The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has pushed an initiative which has triggered a lot of controversies. In fact, the Veterinary Nurse Initiative Coalition works towards replacing their current credentials with the title ‘registered veterinary nurse.’ They haven’t received support from other groups and the American Nurses Association does its best to protect the history and integrity of the title nurse.
Veterinary Nurse vs Veterinary Technician
Most of the nursing associations agree on the fact that vet tech should work towards standardizing education and the licensure process. However, what they don’t agree is the idea of using the word nurse as part of the new credentialing system. The American Nurses Association claims that nurses have been diligently working to build the credibility of their profession for over a century now. Hence, they have achieved to become one of the most ethical and trusted profession for the past 16 years. Thus, allowing vet techs to adopt the term nurse will mean undermining decades of work and respectability.
On the other hand, veterinary technicians also face challenges regarding their titles and often experience a lack of respect from patients and colleagues. By using the term nurse, they will be able to tap into existing connotations of education and professionalism. Moreover, they will avoid further confusion and clearly communicate their professional status.
A nurse is a person who cares for the sick, veterinary technicians can use it without being inaccurate. Nevertheless, nurses hold a stand that the title should only be limited to professionals who care for humans.
The Veterinary Nurse Initiative Coalition has been working very hard these past few years on passing legislation which would make the name change official. The efforts have been unsuccessful until now, but they won’t give up. The VNI will keep introducing legislation aimed at making a legal change to their professional titles.
At the same time, other organizations, such as the ANA, will keep the fight over the title change. Their aim is to encourage the VNI to create a new, standardized credentialing system. VNI should expect a fight over the title as the ANA believes that besides the fact that veterinary technicians should standardize their education and licensure, they shouldn’t start using the term nurse. According to them, this term should be protected and only used for the care of humans.
Whether the Veterinary Nurse Initiative will achieve its aim is left to see, but they should definitely be prepared for the fight ANA is ready to put up.