Community Nursing in Vermont

PRS Briefs
Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Healthcare across the United States is fragmented, expensive, and inefficient; the healthcare delivery system in Vermont is no exception. In fact, due to the state's distinct aging demographic and geographic composition, Vermont experiences unique challenges in access to healthcare and health equity.1 While Vermont's Blueprint for Health has sought to create an integrated community-based health approach, health care service gaps remain pervasive throughout the state.2 One response to this problem has been the independent rise of community nursing programs (CNPs), which aim to meet the needs of those who are underserved by the current healthcare system. This report aims to define the scope of community nurse programs in Vermont and present the Vermont House Committee on Health Care with valuable information on the role of community nurses, the services offered by community nurse programs, and potential future initiatives that can help promote a healthier lifestyle among more Vermont residents. First, the report describes community nurse programs and identifies the ways in which they mitigate service gaps. Then, the report outlines how existing programs have been established, how they operate, and how they have been funded. Finally, the report concludes with an analysis of program alternatives and recommendations regarding what the state's role may be in community nurse initiatives.