The Vermont Action Campaign, acting on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (2010) and the Vermont Blue Ribbon Commission on Nursing (2012), seeks to fully engage Vermont nurses in our evolving health care system. By understanding specific health care challenges and needs, nurses are working with diverse stakeholders to create innovative solutions.

Campaign goals:

1. Ensure nursing representation on committees and boards involved with health care and health care reform by promoting and making available leadership training and mentoring.

2. Increase the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate in nursing degrees (BS or BSN) to 80% by 2022.

Check out our 2015 Data Dashboard!






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 has five schools of nursing and all now offer RN to BSN education. This improved education system promotes a seamless academic progression, ensuring that nurses can deliver high-quality, patient-centered. 


An “Academic Progression” committee has been formed to identify barriers and challenges of nurses continuing their education. Using survey information, statistical modeling for goal setting and new strategic partnerships, this committee plans to make a roadmap to increase of baccalaureate prepared nurses in VT.


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.


As of today, only 3% of hospital board positions in Vermont are held by nurses and the Action Campaign’s goal is to increase nurses’ involvement in primary health care and policy decision making. Under the direction of Dr. Betty Rambur P.H.D., RN – a member of the Green Mountain Care Board and a UVM Professor of Nursing – 25 nurses from varied backgrounds are participating in a year-long study of specific leadership skills assessments, targeted skill building, content on board/committee membership, health care policy, and finances.


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 remains challenging in rural parts of the state. So it is important that Vermont’s nurses practice to the full extent of their education and training. Several new nurse-run clinics have opened in our state and lessons learned from these pioneers will ease the way for those that follow.  

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.


Grant funding has enabled progress to be made in interprofessional education (IPE) of health care students and providers in Vermont.  A HRSA Advanced Nursing Education grant is pilot testing the use of video-conferencing and gaming in virtual environment for interprofessional dialogue regarding care of frail elders.  Other initiative has targeted substance abuse assessment as a topic for interprofessional care.  The use of simulation for IPE is growing quickly and implementation into curricula is steadily increasing.


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


We are working 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.  New Americans have been a target audience for healthcare career awareness.


African-borne nurses Catherine Lawrence from the University of Vermont and Felisters N’Goma from Castleton State College formed a health care career club for Burlington High School students to explore the opportunities of nursing this past spring. In addition, financial support from the RWJF/AARP SIP grant made it possible for an “English as a Second Language” (ESL) tutor to work with newly immigrated students at the Essex Technical Center to help them study for Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) licensure exams.


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 gaps still exist in the workforce data we have now, particularly the measurement of demand for nurses.


The VT Campaign for Action has created a “Data Dashboard,” highlighting top level indicators in the areas of: education, practice, diversity, leadership, and supply and demand. This will provide an evidence-based approach to the work of the campaign and allow for evaluation of its accomplishments.

Nurses in Vermont are currently required to complete a relicensure survey.  Results of these surveys can be found at (



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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