How will the Expanded Nursing Program Work in St. Albans?
Many have been curious about the nursing program being created through the partnership of the new building at Congress & Main in downtown St. Albans. NMC is working with Vermont Tech on an expanded nursing program here in our region. This is a vital strategy in light of the national nursing shortage and it will benefit all entities that employ nurses, including the hospital. This partnership creates a fantastic opportunity for students coming out of high school as well as adults looking to enter a new career!
As work on the new building progresses, so does our work on the details of the nursing program. This local Vermont Tech offering will start with 18 slots and hopefully grow to 27. It will have both traditional classrooms and telepresence classrooms for real-time interactive learning experiences. Congress & Main will have a high-tech simulation lab to provide hands-on clinical learning simulations for a wide variety of patient care. This incredible resource will be used both by students as well as by NMC’s employees for their own continued professional development. Plus, we will be embedding wellness services within Congress & Main to ensure the students entering healthcare are doing so with their own good health well in hand.
Vermont Tech is a member of the state colleges system, so transferring credits and sharing credits from another school in the system such as Community College of Vermont is a smooth process. Many local residents take advantage of CCV’s quality, affordability, and accessibility to begin, advance, and even complete their studies in a variety of fields. Students pursuing nursing may find that CCV provides a wonderful local opportunity to explore the college experience and complete pre-requisite courses.
The Vermont Tech nursing program at Congress & Main will be a multi-year program with important career milestones at each step. It starts with Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) training, which is the focus of year one. This is a very rigorous 10 months of schooling that carries both pre-requisites and a clinical component. Students of all backgrounds and situations succeed in these studies and Vermont Tech is experienced at helping students be successful. Students are then able to work as LPN’s with opportunities in many clinical settings. The second year of studies allows the LPN to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing and become a Registered Nurse (RN). This opens a broad spectrum of nursing career paths. From there, a third phase of studies (initially offered online) allows RNs to earn a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). This typically takes three years to complete, though some do it in two and others spread it out over a longer period. The flexibility to fit it into your life is such a fantastic component of the program offering. I strongly encourage RNs to continue to their BSN as it provides such a solid foundation for clinical excellence and career options.
As part of NMC’s commitment to our community, we will be financially supporting several students within this program. In the first year, we will be selecting five students for an innovative scholarship program that will progressively reimburse each student’s tuition. That is an amazing opportunity and one we hope to expand in the future. Investing in NMC employees is one key aspect to promoting professional development. The deadline for consideration for this arrangement is December 31 and your first step is to apply to the Vermont Tech nursing program. To explore applying, please contact Vermont Tech admissions at www.vtc.edu. They will help you with all the details!
— Jill Berry Bowen, RN, NMC’s Chief Nursing Officer