Connecticut is in need of skilled and qualified nurses. If you are seeking a career that is personally and professionally rewarding, and have a strong desire to help others in need, consider a future in nursing. There are thousands of job openings becoming available to nurses in Connecticut, as a pandemic comes to a close, the baby boomer population continues to age, and as healthcare employers look to enhance their workforce.
Of course, before starting in any career field, you will need information. For example, it is important to know what is required of nurses in Connecticut, and what the future holds for aspiring nurses in the state. Below, we delve into key information for Connecticut nurses, including job requirements, salary potential, employment outlook, workplace options, and more.
Nursing Requirements in Connecticut
No matter which state you live in, you must become licensed to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN). Registered Nurses earn their licenses by successfully completing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). In order to take this exam, you must first meet certain eligibility requirements, set forth by your state’s board of nursing.
In Connecticut, aspiring nurses can become eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination, and earn their nursing license, by completing the following steps:
- Successfully complete a nursing degree program that is approved by the state’s board of nursing. This approval ensures that a program is credible and meets set quality standards, effectively preparing nurses for their future careers. Typically, entry-level nursing programs offer an associate degree in Nursing (ADN), though Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree programs are also available to prospective nurses.
- Submit an official transcript of nursing education. This will verify your degree in nursing, whether an associate or bachelor’s degree, and will qualify you to take the NCLEX-RN exam.
- Register for the board exam. Connecticut nursing applicants need to register for the NCLEX-RN examination with Pearson Vue online. Applicants who are deemed eligible for examination will receive an Authorization To Test (ATT) letter, which will include information to schedule an examination.
- Pass the NCLEX-RN examination. This exam tests a nurse’s knowledge in areas such as safety, basic care and comfort, pharmacological therapies, case management, and more. As noted above, this is required for RN licensure.
- Apply to for your Connecticut nursing license. A completed application and fee in the amount of $180.00 is required as part of this step. Applications are only being accepted online at the State of Connecticut licensing website.
How Long It Takes to Become a Nurse in Connecticut
As noted above, starting a career as a Registered Nurse can start with an associate degree in Nursing. On average, an associate degree in Nursing takes about two years to complete. A Bachelor’s of Nursing, if you are a first-time degree earner, can take four years to complete. For this reason, most aspiring RNs will start with an associate degree in Nursing, and go back to school to earn their BSN down the road. (Many nurses go back to earn their BSN degree because it leads to career advancement.)
Of course, there are flexible programs available. At Goodwin University in Greater Hartford, CT, students have the ability to complete the associate degree in Nursing courses in as few as 20-months part-time. Additional time may be required to complete prerequisite classes.
After completing a nursing degree, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination. You must register for the NCLEX-RN examination within three years of completing your degree. Of course, you can register right away! After you register for the NCLEX-RN, and your eligibility is approved, you will receive an Authorization to Test. This expires after 90 days, so it is important to schedule your exam as soon as you are authorized to do so.
Official results of the NCLEX-RN examination will be sent to you approximately six weeks after the exam, and you can then finalize your Registered Nursing license with your state. All in all, from the start of nursing school to licensing day, it takes under two-and-a-half years to become a Registered Nurse in Connecticut.
Connecticut Nursing Salary
Now that you understand the requirements to become an RN in Connecticut, you may be wondering if it’s worth the investment. You may be comforted to hear that the nursing salary in Connecticut is high—in fact, Connecticut ranks among the top 10 highest paying states for Registered Nurses in the U.S. Connecticut nurses, as of May 2020, make an average salary of $84,850 per year. This equates to roughly $40 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Connecticut Nursing Job Outlook
Nationwide, the BLS predicts that employment of Registered Nurses will grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029. Meanwhile, in 2016, the Connecticut Department of Labor predicted that employment of Registered Nurses would grow over 9 percent by the year 2026, marking it as one of the most in-demand jobs with the most openings to fill. Currently, there are over 33,000 Registered Nurses employed in Connecticut, and the CT Department of Labor expects that figure to exceed 37,500 in the next five years—meaning there will be over 4,500 job openings available to aspiring RNs like you.
Where Nurses Work in Connecticut
Once you become a Registered Nurse, you will have your pick at where to work. Nurses are needed across the state of Connecticut, in hospitals, outpatient clinics, residential care facilities, rehabilitation centers, educational institutions, government agencies, and more. There are also different specializations within nursing you can pursue, depending on whether you want to work for an oncology department, in women’s health or pediatrics, or even in mental health and substance abuse.
To provide you a depiction of the variety of nursing careers available in Connecticut, we’ve compiled a list of organizations where many Goodwin graduates fulfill their nursing internships:
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
- Hartford Hospital
- Saint Francis Hospital
- New England Urgent Care
- MedCare Express
- Vernon Endocrinology
- Hartford Cardiology
- Connecticut Chiropractic
- Enfield Health and Wellness
- Kids Station Pediatrics
- Access Healthcare
- Dermatology Surgical Associates of Hartford
- East Hartford Pediatrics
- Living Well Primary Care
- And more!
Choosing the Right Nursing School in Connecticut
If you have the nursing information you were seeking, and are ready to start on your career path, your first action will be to research nursing schools in your desired area. There are approximately 18 nursing school options in Connecticut, all with different offerings. As you research your options, ask yourself:
- Which level degree do I want to start with, an associate or bachelor’s in Nursing? Look for a school that offers the degree you wish to pursue.
- Is the program accredited? Accreditation shows that a program has been approved and meets certain quality standards, which can reflect your future potential as a nurse. An approved program is required to take the board examination, and looks good to potential employers.
- How much flexibility do I need in a nursing program? If you are currently working, or have family obligations at home, nursing school can be intimidating. Some schools offer flexibility in their curriculum, clinicals, and course formats, so you can complete your degree in a way that works for you.
- How much am I comfortable spending on nursing school? Research each school’s tuition model, and understand how much support you will receive. Goodwin University, for example, offers one of the lowest tuitions for private, nonprofit colleges in Connecticut, and most students receive some form of financial aid.
- Which school will support me in finding a nursing career? Consider a nursing school that has connections to employers throughout the state of Connecticut, and that has a career services team who can help you into your dream position.
- Does the school have any testimonials to share? One way to understand the best nursing schools in Connecticut is to find reviews or testimonials from existing or former nursing students. You can read testimonials from Goodwin’s nursing students simply by clicking here.
If you are seeking more information about nursing programs in Connecticut, or looking for additional Connecticut nursing information, we are here to answer your questions. Call the Goodwin admissions team at 800-889-3282 to learn more about becoming a nurse in CT. You may also request more information about our programs online.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.