Nursing is an excellent career for those who are interested in helping others improve their daily wellbeing. Earning your online nursing degree will prepare you to pursue careers as a registered nurse, nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, and other occupations in general hospitals, specialized clinics, private homes, and rehabilitation facilities. Because Vermont consistently ranks as one of the top ten healthiest states in the country, this location offers many rich resources for those interested in entering the healthcare industry.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2016 and 2026 the number of jobs for registered nurses will increase by 15%, much faster than the national average rate for job growth. Additionally, the BLS projects that jobs for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners will grow by 31%. As this data shows, nursing is an exciting and rapidly growing field. Whether you are interested in earning an on-campus or online nursing degree in Vermont, there are plenty of educational and professional resources for you.
How to Become a Nurse in Vermont
While the process to become a nurse involves several steps, earning your online nursing degree and license will allow you to engage in a rewarding career. Though each state has a few unique requirements, this process is relatively standardized; typically, individuals interested this field earn a nursing degree and then take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The following section includes information for Vermont’s licensing costs and procedures, as well as more information about the NCLEX and what an online nursing degree entails.
Choose the Path That's Right for You
An associate degree in nursing (ADN) is the minimum credential needed to become a nurse. While there are a few different associate degrees in nursing, including an associate of science in nursing and an associate of applied science in nursing, these associates all cover the same basic coursework. Keep in mind that while an associate degree will qualify you for entry-level nursing jobs, you will need a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) in order to become an advanced nurse. If you are interested in teaching nursing to undergraduate and graduate students, you should plan to eventually earn your doctoral degree in nursing (DNP).
Earn Your Nursing Degree
Before applying to nursing schools in Vermont, it’s important to determine whether you would like to earn your degree on-campus or online. You should also research the prerequisites needed for your specific school; most nursing schools in Vermont require prospective students to have completed introductory coursework in biology, anatomy, chemistry, physiology, microbiology, nutrition, and other areas of health and science. Keep in mind that most nursing programs will also require you to complete clinical hours and some require students to participate in internships or fellowships. Associate degrees in nursing take one to two years to complete, while bachelor’s degrees take about four years, master’s degrees take two to three years, and doctoral degrees require three to six years. There are many online RN to BSN programs in Vermont, which allow licensed nurses to quickly earn their bachelor’s degree while working full-time.
Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License
In order to become a licensed nurse, you will need to take the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN. While how much you need to study for the NCLEX depends on your learning style and experience, it is generally recommended that you begin studying at least two or three months before taking this exam. Both exams cost $200. The NCLEX-RN lasts six hours, while the NCLEX-PN lasts five hours. Keep in mind that earning an online nursing degree and a nursing license does not guarantee that you will find a job, but it does improve your prospects.
Nursing Licensure in Vermont
After completing your on-campus or online nursing degree, you are required to complete either the NCLEX-PN or the NCLEX-RN. While both exams test your knowledge in the field of nursing, the NCLEX-PN qualifies you to work as a practical nurse. Usually, individuals who have earned their diplomas in licensed practical nursing or licensed vocational nursing take this exam. The NCLEX-RN qualifies you to work as a registered nurse. Those who complete an RN program in Vermont or a BSN program in Vermont are qualified to take the exam. Vermont is not part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses licensed in one state to work in other states. Consequently, if you earn your nursing license in Vermont and move to another state, you will need to apply for a license endorsement to work as a nurse in your new location.
For more information about nurse licensing in Vermont, contact the Vermont State Board of Nursing. Vermont does not require nurses to complete continuing education credits in order to keep their licenses. The following table outlines the costs for taking the NCLEX and acquiring your nursing license in Vermont.
Nursing Licensing Costs in Vermont
App Fee $200
Renewal Fee $140
Career Outlook for Nurses in Vermont
According to the American Nursing Association, there is currently a national shortage of nurses due to the growing number of Americans over the age of 65 and to recent reforms in healthcare. Vermont’s Department of Labor reports that registered nurses rank fourth in the state’s list of occupations with the most job openings, with an average annual growth rate of 1.9%. Nursing assistants rank 15th on this list, with an average annual growth rate of 1%. According to the BLS, there are currently around 5,850 registered nurses, 1,350 practical and vocational nurses, and 50 nurse practitioners employed in Vermont. Completing an on-campus or online nursing degree will qualify you for one of the most-needed occupations in the state.
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Biggest Hospitals in Vermont
Large hospitals offer internships, fellowships, and job opportunities to students and graduates of nursing schools in Vermont. The more large hospitals there are in a state, the more openings for nurses the state is likely to have. Vermont nursing schools often have partnerships with hospitals in their area. Below are two of the biggest hospitals in Vermont.
- University of Vermont Medical Center: Home to 562 beds and 7,500 employees, the UVM Medical Center is the largest hospital and one of the largest employers in the state. Over 1,750 of its employees are registered nurses, 160 of which are advanced practice nurses and physician assistants. The medical center features a children’s hospital, a cancer center, a trauma center, and the only neonatal intensive care unit in Vermont.
- Rutland Regional Medical Center: Rutland Regional is the second largest hospital in the state and the largest community hospital. With 133 beds and over 1,600 employees, this hospital provides preventive, diagnostic, and rehabilitation services and employs providers in 37 specialized areas of medicine. The hospital also features high-quality equipment and treatment for cancer patients.
Additional Nursing Resources in Vermont
American Nurses Association Vermont
As a branch of the national American Nurses Association, ANA-Vermont advocates for workplace standards for nurses, promotes safe, quality patient care, and implements professional development programs. This organization also helps nurses engage in decisions regarding policy, legislation, and workplace issues concerning occupational health and safety.
Vermont Nurses in Partnership
VNIP is a nonprofit organization that consists of nursing leaders from across the state. This organization supports Vermont nursing professionals in the workplace through creating and implementing internships, mentorships, coaching, and other professional development trainings and programs. VNIP also connects nurses to other healthcare professionals across the state and around the world.
Vermont Department of Health
This state department website offers resources for healthcare professionals, including information about licensing and regulations, hospitals and healthcare centers, and the overall state of health for Vermont’s residents. The website also features information about nursing positions, internships, and student opportunities.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing
The NCSBN includes nursing member boards for all 50 states, as well as nursing boards from around the world. This organization’s website offers information and resources regarding licensing and regulation across the country, including Vermont. The NCSBN also offers webinars and online courses for nursing professionals.
Vermont Association of Nurse Anesthetists
A branch of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, VTANA advocates for registered nurse anesthetists in Vermont. The association’s website includes student resources and links to local and national events related to the fields of anesthesiology and nursing.
Accredited Online Nursing Programs in Vermont
The following database includes all of the accredited ADN, BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP online nursing schools in Vermont. This resource will provide you with more information about the different program formats, requirements, and coursework, as well as information about what makes each online nursing degree unique.