There are so many good reasons to start your nursing career in Connecticut. This small state possesses a close-knit health care community that’s focused on providing affordable, evidence-based care to its people.
Additionally, its healthcare industry is also changing. This means more opportunities for those who are willing to step in to meet the demand.
Like most states, Connecticut has a strict process for registered nurses. If you are thinking of becoming one, you should start with finding the best nursing program in Connecticut.
Below is a guide to help you out:
Requirements: How to Become An RN In Connecticut
To become a registered nurse in Connecticut, you need to have the right education, pass the national exam, and obtain your license. Here’s a more in-depth look at the process you need to complete before you can legally work in the state as a registered nurse.
Complete An Accredited Nursing Program
There are three pathways you can take if you want to work as a registered nurse in Connecticut.
Your first option is to get a diploma in Nursing. This path used to be very common. However, since students can add a few more courses to it and earn an associate degree, it’s becoming less available throughout the state.
Your second option is to get an Associate Degree in Nursing. Considered the most cost-effective pathway to becoming a registered nurse, you can complete ADN programs in two years.
The third pathway involves obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. More and more aspiring nurses are choosing to get a BSN degree because majority of employers prefer BSN graduates.
The courses included in BSN programs are generally more advanced. They are designed to improve students’ knowledge of community healthcare, nursing leadership, physical assessment, and critical thinking.
The best nursing program for you will depend on what you want to achieve in terms of your career. It also depends on your ability to commit to college.
Pass The NCLEX
In all states, including Connecticut, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-RN or National Council Licensure Examination to become licensed.
This is a standardized, computer-based test designed to assess your preparedness to work in the field as a nurse. After successfully completing the exam, you’ll be legally allowed to work with real patients.
Get Your Nursing License
After passing the NCLEX-RN, you can apply for your license. Together with your online application, you have to submit your official transcript showing the nursing program you completed and pay the required application fee.
Once you have your license, you can start working with patients in an active healthcare setting like hospitals, home health care services, long-term care facilities, and community health centers.
ADN Programs In Connecticut
As a freshman, completing an ADN program is one of the quickest pathways towards becoming a registered nurse in Connecticut. Most ADN programs in the state can be completed in 2 years or 4 semesters.
To qualify, you’ll need to pass a health exam, fulfill the required ADN program curriculum, and pass the school’s entrance exam.
Right after successfully completing an ADN program, you’ll be qualified to take the NCLEX. And once you’ve successfully completed the exam, you can start working as soon as you receive your license.
There’s a limited number of college programs that offer ADN programs in Connecticut. When choosing, it’s important to look into the program’s accreditation. You can check the school’s website to find any information about it or you can just email them.
Apart from that, consider researching its program outcomes, too. Find out about the school’s NCLEX pass rate, related employment data, and its student’s level of satisfaction.
LPN To RN Programs In Connecticut
As a licensed practical nurse, there are two pathways you can take to be a registered nurse in Connecticut: an Associate’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree.
If you are an LPN student with about 30 credit units, you can earn 30 additional units to get an Associate’s degree. If you prefer to have a Bachelor’s degree, you’ll need an additional 90 credits.
BSN Programs In Connecticut
Compared with ADN programs, BSN programs are generally twice as long. Throughout Connecticut, these programs involve two semesters in a year. There are breaks in the summer. Usually, blocks of clinical placements are distributed with classroom time, creating the best learning environment for the students.
Admission requirements vary. However, most institutions require the following:
- Official transcripts from prior institutions
- Documents showing immunization details
- List of volunteer involvements (personal and professional)
Just like admission requirements, the costs of BSN programs vary, too. There are different components that can affect the total cost of a degree. The list includes student fees, lab fees, texts, and equipment costs.
Most institutions offer financial aids. You can check with your school of choice to find out more about your options.
MSN Programs In Connecticut
Pursuing an MSN degree can help you advance your career. You can take on roles like nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse midwife after completing it.
With full-time commitment, most graduate courses require 3 semesters. If you are planning on taking a part-time job, you may need to carefully consider your schedule since studying at the MSN level is a bit harder.
Admission requirements aren’t the same for all institutions. However, most institutions require the following from their applicants:
- Official transcripts of your BSN, including a competitive GPA
- RN licensure information
- Professional resume
- Completed applications for program admission
Accelerated Nursing Programs In Connecticut
There are about 5 colleges in Connecticut that offer accelerated-nursing programs. Most of them allow students to finish their degree in just 12 to 15 months with a full-time commitment.
While schools have different admission requirements, most of them require applicants to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a bachelor’s degree in any other field.
Best Nursing Programs In Connecticut
|University of Hartford||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|Western Connecticut State University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Fairfield University||✔||╳||✔||View School Profile|
|Sacred Heart University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Quinnipiac University||✔||✔||✔||View School Profile|
|Central Connecticut State University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Southern Connecticut State University||✔||✔||✔||View School Profile|
|Yale University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|University of Connecticut||✔||✔||✔||View School Profile|
|University of Saint Joseph||✔||✔||✔||View School Profile|
A Closer Look At The Best Nursing Programs In Connecticut
In this Connecticut RN program guide, factors such as tuition costs, graduates’ employment data, and NCLEX pass rates were carefully considered. This should help you pick the best nursing program for you.
1. University Of Hartford
The University of Hartford has a low student-to-faculty ratio. This enables them to provide better nursing education to their students.
As a private school, the cost of earning a nursing degree in this university is higher. However, if you are an in-state student, you can ask for financial aid to help lower the cost.
Among the programs it offers, the most popular option is its traditional BSN program. It provides students with the laboratory, classroom, and clinical experience they need to be highly skilled, competent, and compassionate nurses.
It provides clinical placements in the best healthcare facilities and hospitals like the Hartford Hospital, Manchester Memorial Hospital, and Midstate Medical Center.
If you are interested in enrolling in its BSN program, you can find the complete requirements here.
2. Western Connecticut State University
Western Connecticut State University has traditional BSN, RN-BSN, MSN, and doctoral programs. Its main program is the traditional BSN.
To qualify, applicants are assessed based on the following criteria:
- Overall academic record
- Academic history
- Successful completion of prerequisite courses
Its RN-BSN program is also quite interesting. It allows students to earn credit by examination. This applies to some foundational courses that are required for the Nursing major.
You can complete the program in about two years. You can apply by completing an online form or printing out the application form from its website.
3. Fairfield University
With an area of 200 acres, Fairfield University is considered one of the largest coastline campuses on the East Coast.
As a private university, the cost of getting a nursing degree from Fairfield University is a bit expensive. However, with the quality of education it provides its student, it’s certainly worth the cost.
Apart from the high NCLEX pass rate, you’ll also have the opportunity to gain professional experience through its for-credit internship.
4. Sacred Heart University
Located along the Gold Coast, Sacred Heart University offers nursing programs that aim to develop its students’ skills and knowledge they need to provide the best care to their patients in different clinical settings.
Apart from that, the university also provides students the opportunity to study abroad. Students in the junior and senior levels can travel to Jamaica, Guatemala, or Kingston to complete the required clinical hours
5. Quinnipiac University
Quinnipiac University has an impressive NCLEX pass rate. This makes it one of the best schools that can help you kickstart your nursing career.
As an undergraduate nursing student, you have plenty of options here. The most popular choice among students is its traditional nursing program. To qualify, you’ll need to present your high school transcript, a recommendation letter from someone who can share your work ethic, a personal essay, and completion of prerequisite courses.
If you are concerned about the cost of studying at Quinnipiac University, it offers financial aids to students. You can learn more about it here.
6. Central Connecticut State University
Central Connecticut State University offers low in-state tuition, making it an affordable option for students who want to pursue a nursing degree. In addition to the low tuition fees, it also has good NCLEX pass rates.
The university has three pathways to its nursing programs. Each option is well-detailed here.
CCSU has a nursing learning center where students can practice their skills. It has a hospital-like setting that includes high-fidelity simulation manikins and numerous supplies and equipment students can use as they progress through the program.
7. Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Connecticut State University offers plenty of options to nursing students. It has the traditional BSN program, an accelerated program, an RN-BSN pathway and a direct entry option for high school seniors who aspire to become nurses one day.
One of the things that make the university an attractive option for Connecticut students is the low in-state tuition. Plus, its NCLEX pass rate for its recent graduates is impressive, too.
8. Yale University
Yale University is already a recognized school worldwide. Considering that, its school of nursing making it to this list of the best nursing program in Connecticut isn’t surprising.
This Ivy League university offers a Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing or GEPN. This is a 3-year course study that’s designed to prepare students to possess both basic and advanced skills in nursing.
If you are thinking of advancing your career, Yale University can help you with its MSN program. To qualify, you’ll need to present your current resume, transcripts, three references, and TOEFL or IELTS score if you’re a non-native English speaker.
9. University Of Connecticut
University of Connecticut offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing as well as degrees at the master’s, doctoral, and continuing education levels.
Its graduates are able to find employment quickly. That’s because the university uses its alumni network to make sure graduates are able to secure a relevant position right away.
10. University Of Saint Joseph
USJ prepares its students for jobs right after graduation. Its BSN program is designed for both transfer students and incoming freshmen. It combines clinical rotations with classroom lectures to effectively prepare the students to work as nurses in the future.
To qualify, applicants are required to present their current transcripts and letters of reference. Your SAT scores may also be required during the assessment. Prior to your first nursing course, you’ll be needed to be certified in CPR. You also need to have all immunizations as recommended by the university’s health policy.