Vet Tech/Assistant to RN


I'm new to the forum, and since this is my first post here I'd like to start out by saying that this forum has been a huge help to me. I've gained valuble insight on the field of nursing from reading posts on here daily, and would like to thank everyone for their contributions to the forum.

I would like to hear from people who have made the career change from being a vet tech/vet assistant to being an RN. What skills/knowledge that you learned in "teching" did you find helped you the most when making this transition? Other than the change of species, what are the major differences that you noted when changing fields? Any other observations or suggestions are welcome as well.

I will be starting clinicals for my ADN here in southern MD in spring of 2012. I did briefly consider going to school to become an RVT/LVT, but since there are no colleges near me in Maryland that offer a LVT program (only in nothern VA) and since regulations in MD are lax enough to allow non-licensed techs to have a wider scope of practice, I decided to make the transition to human nursing. Even though I love working with animals, the two year degree to become an LVT doesn't offer very much in job growth (other than becoming a veterinary hospital manager, there is very little room for promotion.). The highest pay I have seen for an LVT is $19 an hour.

Thanks for any input!

ImThatGuy, BSN, RN

2,139 Posts

Sounds like good experience for pediatrics or corrections. ;)

Specializes in School Nurse.

LOL Imthatguy. And marriage!

Nitro - that is exactly what I did. I have always been an animal lover and after getting a bachelors in art history and not being able to find a job, I decided to go back to school, and after talking to an x-ray tech friend, decided on nursing. Problem was I have a pathological reaction to blood - I get faint. Have never actually fainted, but I would get black spots before my eyes, my hearing would get muffled and I would get sweaty. This happened to me on a health services open house at the University I got my art history degree in, and ended any thoughts I had to peruse and health related field at the time.

So I though - how do I get over this reaction to blood? Work in a vet clinic. :)

I ended up getting a job at an emergency pet clinic during nursing school (3 years since I already had the BA). It was a great experience and very helpful for nursing school and my 20 years of nursing. When I started nursing school I already knew how to do all those little things that someone with no health care experience - you know, the dumb things like putting a couple ccs of air in before you try to draw up a med. etc. So all the labs we had to do during school were pretty easy for me.

And I do believe working at an emergency clinic rather than a "regular" clinic helped too - our vets were very much into teaching because the prospective vet students from Washington State Univ. would come up and work with them and do residencies there also.

Although the species is different, you still need to deal with the owners in teching, so that part is similar. And I was once bitten by a psych patient and not too long ago by a pre-schooler, so that part doesn't change.

Specializes in Med-Surg, ICU.

Hi! I am doing the same thing. Just applied to start nursing program in the fall/ I worked as a vet assist. for 10 years up until last fall when I switched to an md office. I haved always thought that pediatrics might be somewhat simular, what with the parents getting in the way and all. lol. Good luck to you! Relysh