Practical Nursing Certificate

If you are new to the field of nursing and want to enter the workforce quickly, our Practical Nursing Certificate program is designed for you. This nursing education program will put you on track to earn a livable wage as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and prepare you to enter Vermont State’s associate degree in nursing program at the same time.

Reach out with Questions

Vermont State offers two tracks to nursing: 

This certificate program is year one in our unique 1+1+2 track. For a third option, see below for information on our tuition-free Practical Nursing Certificate in Long-Term Care.

Which nursing program is best for you? Visit our Nursing Program information page to learn more. 

Why Study Practical Nursing at Vermont State?

  • Direct clinical experience: Learn hands-on beginning in nursing simulation centers. 
  • High NCLEX-PN pass rates: 100% of our students have passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) in recent years.
  • Great earning potential: LPN positions offer a median annual salary of $48,070.* 
  • 100% job placement rate: Vermont State nursing students work in the field (or pursue higher education) within six months of graduation.**  
  • One-year program: You can start working in the field within one year of starting this program.
  • Multiple career paths: LPNs work in long-term care and outpatient clinics, physicians’ offices, and healthcare agencies, and work under the supervision of an RN, physician, or dentist, with increasing responsibilities as you build experience. 
  • Seamless transition to your associate degree in nursing: You’ll be prepared to enter Vermont State’s one-year A.S. in Nursing program while you work as an LPN. 

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Financial Aid for Practical Nursing Students

Vermont State University is providing a high-quality, affordable certificate in Practical Nursing to students across Vermont and beyond. More than 80 percent of Vermont State students are awarded financial aid, including new students, transfer students, international students, out-of-state students, and first-generation students.

Many of our clinical affiliates offer tuition assistance for nursing students who agree to work for the facility as an LPN or RN after graduation. Several facilities offer additional scholarship programs to help their employees pay for nursing school including, but not limited to:

  • Central Vermont Medical Center
  • Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Southwestern Vermont Health Care
  • University of Vermont Medical Center

We encourage prospective students to reach out to local facilities to learn about available opportunities. Contact for assistance. 

Internships & Jobs in Practical Nursing

From our state-of-the-art simulation labs to clinical instruction in hospitals and long-term care facilities, we will make sure you are learning hands-on from the start. A sample of student clinical locations include:

  • Central Vermont Medical Center
  • Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Keene Medical Center
  • Northwestern Vermont Medical Center
  • Northeastern Regional Hospital
  • University of Vermont Medical Center
  • VA Medical Cente

Program Requirements

Students need to have taken or have equivalent credits in the following courses:

  • BIO-1030 Intro to Nutrition
  • BIO-2011/2012 Anatomy & Physiology 1 and 2
  • PSY-2070 Lifespan Development

Our Long-Term Care PN Certificate Option & Free Tuition

Vermont State also offers a Practical Nursing Certificate in Long-Term Care that is tuition-free, in partnership with support from long-term care facilities. The program requires you to work at the long-term care facility full-time for one year after graduation. You may go on to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Nursing after you complete your one-year work commitment, but this program is not part of our 1+1+2 track. Please contact for more information. 


The program is approved by the Vermont State Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Accreditation (NLN CNEA).

Student Stories

A selfie of a woman with long brown hair resting her head on her hand.

“My career is one of my top passions, and being a mother is my other. I eventually want to travel more, maybe take my career across seas. My advice? Make school a priority. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.”

Trisha White, ’21
A close up selfie of a woman with long blond hair and blue eyes.

“I started as a licensed nursing assistant and now my goal is to become a registered nurse. I have always taken care of people, including at a young age, and I’ve always known that nursing is my calling.” 

Jessica Marsh, ’21