More than 33,000 people work as registered nurses in Connecticut, making it the third-most popular job in the state, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, in 2015 the Connecticut Department of Labor reported 1,700 open nursing jobs; one hospital alone advertised 300 positions. The state has taken a hands-on approach to addressing the shortage by mandating that hospitals submit annual staffing plans. But aspiring RNs and advanced practice nurses can also do their part to help fill these positions. The first step is reading below to find a more comprehensive breakdown of the numbers, compare nursing schools in Connecticut, and get an explanation of the steps to licensure so they can join the ranks of active healthcare professionals.
The top nursing programs listed in this state's ranking were determined by comparison of three primary, equally-weighted criteria including
- Student-to-faculty ration
- In-state tuition
- Graduation rate
Additional details for each school were included:
- Count of programs available
- Public and not-for-profit schools
- Normalized on a 100 percent curve
The methodology used for tie-break is as follows...
- Ties are broken based on lowest average net price for full-time, first-time undergraduates paying in-state tuition (average cost of tuition and expenses after grants and scholarships).
- If necessary, the lowest in-state tuition rate is used as a second tie-break
Top Nursing Schools in Connecticut
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Nursing Schools & Programs in Connecticut
Nurses in Connecticut can choose from 18 schools that offer diplomas or associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in nursing. The search tool below helps future students to filter that list down to a few great colleges.
Getting a Nursing Licensing in Connecticut
Nurses in Connecticut receive their licenses from the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing, a division under the Department of Public Health that ensures that nurses meet established professional and educational criteria. Recent nursing school grads can apply for licensure by examination, while RNs who hold a current out-of-state license can apply for a Connecticut license through endorsement.
- Graduate from a state-approved diploma or degree program that meets all Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies requirements
- Register with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN exam and pay a $200 examination fee
- Submit a notarized licensure application to the Connecticut Department of Public Health along with a recent photo and $180 fee. The information provided on the application may be used to run a criminal background check, though a criminal record does not automatically render an applicant ineligible for licensure.
- Ask your school to send official transcripts to the Department of Public Health
- Schedule to take the NCLEX-RN within 90 days of receiving an authorization to test (ATT) letter from Pearson VUE
RNs who have licensure from another state and have passed the NCLEX-RN can apply for a Connecticut license by submitting a notarized licensure application to the Connecticut Department of Public Health along with a photo and $180.
Renewing a License in CT
Connecticut mandates that RNs renew their license online every year within roughly two months of receiving a renewal notification. Renewals are processed through the State of Connecticut eLicensing Website for a $110 fee. RNs in the state are not required to do continuing education, although APRNs are.
Registered nurses who have let their licenses lapse and would like to have them reinstated must submit a reinstatement application along with a $180 fee. Additionally, they must outline their work history since graduation, employment plans, and a strategy for getting back up-to-speed on their nursing knowledge. Nurses with a lapsed license must also ask their most recent employer to both verify employment as a nurse and appraise their work. Applicants whose license has been lapsed for between three and five years must take a state-approved refresher course, while those whose license has been lapsed for more than five years must take a refresher course and retake the NCLEX-RN.
Advanced Practice Licensure in CT
APRNs, who fall into one of three categories in Connecticut — nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist or nurse anesthetist — have a slightly different set of licensing regulations. Here are the requirements for APRN certification in Connecticut:
- A Connecticut RN license
- A valid certification from one of seven state-approved professional organizations
- A graduate degree in nursing recognized by one of these seven professional organizations
- 30 hours of advanced practice pharmacology education
Applicants who have the above can then:
- Submit a notarized licensure application to the Connecticut Department of Public Health along with a recent photo, $200 fee, and verification that the above certification, RN licensure, and education requirements have been met
- Request for official transcripts to be sent directly from their nursing graduate school to the Department of Public Health
APRNs must renew their licenses every year and take 50 hours of continuing education in specific areas every two years. The renewal fee is $130. Those looking for more detailed information on APRN licensure in Connecticut should visit the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
In Connecticut, nurse midwives have separate requirements for licensure. First, they must be eligible for Connecticut RN licensure. Those who are not registered nurses in the state must have their nursing transcripts submitted to the Department of Health. To become licensed as nurse midwives in Connecticut, they must also:
- Be certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, which involves obtaining an RN license and passing a midwifery exam
- Submit a notarized application along with a photo and $100 fee
- Complete 30 hours of pharmacology education
Nurses Needed: RN Numbers in CT
As of 2014, Connecticut was one of just 16 states in which RNs commanded salaries above the national median average for the profession, according to 2014 data from the American Nurses Association. Nurse practitioners fare even better, also earning above the national average despite Connecticut having the third-highest concentration of nurse practitioner jobs of any state in the country.
Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Connecticut
|Area||Hourly Median Wage||Annual Median Wage|
|Norwich-New London CT-RI||$35.81||$74,480|
|Eastern Connecticut nonmetropolitan area||$35.66||$74,170|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||$35.63||$74,120|
|Northwestern Connecticut nonmetropolitan area||$34.40||$71,560|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Connecticut vs. National Numbers
|Year||Annual salary(25th percentile)||Annual salary(median)||Annual salary(75th percentile)||Annual salary(25th percentile)||Annual salary(median)||Annual salary(75th percentile)|
|Certified Nurse Midwife||$91,100||$100,740||$111,330||$0||$82,580||$96,970||$114,090|
Annual Salary (25th percentile)
Annual Salary (median)
Annual Salary (75th percentile)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
TOTAL EMPLOYMENT (2014)
|Certified Nurse Midwife||100||5,110|
2022 OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK
|Certified Nurse Midwife||150||7,700|
AVG. ANNUAL OPENINGS (2012 – 2022)
|Certified Nurse Midwife||10||290|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central
Organizations for Connecticut Nurses
ASNC is the Connecticut branch of the National Association of School Nurses. School nurses can get updates on professional development opportunities, easily access resources for clinicians and administrators, and purchase tickets to regular networking dinners via the ASNC website.
The DPH, which the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing falls under, lists licensure requirements for all healthcare professionals in the state. Its website also links directly to online applications for initial licenses and renewals.
The CTENA represents more than 500 nurses who specialize in providing emergency care. CTENA members are encouraged to attend board meetings and take advantage of educational opportunities.
The CLN is committed to improving educational standards for nursing in the state. It reaches out directly to three related demographics: nursing students, practicing nurses and nurse educators.
A constituent member of the American Nurses Association, the CNA is a great resource for nurses looking to complete continuing education credits. The CNA also links individual members to insurance benefits, gives them discounted rates on certification fees and pays for subscriptions to several nursing journals.
The National Black Nurses Association has two regional chapters in the state: one covering northern Connecticut, including Hartford, and the other covering southern Connecticut, including New Haven. The SCBNA addresses the needs of black nurses practicing in the southern region of the state.