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9th Annual Connecticut RN Program Rankings by RNCareers.org

To 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 9 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

RN Programs in Connecticut

Best ADN Programs in Connecticut

Three Rivers Community College

94.15% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 574 New London Turnpike, Norwich, CT - 06360
  • (860) 215-9000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 94.15%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 67
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $4,596
  • Book and Supplies: $1,200
  • Percent Received Aid: 70%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $4,359
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 16%

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.

Naugatuck Valley Community College

91.48% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT - 06708-3089
  • (203) 575-8000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 91.48%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 94
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $4,516
  • Book and Supplies: $1,200
  • Percent Received Aid: 71%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $4,268
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 16%

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.

Northwestern Community College

89.26% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • Park Pl E, Winsted, CT - 06098
  • (860) 738-6300
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (B) 89.26%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 26
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $4,556
  • Book and Supplies: $1,200
  • Percent Received Aid: 74%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $4,125
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 21%

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.

Norwalk Community College

87.37% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 188 Richards Avenue, Norwalk, CT - 06854
  • (203) 857-7000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (B) 87.37%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 88
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $4,586
  • Book and Supplies: $1,200
  • Percent Received Aid: 72%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $5,375
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 11%

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.

St Vincent's College - Evening

86.52% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 2800 Main St, Bridgeport, CT - 06606-4201
  • 8008731013
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (B) 86.52%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor

University Information

  • Total Faculty:
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: N/A
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: N/A
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: N/A
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: N/A

Best BSN Programs in Connecticut

University of Saint Joseph

Department of Nursing

97.33% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1678 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, CT - 06117
  • (860) 232-4571
Nurse Admin: Denise M. Puia, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN
Title: Chair
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.33%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 128
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,200
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $23,049
  • Percent Admitted: 78%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 15%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%

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.

Sacred Heart University

College of Nursing

96.33% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 5151 Park Ave, Fairfield, CT - 06825-1000
  • (203) 371-7999
Nurse Admin: Karen M. Daley, PhD, RN
Title: Dean
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.33%
  • Programs: CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 333
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,200
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $18,153
  • Percent Admitted: 66%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 21%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

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.

Central Connecticut State University

Department of Nursing

96.30% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1615 Stanley St, New Britain, CT - 06050
  • (860) 832-2278
Nurse Admin: Kerri M. Langevin, EdD, APRN, PPCNP-BC
Title: Chair and Associate Professor of Nursing
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.30%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 428
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $11,542
  • Book and Supplies: $1,600
  • Percent Received Aid: 89%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $6,704
  • Percent Admitted: 65%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 24%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

Fairfield University

Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies

95.56% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1073 N Benson Rd, Fairfield, CT - 06824-5195
  • (203) 254-4000
Nurse Admin: Meredith Kazer, PhD, APRN, CNL, FAAN, AGPCNP-BC
Title: Dean and Professor
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 95.56%
  • Programs: CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 312
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,150
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 97%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $24,395
  • Percent Admitted: 56%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 16%
  • Graduation Rate: 82%

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.

Southern Connecticut State University

Department of Nursing

95.56% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT - 06515-1355
  • (203) 392-5200
Nurse Admin: Maria Krol, DNP, RNC-NIC, ACIJE
Title: Chair & Associate Proesor
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 95.56%
  • Programs: CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 422
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $11,882
  • Book and Supplies: $1,200
  • Percent Received Aid: 94%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $5,966
  • Percent Admitted: 80%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 16%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%

BS in Nursing - Curriculum is an upper-division major. Prerequisite courses in the major are required, followed by clinically focused classes taught at both hospital and community-based sites. Options for full-time study with daytime hours or very limited evening/weekend hours are available

ACE Program - Individuals who have already earned a baccalaureate degree in another field and want to change careers into nursing can enroll in the ACE program. This 12-month program includes all prerequisites for students without any necessary undergraduate coursework. The ACE program is based on the same curriculum as SCSU’s highly successful and nationally accredited traditional nursing program. The distinctions of this program are the opportunities to learn with other adult learners who also have rich life and work experience, and dedicated faculty members working specifically with these students.

RN to BSN - The department offers an accelerated BSN program for licensed RNs who want to earn their bachelor's degree in nursing. The program will be tailored to each individual student as they progress through the coursework.

Clinical Nurse Leader - The Clinical Nurse Leader is a new type of job. It is like an advanced nurse with training at the graduate level. The focus of this job is to manage complex groups of patients in many different kinds of healthcare settings. You need 42-45 credits to be able to do this, which include core courses (24 credits), two clinical courses (12 credits), and either a thesis or special project component (6 credits). You also have to spend 400 hours doing work as a nurse in order to be certified for this role.

Family Nurse Practitioner - Nurses with a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) are eligible to apply for the FNP program. The FNP program consists of 24 credits in core courses, 18 credits in each from the FNP role courses--3 for regular or 6 if on thesis track-- and either 3 credit special project or 6 credit thesis that applies to both tracks.

The 3 FNP Role Courses require 220 hours of clinical practice each semester, in addition to weekly classroom time. A total of 660 clinical hours is required to complete the FNP program. These hours include practicing women's health, pediatrics, family medicine and internal medicine including practicing with older adults.

Nurse Educator - The Nurse Educator program is a master's degree which develops the knowledge and skills needed to teach nursing. Among those credits are 24 core courses, 15 credits in the role of a nurse educator courses, and much more that prepare experienced nurses who know about curriculum development, teaching strategies, etc.

Courses on student teaching strategies, developing course syllabi and preparing for class presentations are available. Eucation in evaluating effectiveness is part of this. And two courses require practicum experience which involves 12-hours per week or completion of a thesis project to graduate from the program

St Vincent's College - Evening

94.07% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 2800 Main St, Bridgeport, CT - 06606-4201
  • 8008731013
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 94.07%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor

University Information

  • Total Faculty:
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: N/A
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: N/A
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: N/A
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: N/A

Western Connecticut State University

Department of Nursing

91.30% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 181 White Street, Danbury, CT - 06810-6826
  • (203) 837-8200
Nurse Admin: Jeanette H. Lupinacci, EdD, MS, RN
Title: Chair
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 91.30%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 213
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $11,781
  • Book and Supplies: $1,300
  • Percent Received Aid: 83%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $5,710
  • Percent Admitted: 81%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 19%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%

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.

Quinnipiac University

School of Nursing

86.48% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • Mt Carmel Ave, Hamden, CT - 06518
  • (203) 582-8200
Nurse Admin: Larry Z. Slater, PhD, MAC, RN-BC, CNE-, FAAN
Title: Dean
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (B) 86.48%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, RN to MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 408
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $800
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 99%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $23,930
  • Percent Admitted: 82%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 11%
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

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.

About RN Programs in Connecticut

  • There are 22 nursing schools in Connecticut. The CCNE accredits 13 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 15 schools in Connecticut.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for ADN students in Connecticut is between 84.26% and 94.15%.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for BSN students in Connecticut is between 86.48% and 97.33%.
  • The average annual salary for registered nurses is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in Connecticut can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

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.

Registered Nurses in Connecticut have a chance to practice in a diverse and competitive environment while earning an equally competitive salary. The 33,400 RNs working in the state earn on average $60,560 annually while starting out, which increases to $133,320 as they get more experienced. This amount is among the highest salaries in the entire nation. The state is projected to need to fill 41,860 RN positions by 2028 to keep up with the healthcare needs of the citizens, so it is an excellent place for nurses looking to settle and earn comfortably. 

Similarly, Connecticut also has a projected need of 3,640 Nurse Practitioners by 2028, which is a 20.5% increment from 2018. The current 2,630 nurses earn $77,750 on average. In addition, NPs with more than 20 years of experience earn about $162,060 annually. 

All of this makes Connecticut a very great place to start and advance your nursing career. However, since Connecticut is one of the few states that still hasn’t implemented the eNLC (Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact), you will not be eligible to work here with a nursing license from another state. That being said, you can still take the NCLEX in Connecticut and enjoy the perks of living and working in this great state.

Connecticut RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN Programs ADN BSN
Number of Nursing Programs 9 12
Average NCLEX Passing Rate 87.86% 94.02%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range 84.26% to 94.15% 86.48% to 97.33%

Nursing Programs Offered by Connecticut Nursing Schools

  • Registered Nursing: 19
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: 6
  • CNL: 4
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 3
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 2
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Nurse Educator: 1

Connecticut Nursing Schools with the Most Degree Types

Become a Nurse Practitioner in Connecticut

Research the best Connecticut NP programs, and find comprehensive guides to the following NP careers:

In the state of Connecticut, the NPs are granted Full Practice authority by the state practice and licensure laws. It means that they are permitted to evaluate patients; diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests; and initiate and manage treatments, including prescribing medications and controlled substances, under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing.

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Connecticut offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Become an 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.

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

RN Licensing Requirements in Connecticut

Comprehensive guide to Connecticut Nursing License Requirements Renewals RN and APRN

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

More of the Best Nursing Programs in Connecticut

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