5 Best RN to BSN Programs in Connecticut (Online & Campus) – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

If you are a licensed registered nurse, then RN to BSN programs in Connecticut can help you further your education, gain job security, boost your salary, and more. These programs build on the information you learned in your associate degree program to enhance your knowledge and skillset. The demand for RNs with bachelor’s degrees continues to rise across Connecticut as healthcare providers aim to improve patient outcomes. Currently, there are nine such programs in CT, and you can find information about the top five below to help you make better decisions about your education.

Online RN to BSN Programs in Connecticut: What You Need to Know?

Online RN to BSN programs in CT are increasingly popular because they are designed for working registered nurses who want to further their education while continuing to provide patient care. As such, these programs are incredibly flexible and allow you to finish your coursework on your own time.

ACEN/CCNE Accredited & Approved by Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing: It is important to choose an RN to BSN program that is approved by the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. These groups set important standards for nursing education, and Connecticut employers prefer to hire RNs who complete programs held to these standards.

Coursework: RN to BSN degrees in the state of CT contain coursework that is designed to improve upon your previous education and work experience. Some of these courses focus on the human body, including pathophysiology and pharmacology, but others focus more on leadership, management, and even research. You may also participate in clinical training, which requires you to put your knowledge to the test by providing supervised hands-on patient care.

Sample Courses
Transition to Professional Nursing Practice, Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan, Nursing Leadership in Health Care Organizations, Principles of Community Health Nursing, Nursing in the Community, Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, and Nursing Practice, Human Health Experience and Nursing Practice, Research Process in Nursing, and Professional Nursing Role Development

Clinical Training: Clinical training is not required for RN to BSN courses in the state of Connecticut, but your school may require it as part of your chosen program. In most cases, if you are currently working as a registered nurse in a CT medical facility, you will not be required to participate in unpaid clinicals.

Program Length: Program length varies somewhat based on the program you choose. Most online programs, for example, allow you to work at your own pace; campus-based programs may last one or two years with an average program length across all Connecticut programs being 14 months.

Typical Admission Requirements: Admissions requirements also vary from one school to the next. At Sacred Heart University, for example, you will need the following to be considered for the online RN to BSN program:

• A copy of your current and unrestricted RN license in both your home state or any other state where you are licensed;
• Your ADN or Diploma in Nursing;
• A cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a scale of 4.0;
• A copy of your up-to-date resume;
• A written statement of your professional career goals;
• Two letters of recommendation with at least one from a direct supervisor; and
• A clear background check.

What are the 5 Best Accredited RN to BSN Programs in Connecticut for 2024?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 5 best RN-to-BSN programs in Connecticut (Online & Campus).)

1) Fairfield University, Fairfield

Type: Hybrid

Program Overview: The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing at Fairfield University offers innovative nursing programs that are deep-rooted in the Jesuit belief of service to humanity. Staying consistent to this tradition, the RN to BSN education in Connecticut it offers, is a combination of online as well as classroom learning. Courses are offered part-time, allowing you to fulfill family, work or academic commitments. You can transfer 30 to 34 credits from your associate or diploma towards the BSN degree. The nursing courses you will take require completing 25 credits on campus at Fairfield. You must know that 2.5 years is the average duration that students usually take to complete this program.

Key Highlights

• The University has been ranked amongst the best value colleges by The Princeton Review for giving the best return on investment. Furthermore, the nursing school has made it to the coveted list of National League for Nursing Center of Excellence.
• The school allows a period of 10 years within which you can conveniently complete your BSN degree.

2) Sacred Heart University, Fairfield

Type: Online

Program Overview: Sacred Heart University is a Catholic university founded in 1963. The RN to BSN is an online program that can take 1.5 to 3 years to complete, depending on your curriculum requirements. The coursework is a fine mix of liberal arts and science courses, giving a well-rounded education and trains you to become a healer rather than just a nurse. You must complete 120 semester hours, out of which 57 credit hours will be in Nursing and the remaining are pre-requisite, liberal arts and science courses.

Key Highlights

• The college offers six start dates, providing maximum flexibility and convenience.
• You can transfer up to 90 credits towards your RN to BSN degree.
• The college has been ranked amongst the best online bachelor’s programs by the U.S. News & World Report.

3) University of Saint Joseph, West Hartford

Type: Online, Campus

Program Overview: An independent non-profit organization, University of Saint Joseph’s 90-acre campus is located just a mile away from downtown West Hartford. The online RN to BSN program in the ‘Nutmeg State’ is ideally meant for those who have an associate degree in nursing and currently hold a Connecticut RN license. The program usually takes two years to complete if taken full-time. To give students an opportunity to network and build relationships with peers and mentors, three on-campus events are organized over the course of this program. The 30-credit program includes general courses along with core nursing courses; ensuring graduates are ready for a robust career in the competitive healthcare industry.

Key Highlights

• You will be guaranteed enrollment within two years of earning an associate degree from a Connecticut Community College Nursing Programs, provided you meet the criteria.
• 38 credits can be transferred towards your BSN degree.
• Community service is a norm at Saint Joseph’s, and evidently so the college has been honored for four consecutive years.

4) Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven

Type: Online

Program Overview: The Department of Nursing established in 1969 at the Southern Connecticut State university strives for innovation and excellence in nursing education. The program builds up on the knowledge you have gained in your nursing associate degree or diploma. The college offers a dual admission agreement, which means if you are enrolling for an associate degree in a Community College Nursing program, you can secure your admission at the university by indicating an intention of pursuing an RN to BSN, provided you successfully complete the associate degree. 30 credits can be transferred towards your BSN. Your curriculum will include core nursing courses in evidence-based nursing practice, leadership and management in nursing, community nursing and advanced nursing concepts.

Key Highlights

• If you sign up for a dual admission agreement you enjoy the benefits of being a student of both, community college as well as Southern Connecticut State University, having access to its facilities, library and events.
• Nursing students are provided with learning opportunities across the country as well as in other countries where students provide nursing care to underserved populations in a variety of clinical settings and cultures.

5) Western Connecticut State University, Danbury

Type: Hybrid

Program Overview: Western Connecticut State University has two campuses, one in downtown Danbury and the other three miles away. The nursing department offers several nursing programs to suit the needs of its student population, one of them being the RN to BSN program. A combination of online and on-campus classes the program allows transfer of up to 28 credits towards the BSN degree. On an average it takes two years to complete this program on a full-time basis, part-time however will take longer. This RN to BSN course in Connecticut builds up on the knowledge gained through the associate degree and RN experience. A minimum of 28 semester hours in nursing courses must be completed in order to graduate.

Key Highlights

• You will complete two clinical experiences; nursing experience in the community across various settings and professional nursing experience where you will explore your role as a nurse under the guidance of faculty and a preceptor.
• The Nursing Department is accredited by CCNE, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.



Update on Connecticut’s Push for 80 Percent BSN

In its Future of Nursing 2010 recommendations, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called for at least 80% of all RNs employed across the country to be educated at the BSN level. Per the 2017 workforce report released in 2017 by the Connecticut League for Nursing, the state is working very hard to reach that goal. The report showed that 55% of the RNs across the state have baccalaureate (or higher) education, and that each year, the number of nurses graduating RN to BSN programs continues to grow. In 2017, 317 nurses completed the RN to BSN course in "The Constitution State".

The movement toward higher-educated RNs in Connecticut is expected to help promote better patient outcomes. When nurses graduate from accredited BSN programs as opposed to associate degree or even diploma programs, they have more specialized knowledge of their chosen careers – especially as it applies to management, leadership, and research. These things will continue to push Connecticut forward and help the state pave the way for higher quality healthcare in the future.

How to pay Your RN to BSN in Connecticut

As a working RN, especially with a family to support, funding your RN to BSN degree in CT can be quite stressful. Fortunately, there are several options available to help you cover those costs.

Grants: Grants from the federal or state government are sums of money you will not have to repay. These are available to you based on financial need, academic merit, and in some cases, both. To find out which grants you might qualify for, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, after you apply to your chosen programs.

Loans: Student loans can fill in the gaps that are left behind after grants and scholarships. You can apply for one or more government-subsidized student loans, or you might choose to apply for a lower-rate loan through a private financial institution.

Scholarships: Scholarships are wonderful opportunities to obtain funding for your RN to BSN degree, as well. These are offered by different groups, including the schools, your employer, and various other groups such as the Connecticut Nurses’ Foundation. These scholarships are small when compared to grants, but you can apply for and win more than one.

Employer Assistance Programs: Your Connecticut employer may also offer tuition assistance programs via reimbursement or even scholarships. For example, your employer may pay a large amount of your tuition in exchange for your agreement to work in a specific area for a predetermined amount of time, or your employer may offer you a scholarship as a reward for outstanding service.

6 Benefits of Pursuing an RN to BSN in Connecticut

Furthering your education is an exciting prospect, and while you can certainly gain a sense of self-satisfaction by completing an RN to BSN program in the state of CT, the benefits don’t end there.

1. Expand Your Knowledge and Skills: The RN to BSN program is designed in such a way that it expands on your ADN or diploma to provide you with new knowledge, abilities, and skills. After completing the program, you will have a solid foundation for leadership or management in nursing, or you may even choose to pursue a research-related career path.

2. Salary Bump: Connecticut employers prefer registered nurses with BSN degrees because their enhanced skillset and knowledge promotes better patient outcomes. Because of the increased demand, after finishing your RN to BSN, you will enjoy a handsome salary bump. The average annual salary for Connecticut RNs educated at the diploma or associate degree level is $86,260, but with a BSN, RNs earn $98,990 – an increase of nearly $12,730 a year.

Before RN To BSN After RN to BSN How Much More Will I Earn
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. More Job Openings: The demand for BSN-educated RNs in Connecticut also means you will have access to a larger variety of jobs. ADN graduates, for example, can choose from 580 jobs in CT each year, whereas BSN graduates have access to 1,040 jobs each year. Most employers will prefer to hire you over your ADN-educated counterparts, which gives you leverage in the job market.

Connecticut Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
Annual Openings for BSN Graduates 1,040
Annual Openings for ADN Graduates 580
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

4. Brighter Outlook: You can feel more secure in your job as a registered nurse in Connecticut after obtaining your BSN degree, as well. In the years between between 2020 and 2030, only 220 new positions for RNs with associate degrees are expected. However, for RNs with bachelor’s degrees, that number is significantly higher at 890. This represents an overall growth of 4.93% in a decade for BSN-educated RNs as compared to only 2.13% for ADN-educated RNs in CT.

10 Year (2020-2030) Job Outlook
Employment New Job Growth
2020 2030 Number %
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

5. Advance Your Career: If you dream of furthering your career in Connecticut and working in a supervisory or management position in the future, your BSN degree is an excellent first step. With this degree, you can work toward a variety of positions, which include Nurse Manager, Charge Nurse, Nurse Supervisor, Director of Nursing, and even Clinical Research Nurse.

Advancement Opportunities
Charge Nurse Director of Nursing
Chief Nursing Officer Nurse Educator
Clinical Nurse Specialist Nurse Manager
Clinical Research Nurse Nurse Supervisor

6. Post-RN to BSN Higher Education Options: Completing an RN to BSN education in the state of Connecticut opens a variety of new doors that don’t stop with management and research. In fact, if you choose to pursue a graduate degree, you can climb even higher in the ranks. For example, with a master’s degree, which will take an additional two years, you could become a Nurse Practitioner or Certified Nurse Midwife. These careers earn top salaries of $150,430 in CT. You might even opt to earn your doctorate degree, which takes four to six years, and become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), Senior Policy Analyst, or even a Nursing School Deal, which could pay as much as $175,630 annually.

Type of Degree Length Roles and Responsibilities Salary
Master’s Degree (MSN/MS)Up to 2 yearsAdministrator, Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist & Nurse Practitioner$92,380 - $150,430
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree4 to 6 yearsAdvanced Practice Registered Nurse, College Faculty, Nursing School Dean, Health System Executive, Researcher, & Senior Policy Analyst$92,380 - $175,630

RN to BSN Programs in Nearby States
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  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

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