Connecticut is a great place to work as a nurse. Demand is high and it is likely to become higher over the next few years. Let’s take a look at how you can become a nurse in Connecticut.
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSES
STAGE 1. CHOOSE YOUR ENTRY METHOD.
You can become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), which is a diploma option, or you can become a Registered Nurse (RN), which you can either do through an associate’s degree (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree (BSN).
STAGE 2. MEET THE NECESSARY NURSING PREREQUISITES.
Generally, an LPN program only requires you to have completed high school or hold a GED. However, if you want to enter an ADN or BSN program, you will usually have to have completed a number of undergraduate courses in subjects such as biology, psychology, math and English.
STAGE 3. CHOOSE YOUR PROGRAM.
An LPN program gives you entry level skills and takes just one year to complete. An ADN program is more in-depth and takes two years to complete on average. The BSN program is the most in-depth and will take you four years to complete. The higher your degree, the better your job prospects and salary expectations will be.
STAGE 4 – PASS YOUR CERTIFICATION EXAM.
LPNs must pass the NCLEX-PN examination, and RNs must pass the NCLEX-RN examination.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
To become an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) in Colorado, you must complete the following steps:
STAGE 1. EARN A GRADUATE DEGREE.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health, Board of Examiners for Nursing requires all APNs to hold at least a master’s degree in a nationally recognized specialization. A number of different national certifying agencies are recognized, all of which are listed by the United States Department of Education. APNs must also complete a minimum of 30 hours in pharmacology.
Connecticut recognizes a number of specializations. If you do wish to specialize specifically in an area other than general Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), then your degree must indicate this. The recognized areas are adults; acute care; family; adult, child or family psychiatric and mental health; pediatrics; geriatrics; women’s health; oncology; and neonatal. Your APN license will not specify your specialization.
Once you graduate with an APN master’s degree, you can apply for a temporary practice provision that lasts for 120 days. This allows you to work under direct supervision of a licensed APN or physician. However, if you wish to achieve graduate status, you must be on a waiting list to take your certification examination. Furthermore, you will not be given prescriptive authority at this time.
STAGE 2. BECOME NATIONALLY CERTIFIED.
Three types of APNs are recognized in Connecticut, namely, the NP (Nurse Practitioner), the CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) and the CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist). Each national certification agency has their own rules and regulations in terms of examination and continuous education (CE). Connecticut recognizes the following national certification agencies:
• The ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), who recognize Adult Nurse Practitioners, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner PNP) and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).
• The AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners), which recognize the Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP.
• The AACN Certification Corporation (American Association of Critical Care Nurses), which recognizes the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
• The NCC (National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties), which recognizes the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP).
• The PNCB (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, which recognizes the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute Care and Primary Care.
• The National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), which recognizes the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
STAGE 3. APPLY FOR LICENSURE.
In order to do this, you must include your Federal Tax or Social Security number. Otherwise, your licensure application will be rejected. A single application is required for all types of APNs. Various pieces of documentation are required for this. The Department will take a maximum of 10 days to review your application. If accepted, you will be sent a verification that includes your license number and the expiration date. Your physical license will arrive within the third week of the month following the issue of your license.
As soon as your are licensed, you must also hold professional liability insurance. Your insurance must be at least $500,000 per occurrence, per person.
As a CRNA, you may gain prescriptive authority. To do so, you must contact the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Drug Control Division and ask for Connecticut Controlled Substance Registration. Additionally, you must register with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration. NPs and CNSs can gain prescriptive authority, but not for controlled substances. Additionally, they must enter into a collaborative agreement with a physician.
All APNs must enter in a collaborative agreement with a physician in order to practice. This must be a written agreement that includes a number of specific details. Full information can be received from the Connecticut State Medical Society – APRN Assist department.
STAGE 4. RENEW YOUR LICENSE AT THE SAME TIME AS YOUR RN LICENSE.
Both can be done online. You will receive a renewal notice before your license expires, and this will include the login details you need in order to access the system. The fee for your APN renewal is $120.
The Board does not have CE requirements for APNs. However, the national certification agency that you are registered with generally will have some requirements. You must maintain their requirements in order to continue to be licensed in Connecticut.
Connecticut Department of Health, Board of Examiners for Nursing
410 Capitol Avenue, PO Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134