Connecticut Nursing Schools and Programs

March 2, 2022 , Modified on April 27, 2022 · 6 Min Read

When choosing a nursing program in Connecticut, you should evaluate the school's acceptance and graduation rates, accreditation, and financial aid options.

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Connecticut Nursing Schools and Programs
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Ask almost any nurse, and they will tell you that nursing is one of the most rewarding careers. Each day holds new challenges and experiences. Whether beginning your college career or working in another field, now is a great time to go to nursing school in Connecticut.

Selecting the top nursing program in Connecticut can be difficult. You want to evaluate the school's acceptance and graduation rates, accreditation, and financial aid options. In this guide, you can discover the best nursing programs in Connecticut, salary information, job growth projections, and the highest-paying cities in the state.

Keep reading to learn more about becoming a nurse in Connecticut, or go straight to our list of the best nursing schools in Connecticut.

The Best Nursing Schools in Connecticut

The following list includes the best nursing programs in Connecticut, so you can begin evaluating programs based on the criteria most important to you.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in Connecticut, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

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How to Choose a Nursing Program in Connecticut

When choosing a nursing school in Connecticut, there are specific factors you should consider. Begin by determining what is most important to you. Many students prioritize tuition costs, as it can significantly impact the years after graduation when it comes to paying off loans.

Balance overall costs against available financial aid for nurses offered through the school. For example, some schools have a strong work-study program that helps lower a student's debt.

In addition, Connecticut maintains a student financial aid portal to help students navigate the complexities of loans and grants. It also lists some of the state-specific financial opportunities. These include the CHESLA loan program and the Roberta B. Willis Scholarship programs.

Other considerations may include the acceptance rate and whether you can take some or most of your classes online. The nursing program in Connecticut you choose must be accredited. This allows you to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This test is mandatory to get your state license to practice. The school's NCLEX pass rate can also demonstrate how closely the program prepares students for success.

Why Become a Nurse in Connecticut

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nursing employment is expected to grow by 9% from 2020-2030. Nearly every state struggles with a nursing shortage, and Connecticut is no different.

Connecticut began addressing the shortage in 2007, putting statewide initiatives into place. These include programs to increase the number of faculty, nursing loan repayment programs, funding to higher education institutions, and recruitment and nurse retention campaigns.

The Connecticut Center for Nursing Workforce began to support sustainable, diverse, and exceptional healthcare. It also provides nursing education reports and statistics, including graduate rates across the state and student demographics.

Connecticut does not have a right-to-work law. These laws allow employees to decide whether they want to join or support a union. In Connecticut, union membership is not a requirement for employment. Instead, employees can choose if they want to join a union.

Connecticut has good education systems, a beautiful coastline, fresh seafood, and a rich history. This has made the area attractive for living and tourism.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Connecticut

The cost-of-living index in Connecticut is 119.5, compared to the average cost-of-living index in the U.S. of 100. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a registered nurse in 2020 is $75,330. The average salary in Connecticut is roughly $9,000 higher at $84,850. This ranks the average salary for Connecticut nurses at 12th in the United States.

The median salary in the U.S. for nurse practitioners (NPs) is $111,680, with Connecticut NPs earning an average annual salary of $116,780. Areas that employ the highest number of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) include physicians' offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and educational settings, such as colleges and universities.

Nurses in Connecticut can expect job market growth. The Connecticut Department of Labor ranks nursing as one of the top-growing occupations, projecting 2,850 new job openings from 2018-2028.

The average annual salary for nurses in Connecticut is higher than the national median annual salary, which can help offset the high cost of living in the area. The table below includes salary figures for the top five metropolitan areas in Connecticut for RN salaries.

Employers located in these areas include Yale New Haven Hospital, Hartford Hospital, and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses in Connecticut
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Average Salary for RNs
Danbury $91,230
Bridgeport — Stamford — Norwalk $88,870
New Haven $86,490
Norwich — New London — Westerly $86,330
Hartford — West Hartford — East Hartford $83,010
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Connecticut

In Connecticut, it is the Connecticut Board of Examiners, under the Department of Public Health that oversees nursing licensure. A candidate must have completed an accredited nursing program that meets Connecticut guidelines to practice in the state.

RN Requirements

The requirements to become an RN in Connecticut are similar to RN requirement in other states. Students must graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. After graduating from a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or an associate degree in nursing (ADN) program, the candidate must pass the NCLEX-RN examination before applying online through the Department of Public Health for their state nursing license.

The Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing issues a state license when the applicant meets the requirements. These requirements include a $180 application fee, transcripts from the nursing program, validation of your nursing degree, and a passing score from the NCLEX-RN.

New nurses are required to attain their state license through examination. However, nurses moving to Connecticut with a valid and active license from another state may apply for a license endorsement.

Nurses can renew their licenses online. This can be done 60 days before the license expires. The nurse fills out the application and submits the $110 application fee and the necessary continuing education for nurses contact hours, including two hours on screening for psychological conditions and two hours on suicide prevention.

APRN Requirements

Nurses who choose to advance their education are required to complete a master of science in nursing or a doctor of nursing practice program to practice as an APRN. The program must be accredited and meet Connecticut guidelines to get licensure from the Connecticut Board of Examiners. The APRN candidate must hold an active RN license and maintain certification by a national certifying organization approved by the board of examiners.

An APRN must also hold professional liability insurance and get a Connecticut Controlled Substance Registration to prescribe controlled substances. An APRN must first practice in collaboration with a licensed physician for 2,000 hours before being able to practice independently.

APRNs licensed in another state must first apply for an RN license endorsement and then complete the APRN licensing requirements. The initial application fee is $200, and the renewal fee is $130.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Connecticut


Is there a nursing shortage in Connecticut?

As in the rest of the U.S., there is a shortage of nurses in Connecticut. The Department of Labor projects there will be 2,850 job openings in 2030. Contributing factors include an aging workforce and nurses who have begun taking jobs outside the hospital after the pandemic.

How do I get a Connecticut nursing license?

Nurses in Connecticut apply for their nursing license through the Connecticut Board of Examiners, part of the Department of Public Health. Nurses can apply for the initial license or renew their license online by submitting the necessary documentation and application fee.

How long does it take to get a Connecticut nursing license?

For new nurses, it can take up to four weeks for the board of examiners to issue a license after receiving all necessary documentation. Nurses who hold a current license in another state can get a temporary permit within 15 business days after the board of examiners receives the necessary documents and application fee. The temporary license is valid for 120 days and is not renewable.

How long is a Connecticut RN license good for?

Your RN license is good for one year and expires in your birthday month. For example, if you received your first Connecticut RN license in May, and your birthday is in November, your license will expire in November and then every November after.

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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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