Becoming a Licensed Nevada Vet Tech
The American veterinary care sector continues to enjoy robust growth and remains a very promising field. With the desire of pet owners to ensure high quality care for their beloved companion animals, along with a growing focus on the health of production animals and livestock, veterinary professionals are finding themselves in high demand.
This is especially true for vet techs, who provide vital assistance to veterinarians in the performance of their daily duties. Whether working at a small local clinic, or acting as a specialist vet tech at a major urban veterinary clinic, the vet tech is an indispensable part of the practice of veterinary medicine.
Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the vet tech profession will continue to enjoy above average job growth through 2020. Furthermore, the continued growth of the field of veterinary technology has resulted in robust salary and career options for vet techs, whether they are just entering the job market or have transitioned from another career.
Becoming a Vet Tech in Nevada
Like many states, Nevada requires that vet techs be licensed in order to practice in the state. The State of Nevada Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners handles the licensure of veterinary technicians and has established the following requirements for any vet tech seeking to work in Nevada.
The most important steps include the following:
- Complete an approved vet tech program.
- Pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).
- Pass the state jurisprudence exam.
- Provide a letter of recommendation from a veterinary professional.
Complete an Approved Veterinary Technician Program
The student must successfully complete an approved program to become a veterinary technician. In most cases, this is a program that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The AVMA evaluates programs to ensure that they provide an effective and current education in the field of veterinary technology.
Alternately, programs approved by other agencies, such as state regulatory boards, may be approved by Nevada. In such a case, the student should check in order to make certain that the program meets with Nevada’s approval.
A vet tech program usually takes about two years for a full-time student. These programs include both academic classroom studies and hands-on laboratory and clinical work. In this way, the student is fully prepared for the duties of a vet tech when he or she graduates.
For students who cannot attend a full-time program, there are part-time and distance learning options. These allow a working student to take classes on a part-time schedule, usually on the weekends or in the evenings. Online classes can allow a student to complete the majority of the program from home while still receiving a high quality education. These options can be ideal for working individuals seeking to enter the field of veterinary technology.
Finally, graduates of an approved Bachelor of Science program in an area related to animal health care or science may fulfill the educational requirements. In this case, the student should check with the state to ensure that his or her coursework is acceptable to the Board. Furthermore, the candidate must also be able to document at least 4,000 hours of supervised work experience in the field of veterinary technology.
Pass the VTNE
Passing the VTNE is required for any Nevada vet tech candidate. The VTNE is a comprehensive examination that is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The AAVSB has designed this exam to ensure that any successful candidate is both academically and practically qualified to become a vet tech. Furthermore, the AAVSB regularly updates the VTNE in order to ensure that it is current with the modern state of veterinary practice.
In order to pass the VTNE, the candidate must score at least 425 on the test. While unsuccessful candidates can retake the test, the AAVSB has established limits on how frequently and how many times the test may be retaken. For this reasons, students should only take the VTNE when they feel confident that they can successfully do so.
The State Jurisprudence Exam
The candidate must also successfully pass a state exam that focuses on the duties and responsibilities of the vet tech according to Nevada law. This test is a take home test, and requires a score of 90 percent or higher for passage.
A Letter of Recommendation
Finally, Nevada requires that the candidate be able to provide at least one letter of recommendation from a veterinary professional. This may be from one of the candidate’s instructors, a veterinarian, or a licensed vet tech. This letter attests to the candidate’s professional and moral qualifications to become a licensed vet tech.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Once licensed, Nevada vet techs must regularly renew their license with the state in order to continue practicing. In addition to any license fees, this also requires that the vet tech be able to verify the successful completion of at least 10 hours of approved continuing education. The vet tech should ensure that the Board has approved any continuing education he or she intends to use to fulfill this requirement.
Becoming a licensed Nevada veterinary technician opens up a wide variety of professional and personal opportunities. In addition to the material benefits of becoming a vet tech, these professionals are well regarded by both their fellow workers and the public. As both a career and lifestyle, becoming licensed veterinary technician is an extremely attractive career decision.