Nurses are the backbone to our healthcare system. If you are interested in becoming a nurse, you are planning to embark on a challenging but incredibly rewarding career. In addition to the great income (registered nurses in Connecticut earn an average annual salary of $81,220), registered nurses fill an ever-important role of helping those in need.
There are many benefits to becoming an RN. And there’s no denying the fact that nursing is an exciting role that will keep you on your toes for many years to come. But if you are just starting out, you may be wondering how to earn your Connecticut nursing license. Read on, as we break down the RN license requirements for those looking to enter this competitive and growing field.
1. Start with an Education
In order to earn your Connecticut RN license, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). But before you sit for this exam, you will need to complete a state-approved nursing program. This is mandated by the state board. An accredited, career-focused school like Goodwin University offers several different paths for those interested in becoming a nurse. There’s more than one way to become a nurse in Connecticut.
If you are completely new to postsecondary education, and you want to enter the nursing field as quickly as possible, you may choose an approved Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. The program at Goodwin may be completed in as little as 20 months — part time.
If you have already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you may choose to pursue the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. This can be completed, part time, in as little as 16 months. It can be completed on campus, online, and in a hybrid format. If you would like to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree — and there are many good reasons to pursue this type of degree today — you may opt to earn your ADN, become a licensed RN, and then pursue an RN-to-BSN program while working as a nurse. In taking this route, you can earn your bachelor’s degree while you gain experience in the field. The BSN program at Goodwin can be completed in as little as 16 months.
2. Sit for the NCLEX-RN
Once you have completed your state-approved nursing program, you must sit for the NCLEX-RN. This exam is a standardized, computer-based test that is used across the country to determine whether a nurse is fully prepared to enter the field and work with patients. To register for the exam, you must fulfill these requirements.
The NCLEX-RN is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). It covers three levels of comprehension:
- Basic knowledge in nursing
- The ability to analyze and apply knowledge
- Application of policies and procedures to identify the best course of treatment
Once you have passed the NCLEX-RN, you can apply with the state of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health to be granted the official title of a licensed Registered Nurse. This application comes with a few requirements. Along with your online application, you will need to include:
- Official transcript of completed nursing program, including proof of degree earned
- $180 application fee
Earning your Connecticut nursing license is a big deal. It should be celebrated! The title means you can begin working with real patients in an active healthcare setting. Some of these settings include:
- Community Health Centers
- Doctors’ Offices
- Home Health Care Services
- Hospice Facilities
- Long-term Care Facilities
- Nursing Supervision & Management
- Occupational & Industrial Nursing
- And more
3. Keep it Up!
Earning your CT Registered Nursing license is not a one-and-done thing. You will need to continue learning on the job and renewing your license to practice throughout your nursing career. The state will give you a notice 60 days prior to license expiration, and another notification at the 30-day mark. Registered nurses may apply for license renewal online. The renewal application comes with a $110 fee.
The RN license requirements in Connecticut are not easy, but are well worth it. If you have what it takes to earn your nursing degree and pass the NCLEX-RN, you are in for the ride of your life. But earning that degree does not have to be a struggle. The nursing school at Goodwin University is all about convenience. Many classes are offered days, nights, and weekends, too, with online courses — depending on your program of choice — available for those who need extra flexibility. As the great Jimmy Dugan once said in “A League of Their Own”: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it’s great.”
Do you want to jumpstart your career in nursing? Call 1-800-889-3282 today to learn more about our various nursing programs — both online and on-campus — or visit here to learn why Goodwin College is a leader in healthcare education in Connecticut.
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.