New Programs to Advance Roles of Veterinary Nurses/ Technicians


NAVC to Launch First-of-its-Kind National Consumer Awareness and Education Campaign with Support from VCA Animal Hospitals and NAVTA


ORLANDO, FL Jan. 17, 2022 The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) today announced the launch of the Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative, a bold new program to elevate and advance veterinary nurses and credentialed technicians who are vital members of veterinary practices, but whose skills are often underutilized. The Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative encompasses a wide range of programs that offer new resources and tools for veterinary nurses/technicians, encourage the next generation of these veterinary professionals and bring together leaders from across the veterinary industry to address the challenges facing the veterinary nurse/technician profession. 

A key new program the NAVC is launching within the initiative is a national consumer veterinary nurse/technician awareness and education campaign sponsored by VCA Animal Hospitals, with support from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). The campaign will create greater consumer awareness and understanding of the important role and significant educational requirements of veterinary nurses/technicians with the goal of changing perceptions and attitudes among pet parents so they feel more confident and accepting of having a qualified, certified veterinary nurse/technician care for their loved ones.



“Veterinary nurses and technicians play a vital role in veterinary medicine and are essential members of the veterinary practice team. They are not just helpers and assistants. They are phlebotomists, anesthetists, ultrasonographers, surgical technicians, dental hygienists and more, who are highly educated and skilled. Yet NAVC’s own research shows they use less than one-third of the competencies they are trained to perform,” said Gene O’Neill, NAVC CEO. “By elevating this critical position and helping veterinary nurses and technicians reach their full potential, we will help improve the performance of our veterinary healthcare teams and the health of animals everywhere.” 


The goals of the Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative are to achieve improved access to care, better patient outcomes and client satisfaction, improved overall well-being of the veterinary nurse/technician and to encourage more people to go into veterinary careers. 


New Resources, Tools and Forums 

The new programs provide a wide range of resources and support for veterinary nurses/credentialed technicians including career development and growth, scholarships for continued learning and new intensive hands-on courses specifically designed for nurses/technicians at the NAVC Institute to further advance their expertise, and a new webinar series that brings together industry leaders to address key issues facing the veterinary nurse/credentialed technician profession. Today’s Veterinary Nurse is launching the “Clinic Champions” series to recognize the positive impact veterinary nurses/technicians make, and a mentorship program that will help the next generation of veterinary nurses and technicians succeed. 


National Consumer Education and Awareness Campaign

In early 2022, the NAVC will launch a year-long national consumer awareness and education campaign with VCA and NAVTA to elevate the critical role veterinary nurses/credentialed technicians play. The campaign will focus on the extensive education that veterinary nurses and credentialed technicians pursue as well as the highly-skilled procedures they perform, including 16 specialty certifications such as Emergency and Critical Care, Anesthesia and Analgesia, Surgery, Ophthalmology and others. The campaign will address the issues identified in a national survey conducted by Atomik Research on behalf of the NAVC which found that many pet owners are not aware of nor understand the role and education requirements of veterinary nurses/technicians. 


“As one of the largest networks of hometown animal hospitals, VCA is focused on providing world-class medicine and caring for the future of veterinary medicine. That future is only possible with the expert support that smart, purpose-driven credentialed technicians and trained assistants provide,” said Marie Kerl, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), DACVECC and Chief Medical Officer for VCA Animal Hospitals. “Credentialed veterinary technicians and assistants play a critical role in delivering care to our patients and clients at all levels of veterinary medicine. Through this program, we look forward to celebrating and recognizing the important role they play as key members of the veterinary care team.”


The survey findings reveal that:


  • Many pet owners are unaware of the broad range of services veterinary nurses and credentialed technicians perform. Nearly one in two (47%) do not think the role of a veterinary nurse/technician involves performing medical tasks and procedures. A majority (62%) are unaware that veterinary nurses/technicians can monitor and manage anesthetics during surgery, dispense medication and perform diagnostic imaging.  


  • Most pet owners do not fully understand the extensive educational requirements, credentials and professional training that are required to become a veterinary nurse/credentialed technician. Sixty-three percent do not know that credentialed veterinary nurses/technicians are the animal healthcare equivalent of registered nurses (RNs). One in five (20%) think a veterinary nurse/technician has less than two years of post-secondary education.


  • Nearly three-fourths (69%) percent of pet owners in the U.S. report that after learning about veterinary nurses/credentialed technicians and their required level of education and expertise, they feel more confident and comfortable with the level of care these members of the veterinary practice provide their pets.


“A more informed and educated consumer – and a more informed veterinarian and practice manager – will not only benefit veterinary nurses and technicians but will also benefit the practices where they work. The ultimate result being the delivery of better care for animals,” said NAVTA President, Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition). “Once this is accomplished, consumers will be as comfortable with a veterinary technician caring for their pet, as they are with an RN caring for their loved one in a hospital.”


The Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative builds on NAVC’s long history of supporting veterinary nurses and credentialed technicians through its industry-leading publication Today’s Veterinary Nurse which includes peer-reviewed articles and free continuing education in every issue; dedicated online resources for veterinary nurses/technicians on VetFolio; the annual Earl Rippie Veterinary Nurse Leadership Scholarship; and hundreds of hours of CE and sessions dedicated to veterinary nurses and credentialed technicians at VMX each year. 


The Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative program was announced at a press conference today at the 39th annual Veterinary Meeting & Expo,  VMX 2022, the veterinary industry’s largest and most comprehensive global veterinary conference, presented by the NAVC each year at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.


For full program details visit us here.

To view the video tribute to nurses shown at the press conference,


About the NAVC 

The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing veterinary professionals worldwide. The world’s leading provider of veterinary continuing education, the NAVC delivers essential training, tools and resources for veterinary professionals to stay abreast of advances in animal medicine and provide the best medical care for animals everywhere. Through its commitment to innovation and excellence, the NAVC has developed a diverse portfolio of products and services, including educational events, headlined by VMX, the world’s largest, most comprehensive continuing education conference and launchpad for new products and innovations within the veterinary industry; a robust digital platform for virtual learning and engagement; the veterinary industry’s largest and award-winning portfolio of trade publications; and an advocacy arm which unites the veterinary community and pet lovers. The NAVC was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Orlando, FL. Since 2017, the NAVC has been recognized annually as one of the Top Workplaces by the Orlando Sentinel. To learn more about the NAVC’s products and brands, visit To see our schedule of upcoming events, visit



NAVTA is a US-based not-for-profit membership community of more than 8,000 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


About VCA Animal Hospitals

VCA Animal Hospitals operates more than 1,000 small animal veterinary hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Japan. The hospitals are staffed by more than 4,500 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians to give pets the very best in medical care, of which over 600 are board-certified specialists who are experts in areas such as internal medicine, oncology, cardiology, emergency and critical care, and surgery for animals. VCA Animal Hospitals provides a full range of general practice services to keep pets well and specialized treatments when pets are ill. As part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of brands, VCA is committed to the Mars Petcare purpose—A Better World for Pets™


MEDIA CONTACT: Robin Pence | [email protected] | M: +1.352.317.8651