Referring to Self or Staff as “Veterinary Nurses” May Result in a Class E Felony

Referring to Self or Staff as “Veterinary Nurses” May Result in a Class E Felony

Earlier this year, MOVTA worked on a social media campaign, including launching a survey calling for comments, regarding legal title use for veterinary team members in Missouri. We included and quoted current laws and contact information to different governing bodies.

Last week, we received confirmation from the Missouri State Board of Nursing clarifying that the use of the title "veterinary nurse" in any capacity in Missouri is not only illegal, but may result in a class E felony:

"Veterinary nurse is not an approved title in Missouri. The title “nurse” is a protected title related to RNs, LPNs, and APRNs pursuant to 335.076 and violation of this statute may result in a class E felony pursuant to 335.096 RSMo.

Debra Funk
Director of Practice
Missouri State Board of Nursing
Division of Professional Registration"

Additionally, we also received a response from the Missouri Nursing Association further clarifying that the use of "veterinary nurse" is not lawful:

"In Missouri, the title “nurse” is protected.

Copy of Missouri's Nurse Protection bill:
5. In the interest of public safety and consumer awareness, it is unlawful for any person to use the title "nurse" in reference to himself or herself in any capacity, except individuals who are or have been licensed as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or advanced practice registered nurse under this chapter.

Jill Kliethermes, MSN, RN, FNP-BC
Chief Executive Officer

What is a class E felony? Class E felonies are the least serious class in Missouri (consisting of primarily non-violent crimes) and may result in up to 4 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.00.

MOVTA urges all veterinary clinics and staff in Missouri to use our legally designated titles of Registered Veterinary Technician and Unregistered Assistant.

For more information, please reach out to:

Missouri Board of Nursing

Missouri Nurses Association