Colby Community College announced a name change to one of its most popular programs. Officially, the veterinary technology program will be called veterinary nursing. The change was approved by CCC Board of Trustees in September and the Kansas Board of Regents last week.

“Changing the title to veterinary nurse better explains that these individuals work in collaboration with veterinarians to treat animals,” said CCC Director of On-Campus and Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Programs Dr. Jennifer Martin. “The term ‘technician’ relates to an individual who works with technical equipment; therefore the name veterinary technician is often confusing to the public.”

Martin said this isn't the first title change for the profession.

“It transitioned from animal technician to animal health technician, to veterinary technician, and now to veterinary nurse. The latter better emphasizes the patient care responsibilities by veterinary nurses.”

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, Colby is the second college in the nation and first in Kansas to change its program name to veterinary nurse. Purdue University was the first to make the transition.

Colby Community College is a pioneer in veterinary medicine education, launching a program in 1969 as one of the country’s first and has since remained fully accredited by the AVMA. Enrollment in the online program has increased 10-fold since launching in 2014. In 2017, the program was listed among the Most Affordable Online Colleges for Veterinary Technician (SR Education Group).

Along with Martin, who holds a doctor of veterinary medicine, full-time CCC faculty members include Dr. Shad Clymer, Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Program Coordinator, and veterinary nursing instructors Dr. Beth Fenton and Melissa Stomberg, RVT, BS. In addition, online courses are taught by several credentialed registered veterinary technicians.