The small state of Vermont is known for its high-quality health care. From nationally-ranked hospitals to specialists in all areas, the state's medical industry is booming. By working as a registered nurse, you contribute to this growing field. If you've ever considered furthering your education, you may be ready to take on a larger role in Vermont's nursing industry! The Burlington Free Press notes that nurses are a crucial part of care delivery in Vermont. By becoming a nurse researcher, nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or taking on another care role in this state, you can make the most of your career aspirations.
The curriculum for your RN-to-MSN program of choice will likely go into many different nursing specialties. Even though you will only work in one chosen specialty after graduation, you should still be familiar with other fields and understand their roles in the nursing industry. Some of the specialties you may explore include leadership, education, advanced practice, and research.
Although you won't get experience in these areas until you start your MSN program, you'll probably have to choose your specialty before you begin your program. Becoming a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist may allow you to spend most of your time with patients. If you would rather work in a leadership or administrative setting, consider a nursing administration or nursing leadership specialty. You may be able to educate incoming undergraduate nursing students.
There's a set of core courses that you may have to complete before you begin your specialty classes. These classes may include Advances Topics in Nursing, Genetics and Genomics, Health Care Ethics & Policy, Methods for Evidence-Based Practice, and Nursing Science. Some classes that are specific to specialties include Financing of Health Care, Quality and Policy in Health Care, Leadership in Nursing, and Curriculum Development in Nursing.
It's important to look into a variety of financial aid options when you start your RN-to-MSN degree in Vermont. Student loans may be an option, but most students prefer to exhaust their grant and scholarship options before turning to student loans. If you do take on student loans, the Vermont Department of Health may have loan repayment options for you. Loan forgiveness is available to advanced practice nurses that work in one of Vermont's rural areas. The New England Federal Credit Union funds three nursing scholarships each year. Each scholarship is worth $3,000. The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation assists with a number of nursing scholarships that are intended for undergraduate and graduate nursing students.
You may wonder whether or not you need a different license to work with an MSN in Vermont. It depends on which career path you choose. If your role will put you in an expanded practice setting with patients, you'll likely need to pursue advanced licensure through the Vermont Board of Nursing. For example, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists must have advanced standing on their RN license to practice. If you want to work in a non-clinical field, you'll likely just need to maintain your registered nursing license.
Job growth rates in Vermont can be difficult to come by. However, generally speaking, they are in line with national averages. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net believes that jobs for nursing managers may increase by 21 percent.
Nursing salaries vary greatly depending on experience and education, but they tend to be fairly close to national averages. O*Net reports that nurse managers earn an average salary of $81,900 per year. Nurse practitioners in Vermont report an average salary of $88,900 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurse anesthetists claim the highest salary range, with a median annual salary of $143,000 (O*Net, 2013).
Whether you use your MSN to work in advanced practice, nursing administration, or nursing education, you can feel confident that you're contributing to high standards in the nursing field. With your advanced education, you can give patients excellent care and help health care organizations run more efficiently across Vermont.