Top Vermont Nursing Schools and Programs

October 6, 2021 · 6 Min Read

Top Vermont Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs. The biggest cause of an emerging nursing shortage in Vermont is due to the retiring workforce over the next 5 to 10 years. Nurse Educators are retiring, and other types of nurses...

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Schools, Licensing Requirements, and Resources

Depending on their career goals and scheduling needs, students interested in nursing careers might consider enrolling in an online nursing program, available at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. In this guide, readers can explore more information about the four types of nursing including certified nurse assistants (CNA), licensed practical nurses (LPN), registered nurses (RN), and nurse practitioners (NP).

On this page, readers can learn more about why they should enroll in an online nursing degree in Vermont, what courses they might enroll in, licensing requirements, salary and employment trend information, and resources meant specifically for nurses in the state.

Why Attend Online Nursing Programs in Vermont?

Nursing students in Vermont can choose from a variety of online learning opportunities at every degree level. Many Vermont schools offer RN-BSN options, BSN programs, MSN programs, and even associate- and doctoral- level online nursing programs.

Licensed nurses in Vermont do not need to satisfy continuing education requirements during renewal periods, making it easier for professionals to maintain licensure. Vermont nurses also enjoy above-average salary potential, making the state a great location for new professionals to begin their careers.

Featured Online Programs

How to Become a Nurse in Vermont

There are multiple steps in the process of becoming a nurse, including earning an online nursing degree and obtaining licensure. While each state maintains some unique requirements, the licensing process is relatively standardized. Typically, prospective nurses earn a degree before taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The following section includes information regarding Vermont's licensing costs and procedures, as well as more information about the NCLEX and what an online nursing degree entails.

  • 1. Choose the Path That's Right for You

    An associate degree in nursing is the minimum credential needed to become a nurse. While different associate degrees in nursing exist, they all feature the same basic coursework. Keep in mind that while an associate degree qualifies graduates for entry-level nursing jobs, advanced nurses often hold a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) or master's degree in nursing (MSN). Nurses who plan to teach nursing at the collegiate level will need to earn a doctoral degree in nursing practice (DNP).
  • 2. Earn Your Nursing Degree

    Many nursing schools in Vermont allow candidates to earn a degree on campus or online. Both program types usually expect prospective students to have completed introductory coursework in biology, anatomy, chemistry, physiology, microbiology, or nutrition. Most nursing programs also require candidates to complete a certain number of clinical hours, and some include internship or fellowship components. Associate degrees in nursing take 1-2 years to complete, while bachelor's degrees take about four years, master's degrees take 2-3 years, and doctoral degrees require 3-6 years of study. Many online RN-to-BSN programs in Vermont allow licensed nurses to quickly earn their bachelor's degree while working full-time.
  • 3. Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License

    All prospective nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN to pursue licensure. While studying for the NCLEX depends on a student's learning style and experience, it is generally recommended that candidates begin studying at least two or three months before the 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 employment, although it can improve job prospects.

Online Nursing Degree Programs in Vermont

Different nursing positions and specialties require different degrees and types of education. A nursing degree provides candidates with the skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience they need to pursue fulfilling careers after graduation. This section introduces some common features students encounter in online nursing programs.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Nursing Degree Program in Vermont?

Course offerings for online nursing programs in Vermont vary by degree level, college or university, and specialization. While associate programs typically expose students to basic nursing concepts, bachelor's curricula focus on more advanced topics, and master's and doctoral programs emphasize specialized nursing skills and topics. Bachelor's degree-seekers are likely to encounter one or more of the following common courses.

Health Assessment

This course uses assignments and laboratory exercises to introduce standard strategies for assessing patient health. Candidates learn to take a holistic approach to assessing patients across the lifespan and developing care plans.

Healthcare Systems

In this course, learners survey factors related to healthcare delivery such as cost, globalization, and access. Students also explore the history of healthcare systems in the United States.

Nursing Leadership & Management

This course presents the skills and knowledge learners need to pursue management and leadership roles in healthcare settings. Coursework focuses on effective communication methods and strategies for collaborating with other healthcare professionals.

How Do Online Nursing Degree Programs Work?

Online nursing programs in Vermont feature different structures and components depending on the school and degree level. Options like online RN-to-BSN programs feature flexible scheduling, allowing distance learners to work as they earn a degree. Bachelor's degree-seekers can find fully online opportunities, along with hybrid programs that allow them to complete all of their coursework online with some on-campus components.

Bachelor's degree-seekers can find fully online opportunities, along with hybrid programs that allow them to complete all of their coursework online with some on-campus components.


Students pursuing bachelor's-level nursing programs in Vermont typically complete about 120 credits of coursework. Full-time students usually graduate in about four years. Online nursing programs at the master's level combine core coursework with a residency component, and some require learners to come to campus for intensive sessions. While many master's programs take around two years to complete, some online learners are able to satisfy their program's within 18 months.

Nursing Licensure in Vermont

Prospective nurses in Vermont can pursue licensure as licensed nurse assistants (LNAs), licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, or nurse practitioners. Vermont's nursing board regulates licensure and ensures that all licensed nurses demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to provide quality patient care.

State requirements differ between license types, and may include different education and clinical hours guidelines, exams, and renewal processes. In the following section, readers can explore some differences between licensing requirements.

NPs in Vermont enjoy full practice authority, meaning that the state practice and license laws allow them to evaluate, diagnose, and treat all patients. They may also prescribe medications and controlled substances.

State Requirements by Nursing Type

The table below demonstrates the difference between Vermont licensing requirements for each type of nursing license.

Certified Nurse Assistant Vermont refers to nursing assistants as licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) rather than certified nursing assistants. Before individuals can obtain an LNA license, they must complete a state-approved nursing assistant training program. These training programs combine classroom instruction and clinical components to develop the skills and competencies candidates need to pursue entry-level nursing assistant roles. After graduating and passing the LNA licensing evaluation, candidates can apply for their LNA license online. Applicants should submit a headshot, their exam scores, and proof of training program completion. Professionals must renew their license every two years. LNAs who hold the Medication Nursing Assistant endorsement must also complete four continuing education credits during each renewal period. LNAs whose licenses have expired can pursue reinstatement by providing proof that they worked as an LNA for at least 400 hours during the two-year period leading up to their license expiration date. Professionals unable to provide proof of work experience must retake the licensing exam to reinstate their license.

Vermont Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Board-approved LNA training program
  • Additional Clinical Hours: N/A
  • Exams: LNA licensing evaluation
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: 4 continuing education credits for LNAs with the Medication Nursing Assistant endorsement
Licensed Practical Nurse Vermont LPNs begin their careers by completing a practical nursing program. These programs explore topics such as nursing principles and practices, human anatomy and physiology, and human growth and development. While program length varies by format, full-time candidates typically graduate in about one year. During their LPN program, degree-seekers complete coursework to prepare them for the licensing exam. Once learners satisfy state-mandated educational criteria, they must complete and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. Students can also complete a practice test to prepare for the exam. After passing the NCLEX-PN, LPN candidates can apply for licensure, providing their official transcripts, exam scores, a copy of their CPR certification card, and payment for the $60 application fee. LPNs must renew their license every two years. While they do not need to complete continuing education requirements, they should actively maintain and expand their skills and knowledge to continue providing quality nursing care.

Vermont Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Board-approved LPN degree program
  • Additional Clinical Hours: N/A
  • Exams: NLCEX-PN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: None required, but professionals must maintain their competencies
Registered Nurse Individuals interested in becoming a licensed RN can earn either an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing. While both degrees qualify graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain licensure, many employers, especially hospitals, prefer to hire registered nurses who hold a bachelor's degree in nursing. Once candidates demonstrate the necessary educational background, they must demonstrate their proficiency in nursing by passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Candidates also complete a verification of education form and provide a photo of themselves and a $90 fee with their license application packet. RN candidates can begin practicing under a temporary permit if they apply for one within 30 days of their graduation date. These individuals must work under the supervision of a licensed registered nurse during their temporary permit status.

Vermont Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Associate or Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Satisfied during degree program
  • Exams: NCLEX-RN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every other year
  • Continuing Education: None required, although nurses must continuously develop their skills and knowledge
Nurse Practitioner Vermont's nursing board recognizes the following advanced practice registered nursing roles:
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife
Advanced practice nurses can also pursue a population focus, qualifying them to work in a specific type of nursing care. Vermont recognizes these patient population focus areas:
  • Women's health/gender related
  • Adult
  • Psychiatric/mental health
  • Family/individuals across the lifespan
  • Pediatric
  • Neonatal
  • Geriatric
NP candidates must begin their licensing process by holding an active, current RN license and successfully completing a graduate degree in nursing. After earning their master's degree, candidates may obtain national certification in their designated patient population focus area. NPs in Vermont can hold multiple certifications. NPs begin their initial work with a collaborative agreement with either an advanced practice nurse or a doctor and transition into their own practice over a two-year period. During their two-year transitional period, NP candidates must complete 2,400 hours of experience.

Vermont Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Graduate degree in nursing
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Completed during degree program
  • Exams: None; candidates must earn national certification in their chosen nursing specialty
  • Renewal Frequency: Every other year
  • Continuing Education: None required, but they must maintain their national certification

Online Nursing Degree Programs and Licensing in Vermont FAQ

Can Someone Become a Nurse in Two Years? There are several options for individuals who want to become a nurse in two years. RNAs and LPNs in Vermont only need about a year to satisfy their educational and training programs before completing their licensure exam. RNs who pursue the ADN pathway can earn licensure in two years.
What Is a Good Specialty for Nursing? Students should consider the specialty that most interests them in terms of patient population focus, career opportunities, and earning potential.
How Long Does it Take to Get an RN License in Vermont? RN candidates who earn an associate degree in nursing typically take about two years to obtain their RN license, while those who pursue a bachelor of science in nursing pathway take around four years to earn licensure.
Is Vermont a Good State For Nurses? Nurses in Vermont enjoy a variety of licensing and career opportunities across the field. The state does not require licensed nurses to complete continuing education requirements, making it easier for nurses to renew their licenses.
How Hard Is It to Get Into Nursing School in Vermont? Admission requirements vary depending on the college or university and the degree level. Common admissions criteria include minimum GPAs, RN licensure, CPR certification, letters of recommendation, and a current professional resume.

Vermont Nurse Salaries and Employment Trends

Nurses in Vermont can serve in a variety of positions and settings, finding opportunities to specialize in a spectrum of areas and care for many different patient populations. Salary and job growth information depends on many different factors and students should understand that holding a specific degree or educational background does not necessarily guarantee them a certain salary or employment opportunity.

In the table below, readers can explore the variations in annual mean wage amounts across the different types of nursing in Vermont, along with the corresponding projected job growth. Then, they can review data for surrounding states in comparison to the U.S. figures for each type of nursing.

Nurse Salary and Projected Job Growth in Vermont, by Type

  Annual Mean Wage Projected Job Growth(2016-2026)
Certified Nurse Assistant $30,730 4.8%
Licensed Practical Nurse $49,720 2.9%
Registered Nurse $69,160 13.0%
Nurse Practitioner $106,000 23.6%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Projections Central

Annual Mean Nurse Wages in Nearby States

  Certified Nurse Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
United States $29,580 $47,050 $75,510 $110,030
New Hampshire $32,200 $52,510 $72,760 $109,460
Massachusetts $33,630 $58,990 $92,140 $122,740
New York $37,010 $48,770 $85,610 $120,970

Source: BLS

Certified Nurse Assistant

The annual mean wage for Vermont CNAs is approximately $1,000 higher than the $30,730 national figure for the occupation. Compared to CNAs in nearby New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York, Vermont professionals report the lowest annual mean wage. CNAs enjoy the highest salary opportunities in Vermont's scientific, research, and development services industry.

Licensed Practical Nurse

Vermont LPNs earn an annual mean wage above the U.S. average for the occupation, reporting wages of $49,720. In contrast, similar professionals across the U.S. draw an annual mean wage of $47,050. Compared to the nearby states of New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, LPNs in Vermont place third in annual mean wages. The junior colleges industry provides LPNs with access to the discipline's highest-paying opportunities.

Registered Nurse

Vermont RNs draw an annual mean wage amount of $69,160, with those employed in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry earning the highest salaries. However, RNs can find the highest employment levels and highest concentration of jobs in the general medical industry and surgical hospitals. RNs in Vermont also enjoy an above-average projected job growth rate of 13%.

Nurse Practitioner

NPs in Vermont enjoy an annual mean wage of $106,000. They also face a projected job growth rate of 23.6% -- much faster than the average for all other occupations in the country. NPs seeking the highest salary opportunities in their profession should look to the personal care services industry, while physicians' offices feature the highest employment levels and job concentration.

Nursing Resources for Vermont

  • This professional association aims to improve nursing and healthcare services across the state by empowering and advocating for nurses. ANA-VT hosts an annual conference, political meetings, and a job board.
  • VNPA supports local charities and healthcare initiatives, provides members with mentorship and educational opportunities, and pairs nursing students with experienced NPs.
  • The state nursing board administers licenses, establishes and maintains protocols, and ensures quality healthcare statewide. The Board's website provides detailed information about licensing guidelines.
  • Dedicated to establishing evidence-based transition programs, VNIP provides members with the necessary tools and resources to cultivate safe, collaborative clinical environments. Some site pages are password protected.
  • VSSNA provides school nurses with information, resources, and continuing education opportunities. Members may apply for research grants, scholarships, and awards.

Jump to Another State is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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