and take an advanced role in client communication on the topic. The Human-Animal Bond Certification teaches the science behind the HAB and how to implement positive experiences in the clinic setting.
The NAVC is constantly identifying ways to support and empower all members of the veterinary healthcare team, and veterinary nurses and technicians are no exception. Keep an eye on navc.com as more exciting programs and products are released with the goal of creating opportunities for these indispensable professionals.