Registered Nurse Certification in How to Become an RN in Vermont: Nursing License Application and Renewal Guide

All licensing for registered nurses (RNs) in Vermont is facilitated at the state-level. Similar to most state certification standards, those choosing to become an RN in Vermont need to complete an approved degree program, as well as pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. The licensing process generally spans over 1 to 2 months. Additionally, most states require ongoing education to maintain your license in their jurisdiction.

According to a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 there were just under 6,500 RNs in Vermont, which equates to about 21 jobs per 1,000 people. The average RN salary in Vermont in 2018 was $75,794, right on par with the national RN salary and wages for that year.

Vermont State Board of Nursing

Licensing for RNs in Vermont is done through the Vermont State Board of Nursing (VSBN). The VSBN is responsible for professional licensure standards, education requirements, and responding to occupational complaints or lawsuits. There are three levels of nursing in the state: RNs, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Each level of the nursing license varies when it comes to education and license requirements, as well as occupational duties.

Application info, fees, transcripts, and any other required documentation can be sent via mail to:

Vermont State Board of Nursing
Office of Professional Regulation
Board of Nursing
89 Main Street, Floor 3
Montpelier, VT 05620-3402

For any additional information or clarification:

Contact: Phyllis Mitchell, RN Executive Director
Phone: (802) 828-2396

Registered Nurse Education Requirements

The first step towards becoming a registered nurse is to obtain a degree from an accredited registered nursing school. There are several registered nursing schools in Vermont to choose from, depending on the type of degree students seek to attain. The VSBN is responsible for approving schools. There are various degree programs designed to prepare students for their certification exams. These include:

  1. Associate Degree in Nursing;
  2. Diploma in Registered Nursing;
  3. Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Each one of these programs has different requirements, costs, and program lengths associated with it, but all are primarily designed to provide hands-on-experience under a licensed RN and help build basic concepts into complex practices. This includes giving nursing students the resources for research, theory, as well as practice.

An associate’s degree program provides the lowest amount of education required for licensure, but there is an industry-wide push for nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for licensing. Many medical facilities are requiring — and sometimes paying — their staff to go back to school to obtain a bachelor’s degree if they want to keep their positions. Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing can also help distinguish you from others in your job search, as well as help you stand out for internal promotions over those with an associate’s degree or a diploma.

RN Licensure by Examination

Future RNs need to apply for licensure by examination. The sequential route for applying for licensure by examination is indicated below. If you are already licensed in another state, you will utilize licensure by endorsement instead.  

Fingerprinting and Background Checks

Most U.S. states require fingerprinting and background checks for licensure in order to protect the health and welfare of the public. In 2012, the Council of State Governments adopted a resolution to push for fingerprint-based background checks for all healthcare professional licensure, but there are still states that do not require them. The state of Vermont does not require fingerprint-based background checks for licensure. Although fingerprinting and background checks are not required at the state level, they may be required by a future employer.

Approved Exams

There is only one approved test for licensure — the NCLEX national exam. You can find various practice exams online to help prepare you. You cannot take the national exam until the Vermont board reviews your credentials for and approves your test-taking.

Applying to Take a Certification Exam

After graduating, nursing candidates must apply and register for the NCLEX Exam. To sit the exam you must provide a $200 non-refundable exam fee. You have one chance to retake the test if you fail the first attempt. If you fail your second attempt you must take an NCLEX review course before trying again. You will then need to register to retake the exam and submit a $30 fee. Credit and debit cards are the only acceptable payment.

Applying for Licensure

You must register online to apply for licensure in Vermont. There is a $60 licensure fee and you must send the payment, proof of passing the national exam, academic transcript, and any other documentation to the VSBN address listed above.

RN Licensure by Endorsement (Out of State Applicants)

If you want to work in Vermont but you are licensed in another state you will need to fill out the licensing and endorsement form. If you practiced as an RN for 50 days (or 400 hours) in the past two years, or 120 days (or 960 hours) in the past five years, the endorsement process is simple, and consists of applying using the form listed above. Applicants must also provide proof they passed the applicable test in their prior state of residence and provide the $150 fee. If you do not meet those criteria, you must go through a 120-hour re-entry program offered by the Secretary of State.

RN License Renewal

You can apply for license renewal using the Secretary of State online services. License renewal applications cost $95 and the application form will be sent via email to the RN. The Board generally sends out three courtesy reminders at the time of renewal. If you are not sent the application form via email, you can reach out to

Continuing Education Requirements

Vermont has no state-level continuing education requirements. The Vermont Board expects that the licensee is responsible for maintaining and improving current competencies and future knowledge. Although there are not any state-level CE requirements, it is common for employers to have individual requirements to maintain a position within that specific medical facility.

Vermont Nursing License Verification

Employers can validate your license using an online licensee lookup through the Vermont Secretary of State page.

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