The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) Their Mission and History

“The mission of NAVTA is to represent and promote the profession of veterinary technology. NAVTA provides direction, education, support and coordination for its members and works with other allied professional organizations for the competent care and humane treatment of animals.”

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) was formed in East Lansing, Mich., in 1981 with the goal of allowing veterinary technicians to give input on national issues involving the veterinary profession. Hill’s Pet Nutrition was their first corporate sponsor. Since then, NAVTA has grown and seen many successes, including the declaration of National Veterinary Technician Week, the formation of the Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties, the development of a scholarship program and much more.

The History of NAVTA


The 80’s…

  • East Lansing, MI – 1981, Veterinary Technicians put the mechanism in place to have input on national issues through the formation of the North American Veterinary Technician Association. (NAVTA)
  • NAVTA began publishing quarterly newsletters about association events.
  • In 1982 NAVTA entered into an agreement with Veterinary Learning Systems for their publication to become NAVTA’ s official journal.
  • In 1989 NAVTA began working with Hills’ Pet Nutrition as its first Corporate Sponsor. The grants received were used to develop public relations materials to begin educating the public.
  • Two NAVTA representatives were appointed to the Animal Technician Testing Committee of the AVMA to assist in the validation of the national credentialing examination.

The 90’s…

  • In 1990, NAVTA adopted its official mission statement and began a strategic planning process.
  • A committee of Executive Board members of the AVMA and NAVTA met for the first meeting of the AVMA/NAVTA Liaison Committee. This committee has met annually since 1990.
  • “The World of the Veterinary Technician” videotape was produced in 1990 and revised in 1999.
  • Three national surveys on veterinary technician demographics were conducted – 1991, 1995, and 1999.
  • The AVMA recognized NAVTA as the national association representing the veterinary technicians in a position statement adopted August of 1992. NAVTA membership became a requirement for a technician to serve on any AVMA committees.
  • National Veterinary Technician Week was declared in 1993 – celebrated first in October 16-22, 1994.
  • A 1994 study of members was conducted to determine how effectively veterinary technicians were utilized.
  • The Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (CVTS) was formed in 1994 to oversee the development of veterinary technician specialties.
  • A program was developed in 1995, to award scholarships to students in AVMA accredited education programs. The program started by offering four scholarships per year and has increased to eight.
  • The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians was recognized in 1996 by CVTS as the first technician specialty.
  • The Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists was recognized by CVTS in 1998.
  • NAVTA, in 1997, was named Co-sponsor of National Pet Week.
  • The first meeting of the NAVTA State Representative Network took place in 1998, in Kansas City, MO. This meeting is now called the Leadership Conference.
  • The NAVTA Legal Committee drafted model practice act wording for veterinary technicians to be used by states who wish to elevate the level of governmental recognition and regulation for veterinary technicians.NAVTA gained a presence on the Internet with the development of its web site on the AVMA web server.
  • The International Veterinary Nurses and Technician Association (IVNTA) met for the first time in 1992; NAVTA was one of the co-founders of this group.
  • A NAVTA member was given a permanent appointment on the AVMA’ s Wellness Committee.
  • During 1999, NAVTA representatives began meeting biannually with representatives of the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators and members of the AVMA’ s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.
  • NAVTA has seen a 500% increase in membership in the 90′ s!
  • NAVTA makes recommendations for AVMA committee assignments to the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities and Wellness Committee, and to the American Association of Veterinary State Board’ s, Veterinary Technician Testing Committee.

The 2000’s…

  • 2000 Hosted the International Veterinary Nurses and Technicians Association at the Western Veterinary Conference’s 35 Anniversary for sponsoring veterinary technician continuing education.
  • NAVTA recognizes the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians, helping the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians toward specialty status.
  • Changed the “NAVTA Newsletter” into “The NAVTA Journal” a quarterly journal with continuing education articles that are R.A.C.E. accredited.
  • Developed a new membership category for those members of 20 years or more, Life Membership.
  • Developed a new membership pin highlighted with the United States flag.Signed a letter of cooperation with the Canadian Association of Animal Health Technicians.
  • Career Development seminars at the 2004 AVMA and SWVC.
  • Offer of a 10% discount on Veterinary Pet Insurance
  • The Academy for Veterinary Internal Medicine Technicians is granted provisional recognition, and the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians is granted full recognition.

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