Being one of the smallest states in the Union, Vermont is not typically at the top of the short list of states with the most schools for a given path in higher education. That said, the state has a requisite number of nursing schools in Vermont and related licensing requirements for anyone who wants to go into nursing, just like any other state. Because the population of choices are smaller in Vermont, it allows folks who definitely want to study there a far deeper ability to compare learning paths of each school and what is offered to the given student in particular. Of course, because of Vermont’s close proximity to other states and schools nearby on the east coast, the local schools also have to up their game a bit to be attractive to new prospects as well.
Vermont does follow the general pattern of providing a robust platform of basic training through technical schools and junior colleges to make it easy to find entry points into the nursing field. For those who show aptitude to go further than basic practical nursing, the state then formalizes advanced patterns through four-year universities as well as various graduate school programs offering specialization in everything from administration & management to radiology. All of the approved nursing schools in the state expect basic clinical time, experience and competency to be completed in addition to theory and textbook training. This hands-on criteria is considered essential for the nursing field as well as a good opportunity for networking and career contact building. Again, the list is not extensive for Vermont, but the schools tend to carry very strong programs for nursing with program scope that tends to be greater than other states. This is evidenced in the number of different degree choices available in the same school, and it’s a key detail folks should look for further when considering a school in Vermont. For example, one school might only have a standard bachelor’s degree, but they also will offer five different master’s degrees in the nursing field.
In the classic style that Vermont is famous for with its nursing schools, the University of Vermont keeps the basic coursework approach at the bachelor’s degree level fairly standard, but the graduate level is chock full of choices and options with variety. The school sees itself as being responsive to exponential growth of demand in the nursing field over the next decade, and the added pressure for more advanced nursing training and work building on basic skillsets.
The University of Vermont has a strong reputation and skill-building reference. On average, UofV nursing graduates are earning almost 3 percent more than their counterparts trained at other schools in the state. And the fact that the University is located in a major city allows it to train students and deal with real big city medical issues that will be found nationwide.
In terms of acceptance, many students and prospects are urged to put some study effort into their standardized testing prior to going to college. This is because the University sees a score of at least 28 on the ACT for the students it accepts in the nursing program. And the typical SAT score is in the range of 1200 among the same entries.
Castleton’s nursing program has a long history of training, research and academic performance among nursing schools in Vermont and nationwide. The school in general is a public university institution, but the demand for the school’s name tends to maintain a higher cost. Castleton’s nursing program is linked to its approach towards a liberal arts education versus just strict science or profession alone. As a result, nursing students will realize regular exposure to a rounded education incorporated into the general requirements applied to all attending students. Specifically on the nursing side, students can expect direction exposure to simulated nursing practical environments via the school’s Simulation Center, interdisciplinary team training, and traditional theory/textbook learning. Most students take the traditional four-year bachelor’s degree track. However, Castleton offers an expedited three-year track, and the University also provides a two year RN-to-BSN track for those who already completed their practical nursing track and are working. This last path gives transfer capability and credit for nursing licensing already achieved. Finally Castleton also provides a basic two-year track for entry students seeking to get into nursing fast but with a stronger training than that provided at a junior college or trade school.
Southern Vermont College offered students two different paths to achieve a further nursing degree, depending in their level of training coming into the school and degree approach. Both the associate degree and bachelor’s degree program could be taken in person. However, the RN-to-BSN approach was allowed to be taken online as well if the student has already graduated in practical nursing and is licensed as a registered nurse.
Southern Vermont was accredited by the CCNE. However, as notified in May 2019, Southern Vermont will no longer be operating as an independent school after the spring 2019 semester. The nursing students enrolled and the remainder of the program was to be transferred to Castleton University who still planned to operate a satellite nursing training program in Bennington, where Southern Vermont was last located.
When it comes to earning power, Norwich University has a strong reputation for its graduates realizing a higher income level than their peer nursing schools in Vermont. Based on relatively recent reviews, Norwich graduates earn approximately 10 percent more than their peers in nursing graduated from other schools. In additional, just about every first-year nursing student at Norwich received a scholarship assistance, averaging as much as $22,250. However, more interesting is the fact that graduates of the program and school have a very high degree of career success and ability to pay off related student loans from their studies.
Norwich as a learning institution fits the classic mold of a small town college choice. Northfield, Vermont sits away from the urban centers and allows students to focus far more on their studies due its geographic isolation.
Understood as career ladder pathway for those wanting to start into nursing and advance in the field at their own pace, Vermont Technical College provides a well-accepted 1 + 1 + 2 stacked credential pathway to the BSN degree. The progressive curricula, first year practical nursing certificate, second year associate’s degree in nursing, third and fourth years online bachelor’s degree in nursing, gives students the flexibility to enter and exit at any level, plus earn nursing credentials along the path and start working in the field sooner than with a traditional four year BSN program. The school system also has re-entry program options for nurses who had a prior license that lapsed and they would like to reinstate their licensing in a low-cost way towards meeting Vermont requirements. The practical nursing program and associate degree program are offered at eleven locations (Bennington, Brattleboro, Lyndon, Middlebury, Morrisville, Newport, Randolph Center, Rutland, St. Albans, White River Junction and Williston) using both face to face and videoconferencing technology to deliver the programs. Most notably, Vermont Technical College retains a 100 percent placement rate for its graduates versus the national average of 86 percent in other schools.
While there are number of online schools, colleges and universities that provide nursing training and can be accessed by the Internet, only three online nursing schools in Vermont are certified by the state’s nursing board to provide nursing training and education recognized by the state for its licensing requirements specifically. Those three schools are also accredited as in-person schools as well and have been discussed above, including:
Again, students are going to find a number of schools available that providing nursing training, but they do not have specific authorization or approval for nursing in Vermont. This means a student could find her or himself stuck in a situation where additional training is needed if studying elsewhere and then trying to apply that outside education to Vermont for licensing.
Studying for a nursing degree in Vermont is just as challenging as any other state. The test exams and licensing meeting national standards and include larger hurdles students have to successfully pass. However, Vermont continues to support and provide lots of entry points for prospective nursing students, responding to the high demand expect for new nurses and related employee candidates over the next decade.
The above schools have been rated first on their program scale and scope, depth of training and quality, and then by cost. Because Vermont doesn’t have a large population of nursing schools, the list is short and easy to rank simply by program scope. But nobody should assume any of the schools listed train less than the other in terms of expected nursing standards. All of the institutions provide solid education paths, some even better than the same training found in other states nationwide.
If you want more information about a specific Vermont nursing school or have questions about one of the schools listed, contact us. Email us, text or even call to follow-up. We regularly provide detailed information responses for prospective students and parents, including reports in nursing schools in Vermont.