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Nevada Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians

Licensure Requirements

Under Nevada law, any person who desires to secure a license to practice veterinary medicine must make a written application to the Executive Director of the board.  The applicant must be a citizen of the U.S. or is lawfully entitled to remain and work in the U.S. and be of good moral character.  The applicant must have received a diploma conferring the degree of doctor of veterinary medicine or its equivalent from a school of veterinary medicine accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  Alternatively, if the applicant is a graduate of a non accredited school of veterinary medicine, s/he must produce proof of a certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates of the American Veterinary Medical Association or, by an organization approved by the board.  In addition, the applicant must have passed each examination required by the Board pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 638.110.  A final year veterinary student at a school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association may take the state examination, but the board may not issue a license until s/he has complied with the above requirements.  The application must be signed by the applicant, notarized and accompanied by a fee set by the board, not to exceed $500.  The Board may refuse to issue a license if it determines that an applicant has committed an act which would be a ground for disciplinary action if the applicant were a licensee[i].  In addition to the requirements of Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 638.100, an applicant must submit proof that s/he has passed, within the five years immediately preceding the date of application:

  • The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination of the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners; or
  • Any other examination approved for this purpose by the board pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 638.100.

In addition an applicant who is a graduate of a school of veterinary medicine that is not accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association must submit to the Board a verified copy of the educational certificate required under Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 638.100.[ii].

A licensee shall display his license in a conspicuous manner within his place of employment[iii].  A licensed veterinarian may renew his/her inactive license annually by submitting an application for renewal along with a fee of $130 to the board[iv].

A licensed veterinarian whose license has been placed on inactive status may apply to the board may file an application for the restoration, signed by the licensed veterinarian and notarized, along with a fee of $ 120.  Such licensee must also submit proof that s/he has completed at least 15 hours of continuing education approved by the board in the year immediately preceding the filing of the application.  In addition, if s/he is or has been licensed in any other state, a letter of good standing from the licensing agency of each state in which s/he is or has been licensed have to be produced.  The board may revoke an inactive license if the licensee submits any false information in his/her application for restoration[v].

In the case of an application for reinstatement of a forfeited license, the licensee must submit evidence that s/he has passed, within the five years immediately preceding the filing of the application, the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination of the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for an initial license, or any other examination required by the Board[vi].  The other requirements are similar to those for restoration of an inactive license.

Practice of veterinary medicine does not include:

  • A veterinarian, who lectures, teaches, administers a practical examination or conducts a laboratory demonstration in a facility in connection with a seminar or course of continuing education for veterinarians.
  • A graduate of a non accredited school of veterinary medicine and who is preparing for a clinical proficiency examination administered by the American Veterinary Medical Association for the purpose of acquiring an educational certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates of the American Veterinary Medical Association or its successor organization[vii].

Discipline of Veterinarians

The Board may assess penalty for practice without a license as follows:

  • For a first violation, an administrative fine in an amount not to exceed $ 1,000.
  • For a second violation, an administrative fine in an amount not to exceed $ 2,500.
  • For a third or subsequent violation, an administrative fine in an amount not to exceed $ 5,000[viii].

Malpractice in the practice of veterinary medicine includes conduct which falls below the standard of care required of a licensed veterinarian under the circumstances which cause injury to an animal.  Negligence means a departure from the standard of practice of veterinary medicine and incompetence means a lack of knowledge, skill, or ability in discharging a professional obligation[ix].  A veterinarian, having undertaken the care of an animal, is prohibited from neglecting the animal.  The veterinarian should also give adequate notice before discontinuing his/her professional services[x].

A veterinarian is prohibited from:

  • Falsifying records of health care;
  • Writing a prescription for a controlled substance in such an excessive amount as to constitute a departure from prevailing standards of acceptable veterinary medical practice;
  • Consistently using veterinary medical procedures, services or treatments which constitute a departure from the prevailing standards;
  • Render professional services to an animal while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance or is in any impaired mental or physical condition;
  • Acquire any controlled substances from any pharmacy or other source by misrepresentation, fraud, deception or subterfuge;
  • Operate a veterinary facility in an unlawful manner;
  • Prescribe, dispense, deliver or order another person to deliver any prescription drug, controlled substance and any dangerous drug before establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship and before determining that the prescription drug is therapeutically indicated for the health and well-being of the animal[xi].

Professional and Ethical Standards

It is to be noted that willfully committing any inhumane or cruel act on any animal does not include any emergency treatment given to an ill or injured animal without the consent of an owner if the owner is not available or the performance of euthanasia on such an animal if necessary to relieve pain and suffering[xii].  Before a veterinarian disposes of an abandoned animal, s/he must send, by certified mail, a notice to the last known address of the owner of the animal or the person who delivered the animal to him/her.  The notice must state that the veterinarian will dispose of the animal if it is not claimed within 10 days after the notice is mailed[xiii].

A veterinarian may retain possession of an animal till his/her payment is made.  If the veterinarian retains possession of the animal, s/he must continue to care for it in a humane manner[xiv].

[i] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 638.100.

[ii] NAC 638.0435.

[iii] NAC 638.0437.

[iv] NAC 638.044.

[v] NAC 638.0445.

[vi] NAC 638.0447.

[vii] NAC 638.0195.

[viii] NAC 638.0433.

[ix] NAC 638.045.

[x] NAC 638.047.

[xi] NAC 638.048.

[xii] NAC 638.049.

[xiii] NAC 638.051.

[xiv] NAC 638.052.


Inside Nevada Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians