Technology Overview

Managing information is a central role for nursing at all levels. The science of finding, organizing, sharing, and adding to information – especially with the assistance of technology – is essential. Consequently, expectations at Vanderbilt regarding student computer skills are increasing. You need the computer skills to negotiate the Internet; download, move and copy files; and utilize word-processing and spreadsheet software. It is important for you to be able to perform these skills before you begin classes.

We at the Frist Nursing Informatics Center (FNIC) would like to help better prepare you for your experience at Vanderbilt by sharing an overview of our computing environment. While Vanderbilt School of Nursing provides computing resources it is essential to your success that you have your own computer and software.

  TIP:  Vanderbilt School of Nursing recommends that you do not change your computer to a new platform, meaning, if you are a Windows user continue to be a Windows user. The same for Mac users. Now is NOT the time to change to a different computer platform that you are not comfortable with. Over the years we have had many students regret the jump to a platform and are typically the ones with the most technology problems. You, the student, need to worry about your studies, not about trying to learn a different computer platform.

School of Nursing Computing Environment

Vanderbilt School of Nursing has wireless networking capabilities throughout the school. The school's computing environment is Microsoft Windows based. Please note: Windows 10S is not supported.

The standard FNIC Lab computer is a Dell Precision T1500 with an Intel i5-750 3.3GHz processor. It has 4 GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive loaded with Windows 7, a 48X CD-RW/DVD-RW drive, a 22" ViewSonic flat panel monitor, and USB access for a personal thumb drive. The FNIC will support student use of a wide array of software for your educational needs. Microsoft Office 2016, along with the following web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer are installed on all lab computers.

Each print is five (5) cents a copy and is purchased on a Commodore card. Visit the VUPrint page for more information about the pay-for-print service on the Vanderbilt campus  

Computer Recommendations

Vanderbilt School of Nursing requires each student have a computer that meets our requirements as well as an internet connection that will handle video conferencing (especially in the specialty years).  A tablet or Chromebook is not sufficient. A high speed internet connection through an internet service provider with high speed Internet access such as the services offered by cable companies (Comcast, Charter, Time-Warner, etc), DSL service provided by your phone company, or the uVerse service offered by AT&T. Your computer should be no more than five years old. 

Macintosh Users
If you are a MAC user, there are some applications which are used at Vanderbilt School of Nursing which do not have all the features available in the MAC OS. If you find this to problematic you can have our LAN team install Bootcamp with Windows 10 to regain the lost functionality.

Distance or Block Specialty Student
If you are a distance or block specialty student, you will need a high speed Internet connection. Satellite (HughesNet) or 3G cell systems (VerizonWireless, Sprint/Nextel, ATT, Cricket etc.) connectivity is not supported. We also require a webcam (either built-in on a laptop or a USB Logitech webcam) and headphones with microphone (The webcam and microphone are required for all specialty-year programs that require Remote Proctor).

You will need the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.  The latest version of Microsoft Office Professional (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access), and Microsoft Office (Mac). Windows versions 7, 8 and 10 are supported. MAC OS 10.10 is supported. DO NOT purchase Microsoft Office or Microsoft Windows from anywhere besides the Vanderbilt Software store, as you receive it for FREE as a student. 

Minimum Technical Skills

  • Using the learning management system
  • Using email with attachments
  • Creating and submitting files in commonly used word processing program formats
  • Copying and pasting
  • Downloading and installing software
  • Using presentation and graphics programs

Technology Requirements by Program & Specialty
Each program and specialty have different technology requirements. For more information visit:

VUnetID, VUMC VUnetID, and Vmail Accounts

Your Vanderbilt User Account (your VUnetID) will be used to access student services, including class registration, access to academic information, and Vanderbilt email. You need to complete the Vanderbilt User Account (VUnetID) registration process to obtain your email address, unless you are a Vanderbilt employee. The University Registrar will begin the process by sending a message to your personal email account about ten days following payment of your matriculation fee.

If you do not receive a message from the University Registrar about the VUnetID process and you are not currently a student or an employee of Vanderbilt, please contact Ryan McNew ( if it has been at least 10 days.

If you are a current Vanderbilt student or employee, your current VUNet ID and password will remain the same and you do not need to take any action.

Vanderbilt University has separated from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. You may or may not have a clinical rotation in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. If you do, you will be assigned a second VUnetId. We refer it to as your VUMC VUnetId.

The Tech Tools Web page has more information and updates about email account management.

 NOTE: **Technology requirements are subject to change, please continue to check this page regularly.