Nursing Schools in Connecticut
Connecticut, like the rest of the country, is struggling to provide enough talented health care professionals for the people living in the state. While the state is better off than others, leading to more competition for work in the field, the fact that our population is growing and aging means that there is constantly a need for new nurses in the health care industry. You will need to decide how far you with to take your education, where you want to earn that education from and where you wish to end up working. This article will get you started on the right things to think about, but you will have to make each of those choices for yourself.
To start, you need to earn an associate’s degree at a minimum to take the NCLEX-RN. You may find some certification programs, or diploma programs that will qualify you for the licensing exam, but do your research on those if you think you may continue your education at a later date. Many nurses start as early as possible as a RN then continue their education to the BSN, MSN or doctoral levels. Some will specialize in specific areas of expertise and others will move into education. While diploma and certification programs will likely put you in a position to move in that direction if you so choose, the safest course is to pursue an associate’s degree to start.
In Connecticut, RNs earn an average of $76,000 a year. That number includes nurses ranging across the spectrum of experience and education. To ensure you get the biggest starting wage and the highest income over the course of your career, you will want to try to earn as much experience as possible throughout your education.
The best way to earn experience while in school is to look for employers that will bring you in as soon as you earn your RN, or even allow you to work in entry level positions while you are working towards that goal. Waterbury, New Haven and Hartford have the highest number of RNs working in the city relative to the population. On the other side of the scale, Bridgeport, Danbury and Norwich are seeing the biggest shortage. To earn the highest average income, look to Hartford, New Haven and Danbury as they rank as the top three highest average salary paying cities for RNs in the state.
Yale New Haven Health System in New Haven, Danbury Hospital in Danbury and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford rank among the top 20 employers in the state across all industries. It would be wise to explore these employers as potential entry level career moves as they likely offer some form of tuition assistance if you are working towards a degree in the medical profession.
You will find that outside of employer’s tuition reimbursement plans, there are a number of other resources worth exploring to help offset some of the financial investments required by your education. Most schools offer unique loans, grants and scholarships to students that enroll in their institutes, so make sure that is one of the questions on your list as you start to explore colleges. Most importantly, you should look to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. Millions of Americans lack the basic health care that they so desperately need because they live in areas that are no represented well enough by health care professionals. To try to overcome this issue, the HRSA offers a wide range of loans, scholarships and loan repayment opportunities to help promote students interested in the field and ensure that they can afford to earn the education that our population needs.
Listing all of the schools that offer degrees in nursing would take up more space than is available for this article. Instead, explore the Connecticut Department of Public Health website to find local colleges that offer degrees in registered nursing across all education levels. While this site does not offer information about online colleges like Kaplan University or University of Phoenix that will offer accredited nursing education programs, you can find all of the information you need for an education from a school in the state. You will also find plenty of information about the types of degree programs they offer, those that are in charge of the department, the location, phone number and link to the web site for the school. This should allow you to quickly check out every school that you want and make sure that you attend the college that will be best for you. If you decide to go to a national online university, you can rest easy knowing that you checked every school available in your state through this site.