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Veterinary Nursing Development

At Compassion-First, we believe that all pets and their owners deserve only the best care provided by highly educated and trained professionals. Open to Compassion-First veterinary technicians and assistants, our veterinary nursing development programs provide formal education tuition support, as well as in-house upskilling tools and resources to help each veterinary nursing team member deliver the highest level of patient care.

Our VND programs include:

  • Compassion-First Veterinary Technician and Assistant Development Program in partnership with Penn Foster College
  • Cedar Valley College Distance Education Veterinary Technology Program (DEVTP)
  • Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) Mentorship Program
  • RECOVER Veterinary CPR Rescuer Certification Support and Training
  • In-House Upskilling Resources


Compassion-First Veterinary Technician and Assistant Development Program partnership with Penn Foster College

Compassion-First partnered with Penn Foster College to deliver their online, on-demand programs to Compassion-First team members. The AVMA Accredited Veterinary Technician and NAVTA-Approved Veterinary Assistant programs provide the opportunity for non-credentialed veterinary assistants and technicians to become credentialed through formal education programs with tuition support from Compassion-First.

The Penn Foster College partnership offers something for every member of the support team:

  • Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA)
  • Veterinary Technician (AS and BAS)
  • Veterinary Practice Management (VPM)

Congrats, Shelly!

Shelly LeMarquand started as a receptionist at Veterinary Referral Center (VRC), a Compassion-First hospital. When Shelly heard about the tuition-assisted Veterinary Assistant program, she jumped at the opportunity. While going through the program, Shelly took every chance to spend time with the veterinary technicians at VRC to practice the skills she was learning. The veterinary technicians, most of whom have graduated from a formal education program of their, rallied behind Shelly and were huge supporters throughout her journey. Eventually, Shelly was offered a full-time position in VRC’s surgery department as a surgical assistant.

Veterinary Technician Specialist Mentorship Program

Many of Compassion-First’s veterinary technicians have a desire to specialize in a specific specialty or discipline of veterinary medicine, The VTS mentorship program started in 2018 and offers monthly meetings and mentorship to support our aspiring VTS Candidates in over 16 veterinary technician specialties.
During the online monthly meetings, our veterinary technician specialists offer insights into their specialty to inspire others. The meetings are a great way to introduce new specialties to our technicians who many not have exposure, offer support, and encourage others to pursue a specialty.


RECOVER CPR training prepares veterinary team members to respond to patients experiencing cardiopulmonary arrest. Compassion-First offers support for team members to become certified rescuers.


In-House Upskilling Resources

Compassion-First supports in-house development for veterinary nursing team members to gain knowledge, skill, and continuing education by partnering with the following online resources:

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