Connecticut has made it their mission to provide the best health care system possible. This is largely thanks to the well-educated nurses in the system. Connecticut has done a wonderful job protecting the public's health in regulating nursing education, licensure, and practice. By pursuing their career of choice, nurses are exploring a new career field with a solid job outlook. There are many benefits to enrolling in an RN program in Connecticut. Local schools have been offering programs at a low cost in order to help increase the nursing shortage. The standards in nursing have been increasing across the state in order to help employers increase their staffing levels and health care standards.

In our Connecticut RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Connecticut RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Connecticut, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Connecticut RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs912
Average NCLEX Passing Rate89.38%90.07%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range84.33% to 94.67%79.43% to 96.67%
Average Net Price$9,177.33$23,904.67
Average Net Price Range$4,162.00 to $21,080.00$12,673.00 to $36,853.00
Average Student Loan$6,910.89$20,837.83
Average Student Loan Range$2,562.00 to $16,824.00$14,250.00 to $27,000.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for Connecticut StateBSN Rankings for Connecticut State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Connecticut

Best Ranked RN Programs in ConnecticutTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Connecticut and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 8 ADN degree programs and 8 BSN degree programs in Connecticut. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Connecticut to provide our state rankings. View our methodology


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96.41 ADNNaugatuck Valley Community College190 Waterbury

Naugatuck Valley Community College has a 110-acre campus in Waterbury, CT. They offer an ACEN accredited 4-semester ADN program that focuses on student preparedness to work in outpatient care, long-term care, and acute nursing care. The program places emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills, as well as honing in on a solid foundation in mathematics, science, social science and English. Students will also get hands-on practice by using simulation mannequins and through clinical rotations in nearby healthcare facilities.

With NVCC’s narrow focus on outpatient care, long-term care, and acute nursing care, they prepare students to meet the demands of populations in Connecticut, where nursing shortages are largely in these three areas. This approach boasts career prospects for graduates, as their education is more specialty-specific than most ADN programs.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.22 ADNThree Rivers Community College2231 Norwich

Three Rivers Community College was founded in 1992 and is located in Norwich, CT. They offer an ACEN accredited ADN program that was co-designed with six other schools, known as the Connecticut Community College Nursing Program. Their program is highly competitive, and graduates from the program are very likely to find employment in nearby healthcare facilities. LPNs are eligible for advanced placement, though the length of their course of study depends on an individual basis. They will take a bridge course and be assessed by specialized nursing advisors who ultimately determine placement in the program.

Three Rivers also has agreements with numerous nearby colleges, including Yale University, offering graduates a seamless transition into a BSN program. The program has a great reputation in the nearby area for preparing competent nurses, as well as their dedication to supporting the long-term goals of their students. Scholarships and financial aid are offered, and students will have an academic advisor to guide them through the process. Those interested in the program may apply once annually for enrollment in the fall.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.59 ADNGateway Community College3297 New Haven

Gateway Community College is located in New Haven, Connecticut.  They are part of the Connecticut Community College Nursing Program, which is a network of RN programs offered at six Connecticut community colleges.  All of the programs require the same classes.  All also offer an advanced placement for LPNs, meaning that the LPN can enter the program in the third semester as they have prior nursing experience.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.89 ADNCapital Community College4328 Hartford

Capital Community College (CCC) offers an ASN and is located in Hartford, CT. The nursing program philosophy emphasizes the dynamic, professional relationship between the student and faculty, focusing on the creation of an open and positive learning environment. The program is nationally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Applications to the ASN program are open between November and February, with each prospective class starting in the fall of the application year. The program also allows nurses who are already LPNs to potentially begin in the third semester of the program. This option is not definite and will be determined based on class size and individual needs.

The vision of the CCC Nursing program is to professionally and personally prepare students for a rewarding career of service in the nursing field. They strive to achieve this through education using a Concept-Based Curriculum (CBC) as well as striving to create life-long learners.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.48 ADNNorwalk Community College5342 Norwalk

Norwalk Community College is located in Norwalk, Connecticut.  They are part of the Connecticut Community College Nursing Program, which is a network of RN programs offered at six Connecticut community colleges.  All of the programs require the same classes.  All also offer an advanced placement for LPNs, meaning that the LPN can enter the program in the third semester as they have prior nursing experience.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
88.93 ADNNorthwestern Community College6403 Winsted

Northwestern Connecticut Community College is located in Winsted, Connecticut.  They are part of the Connecticut Community College Nursing Program, which is a network of RN programs offered at six Connecticut community colleges.  All of the programs require the same classes.  All also offer an advanced placement for LPNs, meaning that the LPN can enter the program in the third semester as they have prior nursing experience.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
83.33 ADNGoodwin College7568 East HartfordPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
98.22 BSNSouthern Connecticut State University-Accelerated131 New HavenPublicCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
97.15 BSNSacred Heart University264 Fairfield

Sacred Heart University was founded in 1963 in Fairfield, CT. SHU is a private Roman Catholic school, and since 1980 they have committed to providing excellent nursing education. Today they offer three CCNE accredited nursing trajectories: a BSN program, an online RN to BSN program, and an online RN to MSN program. The online RN-BSN and RN-MSN programs are designed to be flexible and convenient. These programs offers six start dates each year, allowing students to choose how to balance their coursework with their other commitments.

Those seeking to enroll in the traditional four year program must be first-time full-time undergraduate students who begin the application process during their senior year of high school. SHU fosters a close-knit on-campus community, though they do encourage their nursing students to experience and understand the nursing field globally. Students have the opportunity to participate in clinical field experiences in Guatemala, Antigua, Jamaica, or Kingston, where they will gain hands-on practice as a member of a nursing team. They further offer a nursing leadership course on Sacred Heart’s campus in Dingle, Ireland, allowing students to explore the Irish healthcare system.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.37 BSNFairfield University-Accelerated3126 Fairfield

Fairfield University was founded in 1942 by the Society of Jesus in Fairfield, CT. It has retained its religious affiliation as a Jesuit university, and in 1970 the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies was established. They offer undergraduate and graduate programs that are fully CCNE accredited. In addition to a traditional BSN program, they also offer a second degree program, which takes 15 months to complete. Their facilities for learning include a fully equipped intensive care unit, complete with simulation mannequins. Fairfield has a strong faculty team behind its nursing programs that focus on academic excellence, career planning, and individualized attention. Needless to say, small classes are the norm.

Fairfield has local community partnerships with nearby hospitals and health centers that offer students a diversity of experiences in clinical settings. There are also additional workshops and specialty trainings in trauma and resilience available. Nursing students may even choose to do a study abroad in Nicaragua, Australia, or Ireland. Fairfield’s nursing department has an excellent reputation both locally and nationally, and admissions are competitive.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
94.63 BSNUniversity of Connecticut-Storrs Campus - Accelerated4158 Storrs

The University of Connecticut was founded in 1881; its nursing school is located in Storrs, CT. They offer a BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD program, all of which are CCNE accredited. Nursing students here will have extensive collaborative and interdisciplinary learning experiences in the University of Connecticut Health Center, which is located nearby in Farmington. The BSN program is a 4-year track that enrolls students once annually in the fall. Those who hold a previous non-nursing bachelor’s degree can take an accelerated curriculum to earn their BSN from UConn, which only takes about one year to complete. This program is offered at four UConn campuses: Waterbury, Stores, Avery Point, and Stamford.

All full-time faculty members hold doctoral level degrees, and the school has partnerships with many nearby healthcare facilities to provide diverse exposure to the field in addition to their own health facility. Research is encouraged in graduate nursing programs, and UConn’s Homer Babbidge Library ranks in the nation’s top 30 for research resources. They have extensive collections in the nursing field as well as in the physical and social sciences.

PublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
93.19 BSNWestern Connecticut State University5230 Danbury

Western Connecticut State University is located in Danbury, Connecticut.  WCSU offers a traditional BSN program, an RN to BSN program, a Masters program and a doctorate program. All of their programs are CCNE accredited. WCSU fosters a close-knit community with a low faculty to student ratio that ensures each student is guided and completing the curriculum at a good pace.

Admissions to WCSU’s undergraduate nursing program is once annually in the fall, though the online program admits students on a rolling basis. WCSU does require all nursing applicants to go through a dual enrollment process. Once students are accepted, they will have to apply for admissions to the Department of Nursing during the spring semester of freshman year.

The RN to BS program is taught in a hybrid format or entirely online, depending on the student’s preference. In-person classes are scheduled during the afternoons and evenings, which allows RNs to fit their career advancement into their busy schedules.

PublicCampus, HybridACEN, CCNESee School Details
92.22 BSNUniversity of Saint Joseph-Accelerated6260 West Hartford

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) School of Nursing is located in West Hartford, Connecticut and offers prospective students many pathways to become a nurse, including: a traditional BSN program, an RN to BSN program, and an accelerated second degree (ASD) – BSN program.

The traditional BSN program requires students to apply in the fall of their sophomore year, and also requires CPR certification to be completed prior to application.

The RN to BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and allows nurses with an associate degree and a valid Connecticut nursing license to complete 30 credit hours of online coursework to earn their BSN.

A unique offering of USJ, the ASD program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and allows a student who has previously earned a bachelor’s degree in another discipline to earn their BSN in just 15 months. The program begins a new class every May, and the application deadline is February of the anticipated year of starting.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
90.41 BSNQuinnipiac University-Accelerated7314 Hamden

Quinnipiac University was established in 1929, and is located in Hamden, CT. They offer undergraduate and graduate programs in their nursing school, one of twelve schools nationally endorsed by the American Holistic Nursing Credentialing Corporation. This means that their nursing education focuses on the whole person, meaning that a patient must be cared for with consideration of spiritual, lifestyle, cultural, and psychosocial factors. Nursing students at Quinnipiac will further experience a very collaborative environment with the School of Medicine and the School of Health Sciences.

Students have over 300 clinical settings to choose from where they will gain hands-on experience and exposure to the field. Their facilities on campus have advanced and interactive equipment for student learning and practice. Their simulator mannequins aren’t one and the same—they have an adult, pediatric, and neonatal simulator. Volunteer work is another major component of Quinnipiac’s program, and they encourage their students to be advocates and inquisitive learners.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
90.15 BSNCentral Connecticut State University8325 New BritainPublicCampusCCNESee School Details

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Connecticut

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Connecticut

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Connecticut offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties: Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Connecticut  RN Licensing Requirements

RN License by Exam

The state of Connecticut has strict requirements for candidates who wish to obtain a licensure. One way is by taking the NCLEX-RN exam and submitting an application to the DPH. A $200 fee is required upon registration. Candidates will also need to pay $180 to Connecticut Treasury along with the application. In addition to these requirements, candidates must also submit a recent photograph. While working on meeting NCLEX requirement, the graduate can work as long as the test is taken and passed on the first attempt. Graduate status is valid for up to 90 days after graduation.

RN License by Endorsement

Nurses who are registered in one of the other 50 states are eligible for license by endorsement. Canadian nurses may also be licensed without further examination. Verification is required from each state, territory, or province where licensing was held by the nurse. In addition to an application, candidates must provide the following documentation:
  • Education verification form
  • 1,500 hours of total nursing education
  • Required clinical standards

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Practical nurses from Canada are not required to retake the NCLEX as long as it was completed prior to 1970. If the exam was written in French, the candidate will be required to pass a language proficiency exam. Nurses from other countries will have other varying requirements such as a professional report through CGFNS.

Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing

410 Capitol Avenue, MS# 13PHO P.O. Box 340308 Hartford, CT 06134-0328 Phone: (860) 509-7624 Fax: (860) 509-7553

RN Salaries in Connecticut

Nurses who begin their career in Connecticut often have a positive job outlook. It is anticipated that there will be an 18% increase in job openings between 2012 and 2022. The salaries in Connecticut are generally higher than the national average. A nursing degree can lead nurses to a rewarding heath care career they have always wanted.

Connecticut Registered Nursing Salaries

The highest annual median wage is in the Danbury metropolitan area . Danbury also has the highest hourly mean wage. However, the Hartford-West Hartford-East metropolitan area has the largest amount of registered nurses currently employed.
Area nameEmploymentHourly median wageAnnual median wage
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT7,300$36.88$76,710
Danbury, CT1,280$40.29$83,800
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT11,780$35.63$74,120
New Haven, CT7,460$37.47$77,930
Norwich-New London, CT-RI2,350$35.81$74,480
Waterbury, CT1,840$33.91$70,530
Northwestern Connecticut nonmetropolitan area720$34.40$71,560
Eastern Connecticut nonmetropolitan area390$35.66$74,170
Source: http://www.dol.gov/, 2014 Data