How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Vermont
Choosing to dedicate your life to others is a worthy and fulfilling decision. A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is someone who ensures their patients are comfortable and well-cared for. They usually work in doctors’ offices or hospitals, but there are many other opportunities for LPNs.
These nurses help patients by monitoring vital signs or administering medication and injections. An LPN also has to take direction from other nurses or doctors and assist them with administrative duties. It’s essential that nurses are confident when dealing with ill patients and speaking to their families. LPNs must be knowledgeable in healthcare and have effective communication skills. To prepare for a career in this field, you first must understand that every state has different licensing requirements depending on the employer.
Vermont’s LPN Application Process
The first step in a nursing career is finishing high school or completing your GED. After that, it’s time to start looking for approved nursing programs. The state of Vermont has limited options, however. Currently, there is only one state-approved Practical Nursing program. Even once you complete the nursing program, the application process to become an LPN can be competitive. A 2011 Vermont Board of Nursing Licensure survey revealed that of the 667 LPN applications, only 244 were accepted. Applicants who have already completed some prerequisites do have an advantage. Future LPNs also need to have a clean background and fingerprint check along with paying a $90 application fee.
Becoming a Licensed LPN in Vermont
Once you’ve successfully graduated from the nursing program and your application has been accepted, Vermont will issue a temporary permit that allows you to begin work while you wait on the results of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This is the test that all LPNs must pass to work in healthcare. Fortunately, pass rates in Vermont are relatively high, ranging from 93 to 100 percent. If you do fail the NCLEX the first time, you can schedule a retake, but you will not be given the temporary permit. You’ll also need to pay another $30. If you fail the test twice, Vermont requires you to take an NCLEX review course. If the test is failed four times, you’ll need to contact the Vermont State Board of Nursing (VSBN) to discuss options for a future in nursing.
Where to Learn About Nursing in Vermont
If you’ve decided to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, your priority should be finding a proper education that will help you pass the NCLEX. Working as an LPN can be a highly stressful profession. You’ll be working in a fast-paced environment with all kinds of people. Learning how to care for every patient properly can be a matter of life and death, which is why it’s so important to be appropriately equipped. When looking for the best nursing program for you, always make sure it is a state-approved institution and that it is accredited by the Accreditation Commission.
Vermont is a small state with many rural areas. As such, there is only one school that is approved by the VSBN, which is Vermont Technical College.
- Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center. Although Vermont Tech’s main campus is in Randolph, there are locations in Bennington, Brattleboro, Randolph Center and Williston that offer the nursing program. Additionally, distance learning is available in Lyndonville, Middlebury, Newport, St. Albans, Springfield and White River Junction. With 10 locations across the state, plus distance education availability, there are plenty of opportunities to enroll in the nursing program. Students who complete the program will graduate with an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing.
Vermont Tech pass rates are impressive. In 2018, 98 percent of nursing students passed the program and 96 percent of those students successfully passed the NCLEX.
Career and Salary Overview for Vermont LPNs
LPNs in Vermont are not expected to see much job growth over the next seven years. Data shared by The Projections Managing Partnership show only a 2.9 percent growth in LPN job development by 2026, with approximately 100 new jobs every year for nurses.
Vermont is 19th in the U.S. when it comes to LPN salaries. In 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average annual salary was $47,860. High-earning LPNs made as much as $61,880 that year. The average hourly wage was $23.01.
Working in Vermont as an LPN
Even though Burlington and Montpelier are the largest cities in Vermont, there are jobs to be found all over the state. Some of the biggest employers of LPNs in Vermont are Ob/Gyn providers, the Albany Medical Center, Alder Brook Family Health and the Arbors at Shelburne. The nurses who work in those places work in positions such as Assistant Camp Nurse, Certified Surgical Tech II, Charge Nurse and Nursing Office Assistant. LPNs don’t only work in hospitals or nursing homes; there are also military options or opportunities to work for the government.
If you are passionate about taking care of others, becoming a Licensed Practical nurse may be the path for you. Vermont is a wonderful place to explore all your options.