How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Vermont

According to the Health Vermont government site, Vermont continues to be one of the healthiest states in the nation. By tracking high-priority health issues and performance scorecards for health goals, the state is determined to continue to meet its health goals. The Public Health data system is designed to meet the needs of Vermont residents as the population, and the healthcare industry, continue to grow and change.

Career Outlook for Nurse Administrators

Vermont is the second-least-populated state in the US, but it draws over 13 million visitors annually. Tourism and marketing are two of the largest industries in the state. With so many tourists flooding in on an annual basis, the healthcare field needs to be ready to service any and all needs.

One of the essential roles in the healthcare industry is that of nurse administrators. A nurse administrator is primarily a leadership and management role with a strong foundation in nursing. Nurse administrators are required by law to have an active, unencumbered license in their state of practice. This path is a great option for nurses looking to boost their salary and career goals. It often only takes an additional two to four years of education, depending on the level of commitment.

Nurse admins must have at least one year of clinical experience to be able to pursue a master’s degree. They can find employment in hospitals, specialist practices, primary care practices, mental health facilities and other healthcare facilities. As a manager, nurse administrators usually oversee anywhere from 75 – 100 employees. They are also responsible for facility upkeep, operation, and patient care.

Key traits in a nurse administrator include strong leadership skills, communication, a strong foundation in nursing, problem-solving and process creation. Nurse admins are communicative, responsible, well-versed in their field and willing and able to take on problem-solving.

Over the next decade, nursing is expected to grow at a rate of 9%, adding just over 275,000 jobs. Due to the need for nursing staff to be managed, the nurse administrator role will grow alongside nurses. In the state of Vermont, salaries for this position range from $55 to 130k. Pay is often based on experience level as well as the size of the facility a nurse administrator works for.

Certification or Licensing Requirements in Vermont

To become a nurse administrator in Vermont, an individual first needs to be a registered nurse with an active license in the state. A Master’s of Science in Nursing is also essential for this role. It sets the foundation for leadership skills and facility and staff management as RNs move into this career. To be admitted to an MSN program, nurses must have one year of clinical experience. Many programs allow students to continue working while pursuing their degrees.

Vermont’s state website has a page specifically for nursing. The online services platform allows nurses to apply, renew and update an application or license. Employers and academic bodies can also request license verification to make sure a potential employee or student can practice. Additionally, this page lists statutes, rules and resources for nurses to ensure they are following the most up-to-date guidelines within their profession.

Vermont is so dedicated to growth in the nursing field that in 2021, they passed the Vermont Nurse Licensure Compact into law. The NLC allows RNs and LPNs who live in Vermont to apply for multi-state licenses, enabling them to work in the surrounding states. Nurses residing in other Compact States can practice in Vermont as well.

Top-Rated Nurse Administrator Programs in Vermont

1. Norwich University

Norwich University is a private military academy in Northfield, Vermont, located just south of the state capital of Montpelier. This university is the oldest private military college in the US and offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in an on-campus and online format. Norwich has a 74% acceptance rate and a 63% graduation rate.

Just under 2,600 students attend classes on campus and 1,400 attend online. The student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1, and the average class size is fewer than 20 students. Norwich University is well known for the Corps of Cadets and military lifestyle, but civilian students are welcome to attend.

The Master of Science in Nursing program at Norwich University takes place entirely online. The program page promises to meet graduate students where they are and take them where they want to be. Online programs have become more popular over the years as it is easier to fit an active career around the course load.

The MSN program also has the option of concentrating in different areas, including Healthcare Systems Leadership, Nursing Education and Nurse Practitioner. The MSN with a Healthcare Systems Leadership concentration is designed to set nurses up for success when it comes to administration and leadership in healthcare facilities. This program has a maximum of 15 students per class, takes an average of 18 months to complete and includes a week-long residency on campus.

Norwich University also offers a Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing for those who have already completed a master’s degree, but are looking to deepen their knowledge in specialty areas.

To be admitted to Norwich University’s MSN degree, nurses must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an active license as a registered nurse in the state of Vermont, a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher, undergraduate courses in statistics and research and a completed Norwich University application.

2. The University of Vermont

The University of Vermont is located in Burlington, one of the most popular cities with the highest population and an interesting cultural atmosphere. The university’s acceptance rate is 71% and the graduation rate is slightly higher at 76%. UVM’s annual enrollment is just over 11,000 undergraduate students and 1,700 graduate students. Of those enrolled, roughly 490 are pursuing a medical degree.

The student-faculty ratio at UVM is 16:1, and only 1% of classes are taught by graduate assistants. One of the biggest draws to attending UVM is its location in Burlington, a much-loved city surrounded by nature and recreation and home to a great food and music scene.

The Master of Science in Clinical Nurse Leadership program is housed under the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. This program is designed to allow nurses who want to step into leadership to continue with patient care while also assisting with decision-making in medical settings. Some courses are offered on campus and others are offered in a hybrid format.

The 36-credit program leaves room for nurses to continue working part-time as they pursue their MS – CNL. Courses include Quality in Health Care, Professional Role Development, Immersion Practicum, Fundamentals of Critical Inquiry and more.

UVM also offers a Postgraduate Doctor of Nursing Practice option for those who have earned a master’s degree but want to pursue an executive nurse leader track. For this particular program, applicants must hold a master’s degree or higher in nursing, be licensed as an RN, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and provide three letters of recommendation. UVM prefers applicants to have practice experience.

To be admitted to the program, prospective students are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or an associate’s in nursing with a bachelor’s degree in another field, have an RN license and Vermont RN license eligibility, achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher, submit three letters of recommendation and complete a short list of prerequisite courses.

3. Castleton University

Castleton University is located in Castleton, Vermont, just east of the New York/Vermont state border. This is a public liberal arts university with eight graduate degree programs, an 88% acceptance rate and a 56% graduation rate. Castleton University has the lowest tuition cost after the aid of the academic institutions on this list.

Castleton has quite the history as Vermont’s first institution of higher education, founded in 1787. The average class size is 17, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. The total enrollment of both full and part-time students is 2,400.

The Master of Science in Nursing program is an online option for nurses looking to become clinical leaders or educators. Castleton identifies the skill set needed as highly in-demand. Nurses who choose to work while pursuing this degree can complete their education part-time within two years and can complete clinical requirements right where they work.

Professors are available both in-person and for virtual office hours as needed for additional support. The Clinical Nurse Leader concentration is more appropriate for those wanting to pursue a career in nurse administration, as it focuses on leadership in a clinical setting. All courses are offered online and focus on quality improvement, evidence-based practice, interdisciplinary team care and organization. Core classes include Healthcare Informatics, Leading Organizational Change, Clinical Nurse Leader Immersion and Risk & Financial Management.

Nurses interested in applying to Castleton’s MSN program must have an unencumbered license to practice, submit all post-secondary transcripts, hold a minimum GPA of 3.0, have completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing, submit a resume and supply a letter of recommendation.