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Vermont Nursing License Requirements

Nurses in Vermont are licensed by the Vermont State Board of Nursing, which works to assure the qualifications of nurses to promote public safety and welfare. The Vermont State Board of Nursing licenses several different types of nurses, including practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners. All nurses begin the route to licensure by completing an appropriate education. Continue learning about becoming a practical nurse, registered nurse, or nurse practitioner by selecting a license category below.

» How to become a licensed practical nurse (requires completion of a training program)
» How to become a registered nurse (requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree)
» How to become a nurse practitioner (requires a master’s degree)

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Vermont

1. Obtain a Degree or Certificate in Practical Nursing.

Earning a degree or certificate in practical nursing is the first step to becoming a practical nurse in Vermont. The Vermont State Board of Nursing provides a list of approved education programs located within the state on its website.1 Equivalent programs located outside of the state of Vermont may also qualify a candidate for Vermont licensure.2 To help determine equivalency, the Vermont State Board of Nursing provides the required theory and clinical hours for any program leading to licensure.3

2. Register for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.

All prospective practical nurses must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to receive a practical nursing license in Vermont.4 To streamline processing, the Vermont State Board of Nursing recommends that applicants register for the exam prior to submitting the application for licensure.4 Registration is completed through a third party testing firm, Pearson VUE, which administers the NCLEX-PN on behalf of the Vermont State Board of Nursing.5

3. Submit the Application for Licensed Practical Nurse Licensure by Examination.

The Application for Licensed Practical Nurse Licensure by Examination must be submitted to obtain a license as a practical nurse in Vermont.4 Candidates must submit all required documents within one year of the date of the application or the application will be retired.4 Along with the completed application form, candidates must submit a passport style photo taken within the past six months that is not the same photo as used for the candidate’s driver’s license or passport.4

In addition, candidates must request that the school of nursing attended submit the Verification of Education Form found in the application materials and forward the completed document in a sealed envelope to the Vermont State Board of Nursing.4 If a candidate attended a nursing program outside of the state of Vermont, official transcripts must also be forwarded to the Board.4

4. Request a Temporary Practice Permit, If Desired.

Candidates for practical nurse licensure may request a temporary practice permit within 30 days of completing a practical nursing program.4 If such a permit is issued it is valid for 90 days or until the results of the National Council Licensure Examination are known, whichever occurs first.4 A temporary practice permit may be requested by completing Section F of the initial application for licensure.4

5. Pass the NCLEX-PN.

The Vermont State Board of Nursing will authorize eligible candidates to take the NCLEX-PN through Pearson VUE after reviewing the application documents. Candidates must earn a passing score on the exam to receive a license. Those who are not successful may apply to re-attempt the NCLEX-PN by submitting the NCLEX-LPN Retake Application to the Vermont State Board of Nursing and completing a second registration with Pearson VUE.6

5 Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in Vermont

1. Obtain a Degree in Registered Nursing.

Registered nurses must have a degree in nursing at the associate’s or bachelor’s level to become licensed in Vermont.1 Education programs located in the state of Vermont that meet the requirements for licensure are approved by the Vermont State Board of Nursing; a list of these programs can be accessed on the Board website.1 Programs located out of state that are substantially equivalent may also qualify a graduate for Vermont licensure.2 To help programs and prospective licensees determine equivalency, a list of required theory and clinical hours for licensure programs is available on the Vermont State Board of Nursing website.3

2. Register for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

A passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) is required to earn a registered nurse license in Vermont.7 For timely processing of applications, the Vermont State Board of Nursing recommends that applicants register for the exam prior to submitting the application for licensure.7 The Vermont State Board of Nursing uses a third party service, Pearson VUE, to administer the NCLEX-RN; thus, registration for the exam is completed through Pearson VUE.5

3. Submit the Application for Registered Nurse Licensure by Examination.

The Vermont State Board of Nursing provides the Registered Nurse Licensure by Examination form to be completed by all applicants for initial licensure by examination.7 The application and all required supporting documents must be received by the Vermont State Board of Nursing within one year of initial application, or the application will be retired.7 In addition to the application itself, applicants are required to provide a passport style photo taken no more than six months prior to the application.7 The photo may not be the same photo as is found on the applicant’s driver’s license or passport.7

To support the application, candidates must also have a Verification of Education form, found in the application materials, completed by the school of nursing from which the candidate graduated.7 This form must be submitted to the Vermont State Board of Nursing in a sealed envelope.7 Candidates who graduated from programs outside of the state of Vermont must also request that the school include official transcripts in the sealed envelope, to be forwarded to the Vermont State Board of Nursing.7

4. Request a Temporary Practice Permit, If Desired.

Graduates of registered nursing programs have the option of requesting a permit for temporary practice pending an attempt at the NCLEX-RN.7 Such a permit must be requested within 30 days of graduating from a nursing program, and if issued is valid for up to 90 days or until results of the NCLEX-RN are known, whichever occurs first.7 A temporary practice permit may be requested by completing Section F of the initial application for licensure.7

5. Pass the NCLEX-RN.

Following a review of the application materials, the Vermont State Board of Nursing authorizes eligible candidates to take the NCLEX-RN through Pearson VUE. Candidates who achieve a passing score on the exam will receive their registered nurse license. Candidates who do not pass the exam may re-apply to the examination by submitting the NCLEX-RN Retake Application to the Vermont State Board of Nursing and completing a second registration with Pearson VUE.8

6 Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Vermont

1. Become a Registered Nurse in Vermont.

Applicants must provide an active Vermont Registered Nurse License Number when applying for a nurse practitioner’s license in the state.9 Thus, candidates pursuing nurse practitioner licensure should first complete an education in registered nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN.

2. Earn a Graduate Degree in Nursing.

To be qualified to become a nurse practitioner in Vermont, candidates must earn a graduate degree in nursing.2 Such a degree must either be approved by the Vermont State Board of Nursing or by another accrediting body, such as another state board or nursing or national accrediting agency, that has substantially equivalent requirements.2 A list of graduate programs approved by the Vermont State Board of Nursing is available.1 Graduate level courses in advanced pharmacotherapeutics, advanced patient assessment, and advanced pathophysiology must be included in the degree plan.2

3. Obtain National Certification as a Nurse Practitioner.

Nurse practitioners in Vermont must hold national certification as a nurse practitioner in a recognized population focus.2 Population focus areas approved by the Vermont State Board of Nursing are found in the Vermont State Board of Nursing Administrative Rules, along with guidelines for approval of national certifying exams.10

4. Submit the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Endorsement Application.

Prospective nurse practitioners must fully complete and submit the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Endorsement Application to apply for a Vermont nurse practitioner’s license.9 A passport type photo taken within the last six months that is not the same photo as is found on the candidate’s driver’s license or passport must be included with the application.9 Sealed transcripts from the graduate school attended and a copy of the candidate’s national certification must also be forwarded to support the application.9 Applicants who are in the transition to practice period must also provide original, signed practice guidelines, as discussed below.9

5. Execute a Formal Collaborative Agreement.

Nurse practitioners who have less than 24 months and 2,400 hours of practice as a licensed nurse practitioner in an initial role and population focus, or 12 months and 1,600 hours of practice in an additional role and population focus, must practice under a collaborative agreement with a licensed physician until these experience hours are met.2 A template for collaborative agreements is available on the Vermont State Board of Nursing website.11 Once a nurse practitioner has obtained the required hours, he or she may notify the Vermont State Board of Nursing by submitting the Attestation Form – Completion of Transition to Practice Requirement.12

6. Submit Practice Guidelines for Review and Approval.

Prior to beginning practice in the state of Vermont, a nurse practitioner must submit to the Vermont State Board of Nursing individual practice guidelines for the Board’s approval.2 These guidelines must be updated and submitted at license renewal and at any time the nurse practitioner’s employment, role, population focus, or specialty is changed.2 The Vermont State Board of Nursing provides a template for practice guidelines on its website.11

Vermont Nursing Associations

Prospective and licensed nurses can benefit from networking opportunities, employment openings, and continuing education by joining a Vermont nursing association.

Vermont Emergency Nurses Association

The Vermont Nurse Practitioners Association

Vermont Organization of Nurse Leaders

Vermont State Nurses’ Association, Inc.

Vermont State School Nurses’ Association

Vermont Nursing Salary

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Nursing Assistants 2,910 $26,020
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses 1,350 $42,390
Registered Nurses 6,310 $63,350
Nurse Practitioners 390 $86,370

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

References:
1. Vermont State Board of Nursing: Approved Nursing Education Programs
2. The Vermont Statutes Online: Title 26 – Professions and Occupations: Chapter 28 – Nursing
3. Vermont State Board of Nursing: Nursing Education Program Content Hour Requirements
4. Vermont State Board of Nursing: Licensed Practical Nurse Licensure by Examination
5. Pearson VUE: The NCLEX Examination
6. Vermont State Board of Nursing: NCLEX-LPN Retake Application for Domestic Applicants
7. Vermont State Board of Nursing: Registered Nurse Licensure by Examination
8. Vermont State Board of Nursing: NCLEX-RN Retake Application for Domestic Applicants
9. Vermont State Board of Nursing: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Endorsement Application
10. Vermont State Board of Nursing: Administrative Rules
11. Vermont State Board of Nursing: APRN Practice Guidelines / Collaborative Agreement Template
12. Vermont State Board of Nursing: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Attestation Form – Completion of Transition to Practice Requirement