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From the Editors

In support of ‘nurses’

It’s no secret the North American Veterinary Community, publisher of this journal, is a fervent supporter of the Veterinary Nurse Initiative. The nationwide campaign to make “registered veterinary nurse” the legally recognized title of all credentialed veterinary technicians — a drive led by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America — will be 2 years old this May.

I raise the subject because reader Liz Hughston, in her Viewpoint on Page 68, asks that Today’s Veterinary Business not use “nurse” in articles as an equivalent term for registered veterinary technician (RVT), licensed veterinary technician (LVT), certified veterinary technician (CVT) and licensed veterinary medical technician (LVMT).

I respectfully disagree with Hughston’s suggestion that “credentialed veterinary technician” is a sensible substitute for “veterinary nurse” and with her assertion that “nurse” belongs to the millions of nurses in human medicine.

Today’s Veterinary Business editorial advisory board member Mark Cushing, who also serves as legislative consultant to the Veterinary Nurse Initiative, points out in his response on Page 68 that “Nurses do not ‘own’ the name ‘nurse’ any more than any of the 10-plus health care professions using ‘doctor’ own the title ‘doctor.’”

The NAVC strives to be a trailblazer in the veterinary profession and has embraced “veterinary nurse” as a legitimate and well-earned title for today’s RVTs, LVTs, CVTs and LVMTs. The NAVC is certainly not alone. Among the many supporters of the Veterinary Nurse Initiative are Purdue University, whose veterinary technology program last year became a “veterinary nursing” program, hospital operators Banfield, VCA and Compassion-First, and leading manufacturers such as Hill’s, Zoetis and Royal Canin.

Today’s Veterinary Business, like its sister publication Today’s Veterinary Nurse — the emphasis is mine — will continue to use “veterinary nurse” in recognition of the Veterinary Nurse Initiative and the tens of thousands of professionals who rightfully deserve a more-fitting title.

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