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Considerably shorter than four-year degree programs, vocational training programs at nursing community colleges have a reputation for being time- and cost-efficient. Students seeking rapid employment and an immediate return on their investment should consider the advantages of these career-oriented two-year schools.

Community colleges for nursing
Also known as vocational or career colleges, community colleges offer students the opportunity to pursue higher education in a time- and cost-saving manner. Licensed practical nursing (LPN) certificate programs normally take just 12 to 18 months to complete, while a registered nursing (RN) associate’s degree program lasts no longer than two to three years. This is why many students consider these programs much more affordable than the standard four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree program. Community college nursing programs do not cover as many subject areas, but they place strong emphasis on nursing skills that can be immediately applied to the workplace upon graduation.

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Career outlook for Vermont’s nurses
Despite the short training, graduates from Vermont’s community colleges have a very bright career outlook. Genesis Healthcare is one notable employer within the state, with more than 500 skilled nursing centers nationwide. Others include University of Vermont Medical Center, Rutland Regional Medical Center, and Central Vermont Medical Center. Employment for LPNs is expected to increase 25 percent over the coming decade, much faster than the average for all occupations, while employment for RNs is expected to increase 19 percent. Vermont’s 1,400 LPNs earn roughly $43,000 per year, with the top quartile receiving $48,000 and above. The state’s 6,700 RNs receive a median annual salary of $60,000, with the top earners bringing in $73,700 or more.

Jump-start your nursing career by perusing our list below of the top two-year nursing schools in Vermont.