The growing need for general practitioners in family medicine has created an increased demand for nurse practitioners (NPs) in Connecticut. Physicians tend to choose a specialization rather than pursue general and primary care practice, creating a shortage of primary care nurse practitioners. In Connecticut, NPs may serve in very similar roles as licensed physicians, providing primary care services without physician oversight. NPs can fill the existing gaps in care, providing important services to patients of all ages.
This page introduces the advanced practice nursing field in Connecticut, exploring available NP programs, specializations, career and salary data, and the path to licensure. This page also offers information for out-of-state NPs moving to Connecticut.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Connecticut
Connecticut's Board of Examiners for Nursing mandates that each NP must hold a graduate degree in nursing to practice. Fortunately, the online NP programs in Connecticut prepare graduates for advanced nursing practice in many different specializations. Each program has distinct requirements and specialization options, including family practice, neonatal, and pediatrics.
NP programs in CT vary in length based on several factors. Studying part time rather than full time and pursuing certain specializations can affect completion time. Typically, an enrollee can complete a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree in 2-3 years. The MSN is the minimum requirement for NP licensure in Connecticut and prepares students to take the required national exam.
While many programs allow students to complete most requirements online, NP programs in Connecticut generally require some form of in-person clinical practicum.
While many programs allow students to complete most requirements online, NP programs in Connecticut generally require some form of in-person clinical practicum. Often, students may complete these in their current jobs or at sites in their home communities. NP programs require each applicant to hold a current registered nurse (RN) license in good standing, and some programs may also require each candidate to hold a bachelor of science in nursing degree.
Many NPs pursue doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degrees after earning their MSNs. Though Connecticut currently requires at least a master's, some employers prefer a DNP, and the degree may eventually become the minimum requirement for practice. A DNP program can take an additional 4-5 years to earn, depending on enrollment and individual program requirements.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Connecticut
Connecticut Nurse Practitioner Career Information
The demand for primary care services and healthcare for aging adults has sparked substantial growth in jobs for NPs in all specialties. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects NP jobs in Connecticut to grow by 28.8% from 2016-26, which is a comparable rate to neighboring northeastern states.
Several factors affect earning potential, including geographic location, experience level, education, and employer. NPs in Connecticut earn annual mean wages of $118,020, which is notably higher than the national mean wages and the figures in some neighboring states. Massachusetts boasts the highest average salary in the area, and the BLS projects New York to experience the largest job growth.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Connecticut and Nearby States
NP programs in Connecticut prepare graduates to obtain required state licensure to practice professionally. To earn and maintain licensure, NPs must take the following steps:
Hold an active RN license in good standing. Most NP programs in CT require applicants to hold RN licenses before enrolling, and the state nursing board also requires NPs to hold active RN licenses when applying for NP licensure.
Earn a graduate degree in nursing from an accredited program. The board requires each applicant to hold at least an MSN with 30 credit hours of advanced nursing pharmacology.
Earn certification from one of the state-approved credentialing agencies. This generally includes passing a required exam in general advanced nursing or a specialty field, such as pediatrics or critical care.
Apply for licensure through the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing. This application includes providing documentation of education and exams and any required application fees.
Renew your NP license annually. Connecticut requires each NP to renew their license every year on their birthday. Renewal requires submitting proof of at least 50 hours of continuing education hours in the preceding 24 months and paying applicable renewal fees.
Maintain certification. Each credentialing agency has different requirements for maintaining certification. NPs must follow the guidelines applicable to their certification.
Other Requirements for Connecticut Nurse Practitioners
NPs in Connecticut have the authority to diagnose illnesses and prescribe medications. While working in collaboration with a supervising physician, the NP and physician must agree in writing to the NPs authority to prescribe controlled substances.
NPs transferring licenses from other states must fulfill the three-year collaborative requirement in Connecticut, regardless of their licensure status in the previous state.
Following the collaborative period, NPs may elect to practice alone or continue to work in collaboration with a physician.
To maintain certification in any specialty fields, NPs must follow the guidelines set forth by the individual credentialing agencies, which may differ from the requirements for maintaining state licensure.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
The nursing licensure compact (NLC) is a collective agreement that allows licensed RNs and licensed practical nurses to practice in different states without earning separate state licenses. However, Connecticut does not participate in the NLC. All nurses with Connecticut licensure are ineligible for multistate NLC licenses. NPs moving to Connecticut with licenses from other states must follow state guidelines to earn licensure.
Out-of-state NPs may earn licensure in Connecticut if their issuing state requires at least a master's degree for NP licensure. NPs who meet this requirement may apply for NP licensure through Connecticut's nursing board. These NPs must submit the required application forms and proof of licensure from the issuing state.
Each state sets specific licensure requirements and regulations regarding prescriptive authority. An out-of-state nurse transferring their license and practice to Connecticut may have more or less prescriptive authority, depending on their home state's policies.
Connecticut Nurses Association This nursing organization advances the nursing profession through advocacy, research, and legislative support. Members gain access to professional development opportunities and assistance with out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing This board serves as the regulatory body for all nursing practice in Connecticut. Its website provides information on licensure, scope of practice, license renewals, policy, and nursing programs.
Connecticut League for Nursing The Connecticut League for Nursing aims to expand access to quality nursing education and competency. Nurses may access information on nursing programs and degrees, continuing education, and nursing research.
Connecticut Nursing Collaborative Action Coalition This coalition collects and provides valuable workforce data to ensure that professionals in the field meet Connecticut's healthcare needs. The organization also promotes the implementation of a statewide nursing competency model to further ensure excellence in nursing.