7 Best Nursing Schools in Connecticut – 2023 Rankings
Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Though the number of graduates of accredited nursing schools in Connecticut is increasing, the specter of a nursing shortage still looms across the Constitution State. Nursing vacancies at prestigious hospitals in cities like New Haven, Norwalk, Danbury, New Milford, and Stamford are running approximately 10 percent, and in rural areas, that percentage may even be higher. There’s a particular shortage of primary care providers across the state, which might be remedied if more nurse practitioners were available. In Connecticut, nurse practitioners can practice autonomously if they complete two years of practice under a physician’s supervision. Increasing the number of nurses in Connecticut with postgraduate degrees may provide an efficient way to expand services in medically underserved areas.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ACCREDITED NURSING SCHOOLS IN CONNECTICUT?
(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the Connecticut State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in Connecticut offering BSN programs.)
1. University of Connecticut - Storrs, Storrs
About UConn School of Nursing:
The University of Connecticut is the only public research university in all of New England, so it makes sense that its School of Nursing is as celebrated for its research as it is for the excellent education it imparts to aspiring nurses. U.S. News & World Report ranks this nursing school in CT among the top five in the northeast and among the top 10 percent in the nation. Among the innovative research initiatives the school supports are the Center for Nursing Scholarship, the Center for Advancement in Managing Pain, GOT Care! Geriatric Outreach and Training with Care, and the Center for Correctional Health Networks.
This nursing school in Connecticut occupies Augustus Storrs Hall. In 2012, the university added the 15,000-square-foot Widmer Wing to the building in order to make room for clinical laboratories that include state-of-the-art simulation technology. Using hospital equipment and computerized manikins that are able to mimic a wide range of real-life physiological responses, students acquire the hands-on nursing skills they’ll use on a daily basis once they become professionals. For clinical rotations, the university partners with hospitals like the UConn Health Center as well as with schools, day care centers, housing for the elderly, extended care facilities, community health agencies, ambulatory centers and clinics throughout Hartford and the northern Connecticut area.
The School of Nursing offers nearly 40 scholarships
and fellowships. Eligibility criteria and application deadlines vary by award. Additionally, nursing students may qualify for needs-based federal and state funding depending upon the information they submit in their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms.
RECOMMENDED ONLINE NURSING SCHOOLS
2. Fairfield University, Fairfield
About Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies:
Community engagement is important at Fairfield University’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies. Fairfield University is a Jesuit institution, and while you don’t have to be a Catholic to attend, the nursing school is committed to values like compassion and giving back. Egan is consistently listed among the top 5 percent of all U.S. nursing programs in ratings done by the prestigious higher education ranking service College Factual.
The Robin Kanarek Learning Resource Center provides students with a simulated hospital environment where they can learn nursing skills and rehearse their responses to the real-world scenarios they’re likely to encounter when they begin working with patients. Once they’re confident in their bedside skills, students go on to pursue clinical rotations at health care facilities and community agencies throughout the New Haven metropolitan region such as Bridgeport Hospital, Yale/New Haven Hospital, Silver Hill Hospital, the Fairfield School District and VA Connecticut Healthcare System. Nursing students also have the opportunity to explore international nursing programs in places like Nicaragua, Australia, and Ireland.
Nursing students at Fairfield may qualify for one of 13 endowed scholarships
. If you submit a FAFSA form, the university’s Office of Financial Aid will automatically try and match you with a scholarship opportunity, providing you meet the donor’s criteria. The information on your FAFSA form may also be used to provide you with federal and state financial aid.
3. Quinnipiac University, Hamden
About Quinnipiac University School of Nursing:
If you see a nurse’s role as one of promoting wellness rather than one of simply fighting disease, then the School of Nursing at Quinnipiac University has a lot to offer you. The university’s undergraduate and graduate programs are the only set of nursing programs in Connecticut that have been endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. The educational philosophy here is grounded in holistic nursing values, which view patient symptoms not only as manifestations of illness but also as maladaptive coping mechanisms to complex and often difficult environments.
Nursing students divide their time between Quinnipiac’s Hamden and North Haven campus. The Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences is a state-of-the-art simulation facility set up with high-tech manikins and hospital equipment. Nursing students learn side by side with colleagues from the University’s School of Medicine, which promotes the spirit of interprofessional collaboration from the very start. Clinical rotation partners include Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, Middlesex Hospital Homecare, Midstate Medical Center and Trinity Health New England as well as schools and community agencies throughout the New Haven metropolitan region. Students also have the opportunity to participate in international service trips to countries like Nicaragua.
While Quinnipiac is another one of the nursing schools in Connecticut that doesn’t designate any scholarship awards specifically for nursing students, the admissions office automatically reviews incoming students for other institutional scholarship eligibility
. Financial assistance may also be available through federal and state sources, depending up the information you submit in your FAFSA form.
4. Sacred Heart University, Fairfield
About College of Nursing @ Sacred Heart University:
Sacred Heart is a Catholic university, but since its inception, it has been staffed by the laity, and it’s open to students of all faiths. Student-to-faculty ratios are deliberately kept low so that students can benefit from mentoring relationships with their instructors. Global health issues are a particular focus here, as are social justice and the importance of health care access in disadvantaged communities both in the U.S. and abroad.
The Simulation Lab offers a high degree of verisimilitude for students pursuing point-of-care learning experiences. Students practice skills like administering medications, starting IVs, and responding to emergencies like strokes or heart attacks using sophisticated, wireless manikins. Clinical rotations take place at medical facilities and community agencies throughout the New Haven region. The College of Nursing has been singled out for the excellence of its global nursing educational programs; students have the opportunity to take classes or pursue fieldwork in locations like Australia, Ireland, Ghana, and Guatemala.
While Sacred Heart University doesn’t offer any nursing-specific scholarships, it maintains an extensive database of external nursing scholarships
and encourages students to apply for them. Nursing students may also quality for other institutional awards
as well as for federal and state aid as determined by their FAFSA form submissions.
5. University of Saint Joseph, West Hartford
About Department of Nursing @ University of Saint Joseph:
The University of St. Joseph was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1932 as the first liberal arts college for women in the Hartford area; it began admitting male students in 2018. Its nursing department’s educational philosophy rests on the belief that a firm foundation in liberal arts and sciences is the best preparation for a professional career. The faculty-student ratio is 1:6 so that students can benefit from personalized attention from their instructors.
The Nursing Learning Center and Simulation Lab is located in McDonough Hall. Using task trainers and life-like manikins, students learn fundamental nursing techniques like blood draws and IV insertion and get to practice their assessment and intervention skills. Once they’ve mastered basic skills, nursing students pursue clinical rotations throughout the greater Hartford area at health care facilities and community agencies like Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, Hospital of Central Connecticut and Jefferson House.
St Joseph awards six scholarships
specifically to nursing students. Nursing students may also be eligible for one of the university’s other endowed scholarships. By filling out a FAFSA form, you may be able to receive state and federal needs-based financial aid as well.
6. Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven
About Department of Nursing at Southern Connecticut State University:
Southern Connecticut State University was founded in 1893 as the New Haven State Normal School, a preparatory college for teachers. Clearly one of the oldest nursing schools in Connecticut, its emphasis has been on educating professionals who will be of service to the New Haven community. The university’s nursing department offers a solid education that prepares graduates to provide high-quality care to diverse populations as well as to function collaboratively as part of a health care team. The nursing department is under the aegis of the School of Health and Human Services, and interdisciplinary academic opportunities are plentiful. Nursing students may share classrooms with colleagues studying public health, social work, marriage, and family therapy, and exercise science.
The High Fidelity Simulation Lab in the Nursing building contains three areas that have been set up to resemble hospital suites. These areas are equipped with task trainers that enable students to learn indispensable skills such as starting IVs and blood draws. The virtual hospital environment is populated with computerized manikins that can be programmed to simulate a wide variety of clinical scenarios so that students have the chance to perfect assessment and critical evaluation skills. Clinical rotations are scheduled in local acute care hospitals, schools, visiting nurse agencies, and other community agencies; these are the medical environments graduates are likely to encounter as professionals. In the future, the university hopes to offer international experiential learning opportunities through its Office of International Education.
Though Southern Connecticut State University doesn’t offer any institutional awards specifically for nursing students, it maintains an online database of external nursing scholarships
. Nursing students may also qualify for federal and state grants and loans through the Title IV program. You will have to fill out a FAFSA form in order to apply for these
7. Western Connecticut State University, Danbury
About Western Connecticut State University Department of Nursing:
As a public university, Western Connecticut State University’s Department of Nursing is committed to remedying nursing shortages in Danbury and the communities in the state that lay along the border Connecticut shares with New York. The education you receive here will prepare you to be a competent nurse generalist with proficient skills and excellent critical thinking abilities. A survey of programs offering nursing degrees in CT conducted by RegisteredNursing.org rated Western Connecticut State’s nursing program number one.
Five classrooms at White Hall on the University’s Midtown campus have been renovated to provide a simulation environment where students have the opportunity to role-play acute and critical care scenarios using high-tech computerized manikins. Students go on to participate in a range of learning experiences when they pursue clinical rotations at hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers throughout greater Danbury, Waterbury, and New Haven.
Nursing students meet the eligibility criteria for at least nine endowed scholarships
awarded by Western Connecticut State University. Aspiring nurses are also encouraged to apply for other institutional scholarship opportunities through the Office of Institutional Advancement. To qualify for consideration for needs-based state and federal grants and loans, you must submit a FAFSA form.
VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY
Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Nursing Schools in Nearby States
Nursing Schools in other States
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.