The Connecticut Nurses’ Association (CNA) philosophy states the belief that all nurses in Connecticut should be BSN-educated, at minimum. This stated goal is within reach, but there’s still lots of work that needs to be done before it becomes a reality. The Connecticut Nursing Collaborative-Action Coalition (CNC-AC) holds summits each year focused on creating models that promote the advancement of RN education, including ways for RNs to make a seamless transition into RN to BSN programs.
In response to this, Connecticut hospitals are creating support and assistance programs designed to help working RNs enroll in flexible RN to BSN programs. For instance, the Yale-New Haven Hospital has begun offering flexible scheduling, formal education programs, simulation training, and tuition reimbursement for RNs wishing to return to school.
Baccalaureate-level education provides RNs with higher earning potential and the qualifications necessary to pursue new career opportunities in clinical or non-clinical roles in particularly high-needs areas like education. Among the positions available to BSN educated RNs in Connecticut in February 2015 were jobs in education and supervision:
- Infection Control Nurse – Masonicare Health Center, Wallingford
- Director of Clinical Education – National HealthCare Associates, Wethersfield
- Clinical Applications Educator – Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford
- RN Supervisor – Wheeler Clinic, Newington
Enrolling in RN to BSN Programs in Connecticut
Because RNs have incredibly busy schedules, most Connecticut RN to BSN programs are offered in an online format, making returning to school easy. To be eligible to enroll in Connecticut’s RN to BSN programs, applicants will want to meet the following minimum admission requirements:
- Hold Associates Degree in Nursing
- Have a 2.5 GPA in ADN
- Hold Current, Unencumbered, Connecticut RN License
- Have Proof of Malpractice Insurance
Connecticut is also home to many top-notch campus-based baccalaureate nursing education programs, some of which are located in the following cities:
- West Hartford
- New Haven
- New Britain
Because of the articulation agreement among nursing programs in Connecticut, most RN to BSN programs will allow RNs to transfer in at least 30 credits from their previous ADN program. After these credits transfer, RNs will be able to complete the required courses to complement their ADN degree, including these courses:
- Dimensions of Professional Nursing
- Healthcare Delivery
- Health Assessment for RNs
- Foundations of Research for Evidence Based Practice
- Professional Nursing Leadership
- Community, Public, and Global Health Nursing
- Transition to Professional Nursing
- Geriatric Nursing
- Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
- Mental Health Nursing
- Critical Care Nursing
Clinical education for RN to BSN programs will generally be shortened, and RNs may be able to conduct their clinical education at the hospital they are already employed with. Some hospitals that offer clinicals include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Yale-New Haven Hospital – New Haven
- Bridgeport Hospital – Bridgeport
- Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center – Hartford
Connecticut Hospitals Offering Educational Incentives
To help facilitate RNs who are returning to school, Connecticut hospitals are dedicated to providing the flexibility and financial assistance necessary to support their RNs.
Below is a list of just a few hospitals that offer some type of educational assistance for RNs pursing BSN degrees:
Yale- New Haven Hospital – New Haven
The Yale-New Haven Hospital not only offers a plethora of advanced opportunities for nurses (including APRNs, CRNAs, CNs, Care Coordinators, Nurse Educators, and more), but the hospital supports RNs who are striving to be eligible for these opportunities. Through an intensive education program, recognition and career advancement program (RCAP), and through tuition reimbursement, this hospital provides RN employees with everything they need to get back to school.
Bridgeport Hospital – Bridgeport
As one of the largest staffed hospitals around with over 420 beds, Bridgeport is dedicated to training nursing students and new nurses. To do this, Bridgeport offers part- and full-time employees tuition assistance, so that they can easily attain access to advanced nursing opportunities.
Griffin Hospital – Derby
Griffin Hospital in Derby has consistently been recognized as a Top Performer by Key Quality Measures and has consistently been given an “A” grade in the Hospital Safety Score given by The Leapfrog Group. With these accolades, Griffin is dedicated to advancing the standards and careers of employed RNs, offering a long list of benefits, which includes tuition assistance.
Some other top-rated hospitals in Connecticut that offer tuition assistance to employed RNs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Saint Mary’s Hospital – Waterbury
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – Hartford
- Middlesex Hospital – Middletown