Becoming an RN in Connecticut

There are multiple entry points to the professional nursing field in Connecticut. Students may pursue a degree at the associate’s level or higher from a college or university. An alternate route is to obtain an RN diploma from an approved hospital-based program. Any of these programs will teach a prospective nurse how to practice competently in medical-surgical nursing, maternal or pediatric care, or mental health nursing.

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Degrees at the bachelor’s level and higher typically include additional coursework in areas like community health nursing. They qualify nurses for some additional jobs and also provide a foundation for those who want to pursue advanced practice later.

A well-qualified candidate will have a lot of options to consider. There are innovative programs at both the state and school levels. Connecticut has a number of special programs that give nursing students experience with diverse populations. One is the Urban Services Track at the University of Connecticut.

After completing a program, candidates demonstrate proficiency by passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Graduate nurses may work under supervision for up to 90 days while awaiting NCLEX test results.

Registered Nursing Career & Education Pathways

Previous education can accelerate your path to licensing as a professional nurse. There is a good reason for this. States not only need to increase the number of nurses; they also need to increase the proportion of BSN nurses who can take on demanding roles in a changing health care system. According to the AACN website, Connecticut has five accelerated second degree nursing programs. The study may be completed in as little as one calendar year, provided all prerequisites have been done.

The direct entry master’s is another option for those seeking a second degree in nursing. The state of Connecticut currently has one program, at Yale University. Students of the GEPN program spend a year mastering general nursing concepts and another two years preparing for advanced practice in a specialty area. They become eligible for RN licensing after the first term of specialty work.

Students with previous health care experience also have advanced placement options to become a nurse. Under the Connecticut Articulation Model for Nurse Educational Mobility, LPNs can receive credits for some courses in the LPN program. Candidates can expect to take some prerequisites, like composition, at the onset of the program. They may receive credit for others after successfully completing initial coursework. Some schools, like St Vincent’s, will allow non-LPN students to challenge some courses.

Nursing Career Outlook in Connecticut

The government predicted in 2008 that the demand for registered nurses in Connecticut would grow by 15% over the next decade. The AACN notes that nationwide, the economic downturn has slowed the demand for nurses in the short term, but will not prevent a shortfall in the long term.

The AACN indicates that new graduates are continuing to find positions during the recession. This may be particularly true of those with higher levels of education. A 2010 survey of college deans found that 91% of Connecticut’s BSN and master’s entry nursing graduates had job offers four to six months after they graduated.

The Application Process for Registered Nursing

Nursing schools have a selective process, with standards often set higher at the university or BSN level. How do you begin preparation? It depends on what age you are, and what stage you are in your education. The Connecticut Area Health Education Center (AHEC) has put together a set of guidelines for secondary students who are considering health careers. Science classes are important. As early as sophomore year, you may want to consider volunteer or paid work experiences. This is also a good time to consider HOSA, the Health Occupations Student Organization. This organization gives you a chance not only to network and learn, but to demonstrate expertise through competition.

The Collegiate Health Services Corps program is available to students at several Connecticut colleges. It is designed with freshmen and undecided students in mind. Students participate in service activities while learning about health care disparities and other crucial issues.

Approved Registered Nursing Programs

Quinnipiac University Department of Nursing

School Branding

The Quinnipiac University BSN and MSN programs are Accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), and are approved by the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing.

Programs Offered: BSN, Accelerated BSN, Part-time MSN, MSN – (MSN Specializations: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner), Post-Master’s Certificate, Doctor of Nursing

275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518

Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing – Diploma Program
200 Mill Hill Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06610
PH: 203-384-3217

Fairfield University
North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06430
PH: 203-254-4150
Baccalaureate Program

Quinnipiac University
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
PH: 203-582-8678
Baccalaureate Program

Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield CT 06825
PH: 203-371-7715
Baccalaureate Program

Saint Joseph College
1678 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
Baccalaureate Program

Southern Connecticut
State University

501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515
PH: 860-231-5253
Baccalaureate Program

University of Connecticut
231 Glenbrook RD
RM 113, U2026
Storrs CT 06269-2026
PH: 860-486-0537
Baccalaureate Program

Western Connecticut State University
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
PH: 203-837-8556
Baccalaureate Program

Capital Community College
950 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
PH: 860-906-5150
Associate’s Degree in Nursing

Goodwin College
745 Burnside Avenue
East Hartford, CT 06108
PH: 860-528-4111
Associate’s Degree in Nursing

Naugatuck Valley Community College
750 Chase Parkway
Waterbury, CT 06708
PH: 203-575-8057
Associate’s Degree in Nursing

Three Rivers Community College
7 Mahan Drive
Norwich, CT 06360
PH: 860-383-5270
Associate’s Program

Norwalk Community College
188 Richards Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854-1655
PH: 203-857-7123

Gateway Community College
88 Bassett Road
North Haven CT 06473
PH: 203-285-2393

St. Vincent’s College
2800 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06606
PH: 203-576-5556