To Tackle Nursing Shortage, University of Vermont Launches New Nursing Degree

Direct Entry Nursing Master’s will fast-track career-changers into the nursing profession

BURLINGTON, Vt.--()--At a time when rising demand for healthcare and a retiring nursing workforce is contributing to a critical need for nurses nationwide, the University of Vermont’s (UVM) new Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program offers a fast track for career-changers looking to enter the nursing profession.

Designed for students with bachelor's degrees in fields other than nursing, the new direct entry program offers a partial solution to increase the nursing workforce through an accelerated path for those with non-nursing backgrounds to enter the profession.

“At the core of this new direct-entry program lies a profound commitment to redefining the landscape of nursing education,” says Dr. Jennifer Laurent, a nurse practitioner, professor, and the Director of Nursing Graduate Programs at UVM.

The program starts with a full-time, on-campus year, culminating with the NCLEX-RN exam that gives students a license to work in VT. Students also have the opportunity to gain professional expertise while earning a registered nurse’s salary and completing the two-year master’s degree online.

Following the prelicensure year, which includes 675 hours of direct clinical experience, primarily within the University of Vermont Health Network, students advance into the master’s curriculum and select an area of focus, fostering the development of niche skills that are increasingly vital in healthcare today.

The master’s degree also enables registered nurses to develop specialized expertise that can advance their skills and earning potential. The program is designed to develop nursing leaders who are not only well-prepared clinicians, but also compassionate advocates, critical thinkers, and agents of positive change.

For more information about UVM’s Direct Entry to Master of Nursing program, please visit

The Direct Entry to Master of Nursing program’s full-time prelicensure year starts in Fall 2024, followed by the online master’s curriculum, offered full- or part-time, in Fall 2025. In addition to the Master’s Direct Entry into Nursing, UVM offers a traditional Bachelor of Science with a Nursing major, a Direct Entry into Doctor of Nursing Practice for Nurse Practitioners and Executive Nurse Leaders, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.


Sara White