Top Connecticut Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
The shortage of nurses in Connecticut is the second highest in the country. Indeed, there is currently a vacancy rate of between 6% and 11% in critical care alone. Only Alaska is reporting statistics that are worse than these across the country. It has been predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that there will be a need for an additional 22,400 nurses by 2020.
There are currently 11 schools in Connecticut that are registered with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and yet some 735 applicants to their nursing degree programs that meet all necessary requirements had to be turned away. This demonstrates that one of the biggest needs in Connecticut is for Nurse Educators, aside from nurses in the field of acute and critical care nursing.
One of the main reasons as to why the shortage of nurses is so severe is because of the aging workforce. A substantial percentage of the current workforce is above 55 and many are even 65 or over. Added to this is the fact that the population in Connecticut is growing, as well as aging, and the need for additional nurseds becomes even more significant. Furthermore, due to the healthcare reforms and due to the fact that the health needs of the population are changing, specialized nurses are also in high demand.
Registered Nurses in Connecticut earn an average salary of $78,000, which is above the national average. This makes the state a very interesting place for nurses with the appropriate qualifications. There is quite a lot of variation in the annual salaries, however, depending on the specialization and geographical location. The highest paid position is the cardiovascular operating room nurse and the lowest paid is the oncology nurse.
As in other states, those nurses with the highest levels of education are also those who have the best job and salary prospects. Hence, nurses are encouraged to achieve at least their bachelor’s degree and, preferably, study on towards their master’s. Because the shortage of nursing is so significant in the state, there are numerous incentives to encourage employers to help nurses achieve their master’s degrees. However, so long as the shortage in nurse educators will continue to exist, accessing educational programs will continue to be difficult. Indeed, Connecticut is heavily reliant on nurses who have received their training and education from neighboring states. Unfortunately, since the nursing shortage is endemic nationwide, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find nurses from other states.