Martha Minerva Franklin was born in New Milford, Connecticut in 1870 and worked as a private-duty nurse in Meriden and New Haven. As one of the first individuals to campaign for racial equality in nursing, she was posthumously inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame and American Nurses Association Hall of Fame.
If you want to join the ranks of nurses like Franklin, working to make a difference in hospitals, outpatient clinics, doctors’ offices, schools, patient homes and more throughout Connecticut, the info on this page can help you get there. We’ve got a primer on how to become a nurse in Connecticut, details of nursing certification and licensure and rankings of the nursing colleges where you might start your journey.
Best Nursing Schools in Connecticut
No fewer than 22 institutions offer nursing degree programs at different levels in Connecticut as of September 2018. In order to help you choose the right one for you, we took data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and analyzed it to separate the best nursing schools in Connecticut from the rest.
The rankings are presented in two different lists — one for undergraduate students and one for graduates — to help narrow down the choices for nurses at each stage of their careers. Visit the bottom of this page for more information about our ranking methodology, and continue reading below to learn where you can find the best nursing programs in Connecticut.
Nursing Accreditation in Connecticut
Accreditation is a process by which the education offered at a given institution is certified as meeting or exceeding national quality standards. Although most nursing schools are accredited, it’s important to make sure that yours is recognized by one of the following agencies that provide nursing accreditation in Connecticut:
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA)
Connecticut Nursing Licensure
Students who hope to work as licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Connecticut are required to attend a nursing program that is approved by the state and offers at least 1,500 hours of theory over a 10-month time period. If they have less than 1,500 hours, they may gain clinical work experience to substitute the missing hours. Once they complete their nursing program, they must take and pass the NCLEX-PN exam.
Those who wish to pursue careers as registered nurses (RNs) are required to earn a diploma in nursing, associate’s degree in nursing or bachelor’s degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. After they pass the NCLEX-RN, they need to apply for licensure through the Connecticut State Department of Public Health.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) must complete a master’s degree in nursing or a related field and 30 hours of education in pharmacology. In addition, they must obtain national NP certification from an organization such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the National Certification Corporation for Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties (NCC) or the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).
Connecticut Nursing organizations
Nursing students and working nurses in Connecticut may be able to give their careers a boost by joining a professional nursing organization. Here’s a little detail on some of the state’s top professional organizations for nurses:
Connecticut Nurses Association (CNA):
Established in 1904, CNA fosters high standards of nursing practice to promote the health and general welfare of the public. This organization also strives to enhance and protect the viability of the nursing profession.
Connecticut Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Society (CTAPRNS):
The mission of CTAPRNS is to improve the quality and access to health care for Connecticut residents by promoting education and collaboration between Connecticut’s advanced practice registered nurses and physicians, educators, legislators and other stakeholders.
Connecticut Association of Public Health Nurses (CAPHN):
CAPHN is dedicated to enhancing the health and wellness of communities through its support of public health nursing practice. It aims primarily to add value to the profession through leadership, advocacy and collaboration.
Connecticut-Specific Continuing Education
Although there are no continuing education (CE) requirements for LPNs and RNs in Connecticut, NPs and other APRNs must complete 50 contact hours every two-year licensing period. Five of these hours must cover pharmacotherapeutics, and each of the following subjects must be studied for at least one hour each: sexual assault, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, risk management, domestic violence, substance abuse and cultural competency.
A nurse practitioner who participates in activities with the Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Nursing may be granted a waiver of a maximum of 10 contact hours of continuing education. For up-to-date information on CE requirements for Connecticut nurses, visit this resource.
Hospitals in Connecticut
Nursing school graduates in Connecticut can care for a variety of patients and gain valuable entry-level work experience in hospital environments. To give you an idea of your options, here’s some information about the three largest medical centers in the state:
- Yale-New Haven Hospital (New Haven) Yale-New Haven Hospital is a non-profit teaching hospital with 1,541 beds. U.S. News & World Report continues to rank it among the top U.S. hospitals. It has also earned the prestigious Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
- Hartford Hospital (Hartford) Hartford Hospital was founded in 1854 and is known as one of the largest teaching hospitals and tertiary care centers in New England. The 867-bed facility is a regional referral center and works to provide quality care in every clinical discipline.
- Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center (Hartford) Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center is a major teaching hospital that offers clinical concentrations in women’s and children’s services, oncology, cardiology, orthopedics and rehabilitation.
Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we gathered data for 6,758 United States institutions. We then filtered that list of schools by state and analyzed the data for each state with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list, based on 11 ranking criteria, and our graduate list, based on 9 ranking criteria.
Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. Schools that did not provide data for all of the required ranking criteria were disqualified from that ranking.
The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:
- Number of associate-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
- Number of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
- Variety of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered
- Retention rate
- Graduation rate
- Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
- Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
- Credit offerings (Mil