The Vermont Action Coalition, part of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission, aims to transform health care through nursing in our state. Understanding our specific health care challenges and needs, we are working with diverse stakeholders to create and model innovative solutions with nurses leading the way.

We invite you to nominate a Vermont nurse for the Leadership Fellows Program!  Nominations due February 15, 2014 Click here 

"Nursing partnering for the best health possible for all in Vermont."






If nurses are to be as effective as possible in helping to provide high-quality patient care in Vermont, they will need to be better prepared as care becomes more complex and moves into the community.


Vermont will advance pathways for a diverse nursing workforce to achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression, ensuring that nurses can deliver high-quality, patient-centered.  For example, our committee is looking to streamline education for students to earn a nursing baccalaureate degree while also working with employers to help support nursing student education through programs like tuition reimbursement and flexible work hours. We recognize the importance of a smooth education pipeline and we are identifying barriers to nursing education.


Nurses bring a unique, important perspective to health care, higher education, business and policy discussions. Faced with Vermont’s significant health care challenges, nurses at all levels must step up, and contribute their valued perspective.


We understand that communicating the value of nursing leadership and building allies are critical to providing opportunities for nurses to take on leadership roles. At the same time nurses must develop leadership competencies, and identify opportunities to contribute their value. We will engage Vermont’s nurses at all levels to train and provide them with opportunities to lead. We plan to identify opportunities for nurses to sit on boards by working with our partners and other stakeholders. We will reach out to leaders ready to mentor nurses along the leadership ladder within and across industries. And, we will work with the Vermont Organization of Nurse Leaders to provide nurses the guidance they need to develop essential leadership skills.


In 2011, Vermont became the 16th state to make changes to rules allowing advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to practice to the full extent of their education and training. Yet, restrictions and limitations to APRNs remain .


In Vermont, access to quality health care is challenging. So it is important that Vermont’s nurses practice to the full extent of their education and training. To overcome existing restrictions that affect the ability of APRNs to provide care in hospitals and in homes, we are looking at models  to increase APRN support to patients, working with employers to identify APRN roles on teams, and determining how to overcome payment barriers  that  impact patients’ access to APRN care.

Interprofessional Collaboration

To ensure high quality, patient-centered care, nurses, physicians and other health professionals must collaborate in education and practice, and across all health care settings.


We are building partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including physicians and other health providers, to support, spread and implement models of interprofessional collaboration in education and practice. In support of these goals, we will assess educational initiatives and work with educators to make the necessary changes to curriculum that incorporates a fully engaged interprofessional  team. And we will measure how nurses working on a team contribute to improved patient outcomes.


Vermont’s population is becoming increasingly more diverse, and many residents have unique health care needs. The nursing workforce must evolve to reflect these changing dynamics.


We will work with our colleagues throughout the state to communicate the value of diversifying the nursing workforce to reflect the state’s population, while also looking to other successful programs as models for implementation.

For example, we will work with our colleagues to promote diversity in nursing practice and work closely with our educators to create a culturally inclusive curriculum.


Effective deployment of the health care workforce requires information – data to tell us what kind of health providers we will need and with what skills. Yet major gaps exist in the workforce data we now have.


We are working with the Vermont Department of Labor to identify best methods to capture demand data for nurses in the workforce. From that, we plan to provide trends and occupational projections that are timely and easily accessible to the public.



Mary Val Palumbo DNP, APRN, GNP-BC  Associate Professor University of Vermont and Director AHEC Office of Nursing Workforce.

Jan K. Carney, Associate Dean for Public Health Research and Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine

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