Accelerated Nursing Programs in Connecticut

accelerated nursing programs in connecticut

Bachelor’s educated nurses are on the rise, and Connecticut is no exception. With about 34,740 nurses in Connecticut, there is still an estimated shortage of 3,000 nurses per year, and the 1900 annual graduates of Connecticut nursing programs is not enough to meet this demand.

Nurses in Connecticut may work as Registered Nurses, Nurse Managers, and Clinical Nurse Specialists, all of which require education and licensure. To meet the demands of the 1,000 nurses needed each year to compensate for the shortage, the Governor laid out a strategic plan in 2020 that will expand educational capacity and training facilities.

Becoming a Registered Nurse in Connecticut

To become an RN in Connecticut, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Successfully complete an approved nursing program per the requirements of the RSA of Connecticut.
  2. Pass the NCLEX-RN examination
  3. Submit an application, fee and transcripts online

Once you apply for a license, you may then sit for your examination. Do not try to sign up for an exam before you have submitted an application, as that can delay your approval to sit for the NCLEX-RN.

This information was retrieved in July 2023, always refer back to the state licensing site for your state for the most up-to-date requirements, as these are subject to change.

What is an Accelerated BSN?

An accelerated BSN is a bachelor’s degree and an RN program wrapped into one degree. In an accelerated BSN is clinicals + baccalaureate level education – this will include electives and general education credits required of any bachelor’s student.

Some people refer to RN-to-BSN programs as accelerated BSN programs, but they are not quite the same. For an RN-to-BSN program, you will earn your RN separately, sometimes years before going back and getting a BSN. You will already have completed the clinical portion of a BSN degree.

Second-degree BSN programs are also referred to as Accelerated BSNs because they allow an individual to finish their BSN program more quickly since they can transfer in credits from their previous degree.

These are different from Pre-Licensure BSNs because in those programs, you will go all the way through college from freshman to senior year, starting with general education and then moving on to major courses, then clinicals. In those, you are prepared to earn your RN license at the end and you have no other credits or coursework you are bringing in. You’ll also take care of nursing prerequisites in the program, whereas with an ABSN, you will need prerequisites before you can take nursing courses.

ABSN Programs in Connecticut

There are 11 Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) programs in Connecticut. For the accelerated version, you must also bring in credits from a different degree or that you have previously earned.

Note: ABSN programs are not offered online in CT, so you have two options:

  1. Earn your RN in-person, then you can do an RN to BSN online
  2. Earn your ABSN in person

University of Bridgeport

Accelerated BSN Nursing Program
Location: Bridgeport, CT
Length: 15 months

The University of Bridgeport allows students to bring in previously earned credits, allowing them to earn a BSN in as little as 15 months. Students gain access to a variety of clinical experience, at hospitals, medical centers, schools and more in both laboratory and simulation settings.

Southern Connecticut

Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) Program
Location: New Haven, CT
Length: 12 months
Also have RN to BSN

Small class size and affordable tuition make this a good choice, and their ACE program follows the same curriculum as their BSN program. You’ll study things like Therapeutic Nutrition, Gerontological, Mental Health and Public Health Nursing.

Quinnipiac University

Accelerated BSN Nursing
Location: Hamden, CT

Students may be eligible for up to $10,000 per year in grant funds to attend this program. With a 78% NCLEX-RN pass rate, and a 94% job placement rate, this school falls in line with national averages. The program is 127 credits.

If you are looking for an online program to accompany your previously-earned or in progress RN license, then you may want to consider online RN to BSN programs, which can also be completed at an accelerated pace.

Connecticut Online RN to BSN Programs

An RN to BSN program is considered a completion program. In essence, you are bringing in your RN credits and using those as the clinical portion of the BSN. This means you will only take general education and major-related coursework, and the clinical component will be small, if you have one at all. Since most candidates for RN to BSN completion programs are already working, these programs are offered online (although you can find in-person programs if you have the time), and you can take these in a shortened time frame so you are a bachelor-educated nurse. This extra education can open you up to more responsibility, more pay, and more career options.

Central Connecticut State University

Nursing, RN to BSN
Time to complete: 12 months

This 100% online program starts every January and August. Students may attend full- or part-time, and the campus offers free childcare. Once complete, you’ll end with a 120 credits and a bachelor’s degree to go along with your RN license.

Sacred Heart

RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Time to complete: 10 months

The Sacred Heart RN to BSN program is CCNE-accredited, and you can transfer in up to 90 credits. There are six start dates per year, so this is more flexible than some other programs out there. If you are looking for international experience, they have a 2-week program in Ireland.

Western Connecticut State University

RN to BS Program in Nursing
Time to complete: Two years or go at your own pace

Western Connecticut University offers both an online RN to BS program, and an on-campus BSN program. Both programs require some clinical work that is in-person, and your faculty will help you find a placement. Since this is a public university, tuition is affordable.

Bachelor’s Level RN Salaries in Connecticut

Registered Nurses in Connecticut compared to their occupational group make $40.08 per hour, while their group makes $38.66, an increase of $1.42. But, when you look at registered nurses compared to all other occupations in Connecticut, the nursing hourly wage of $40.08 is far above all other occupations at $23.93, which is a difference of $16.15.

Nurses in Connecticut make an annual median salary of $94,260

Largest Employers of Registered Nurses in Connecticut

Education and health services employs 92.5 percent of nurses in Connecticut. The rest work in public administration and professional and business services.

Some top employers for RNs in Connecticut include:

Hartford Healthcare – Hartford, CT
Cross Country Nurses – Hartford, CT
University of Connecticut – Hartford, CT
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – Hartford, CT
St. Francis Hospital – Hartford, CT
Stamford Hospital – Bridgeport, CT
Yale New Haven Health System – Bridgeport, CT
Bridgeport Hospital – Bridgeport, CT
Optum – Bridgeport, CT

Nursing Associations in Connecticut

If you are looking to become a registered nurse, getting affiliated with a nursing organization is a great way to make connections and become a greater part of the profession.

Connecticut Nursing Association
Connecticut Nurses’ Foundation
Southern Connecticut Black Nurses Association
Association of School Nurses of Connecticut
Connecticut Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Society
Connection Action Coalition Connecticut
Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut

Become a Nurse in Connecticut with an Accelerated Program

Now that you are armed with the facts about the process to get an accelerated nursing degree in Connecticut, your next step is to get information from schools. Good luck!