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Castleton University to Offer New Nursing Program in Southern Vermont

Following Southern Vermont College’s announcement of the closure of its nursing programs, Castleton University has stepped up to fill the academic gap.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) has designated the university as its partner to offer a nursing program. The school has already sought the New England Commission of Higher Education’s permission to establish an additional location in Bennington.

Starting this fall, the university will begin enrolling students in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

“Training and retaining the nurses of the future for the state of Vermont and SVHC is of the utmost critical need,” Tom Dee, president and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, said.

The move will address a possible shortage of registered nurses in the near future at SVHC. The hospital has further promised to employ any students who obtain a license after passing the nursing program. It will also pay back, in full, the student loan debt of those employees who work within the health system for six consecutive years.

“Community hospitals across the country are facing a critical shortage of nurses and unfortunately SVHC is no different,” Dr. Karen M. Scolforo, president of Castleton University, said. “This partnership will make a Castleton education accessible to more students while also helping to accommodate the anticipated staffing needs of SVHC.”

According to research conducted in 2018 by Vermont Talent Pipeline, over the next three years, Vermont will see 3,900 healthcare vacancies, with most of them the nursing positions.

Students from nearby Berkshire County in Massachusetts and Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Washington, Warren, and Rennselaer Counties in New York will receive reciprocity and pay the equivalent tuition rates as of Vermont residents.

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