Big boost for nursing education in the NEK

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LYNDONVILLE — Northern Vermont University-Lyndon and Vermont Technical College announced yesterday that a $240,000 grant will expand nursing capacity in the Northeast Kingdom.

The funding will expand Vermont Technical College’s in-demand existing nursing program on the NVU-Lyndon campus, creating a direct pathway for students to complete their degree from start to finish in the NVU-Lyndon community.

NVU’s Vail Hall will be transformed into the Clinical Nursing Education Center complete with a nursing instruction classroom and skills and simulation lab spaces.

The center will provide students with a simulation lab, which is a realistic-looking clinical location to practice, research, learn and work toward success in their nursing studies.

This is a public-private partnership between NVU-Lyndon, Vermont Technical College, and Northern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH).

With the new lab spaces, the direct pathway from NVU-Lyndon to Vermont Tech will become a solid reality. Nursing students will have guaranteed seats in the Vermont Tech program once they satisfactorily fulfill the requirements, apply, and are accepted.

“The new nursing facility is a huge step forward for increased access in the Northeast Kingdom to degrees in critical occupations such as nursing,” said NVU interim President Dr. John W. Mills.

According to the Vermont Board of Nursing, the number of new Registered Nurses licensed in the state of Vermont declined 69 percent from 2007 to 2014 and in 2018, the Vermont Talent Pipeline forecast a need for 900 skilled nurses in Vermont per year, while in 2019 only 421 completed LPN and RN licensure programs.

The 1,500 square foot clinical nursing education center will expand existing Vermont Tech labs and NVU classrooms.

Vermont Tech currently offers its one-year practical nursing certificate program and a two-year associate degree in nursing program at NVU-Lyndon and in Newport, as well as having a dedicated clinical site in the Littleton, NH area in addition to multiple locations around Vermont.

Vermont Tech’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is available online.

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