RVT’s and VTS, what does it mean?

RVT’s (Registered Veterinary Technicians) already go through vigorous training to become certified and pass what is called the “VTNE”, but the learning and betterment of skills doesn’t stop there! RVT’s can go on to specialize in different areas under the governing body called the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA), which created the Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (CVTS) to give RVT’s the opportunity to grow even further and attain a “higher level of recognition for advanced knowledge and skills in specific disciplines.”



The CVTS was formed in 1994 and is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association. “The CVTS provides guidelines to veterinary technician organizations to facilitate the formation of a specialty organization. Academies develop advanced pathways, which a candidate must follow and complete in order to be awarded the designation of VTS (Veterinary Technician Specialist) in their specific discipline.”  (navta.net/page/specialties).

This level of education is highly regarded in the Veterinary world, and takes years to achieve. The RVT’s collect cases and hours of 3-5 years, and from there, have to document and accomplish specific skills to their area of specialty.

For example, for the Anesthesia VTS certification, this is what is required as per the NAVTA website:

“8000 hours of credentialed experienced as a licensed veterinary technician/nurse with 6000 hours (75%) specifically related to anesthesia care and management.” This means that 75% of their hours/work MUST be related to anesthesia in some way. This makes it a little more challenging for RVT’s to specialize, unless they are in a hospital that deals with anesthesia on a daily basis. While logging cases, there needs to be a certain level of variety in the types and levels of cases the RVT sees.

Learn more about the different specialties here:   navta.net/page/specialties

We are so happy and proud of our 3 most recent graduates of the VTS program:

Sarah Heuring (Emergency and Critical Care)

Stephanie Bourgois (Anesthesiology)

Julie Morse-Elliott (Emergency and Critical Care)



Congratulations ladies!!!


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