As more and more people in America get health care coverage for the first time, states like Connecticut are looking for more affordable ways to provide care to their citizens. If you're a nurse or if you're looking for a way to get into the field of nursing, a Master's degree in nursing may be the next step in your education. Nursing schools in CT can prepare you for an advanced career in nursing research, nursing education, nursing administration, or nursing practice.
Regardless of the specialty you plan to pursue after getting your Master's in Nursing in Connecticut, you can begin your journey here. We at BestNursingDegree.com have taken the time to prepare a full listing of all the Connecticut MSN programs, including online options and RN to MSN programs. Request information from the schools you are interested in, and start reviewing admissions procedures, curriculum requirements and financial aid opportunities at each school.
Healthcare and nursing leaders in Connecticut recognize the need for additional nurses, and have worked to attract new nurses to the field, but they're stymied by a shortage of qualified nurse faculty. Connecticut is in desperate need of master's-prepared nurse educators who can teach LPN, ADN and BSN students.
Nursing education may be an excellent field for those that want to shape the future of the nursing field. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, the demand for nurse instructors is expected to increase 16.3 percent between 2010 and 2020. You may be able to work at two-year or four-year educational institutions with this degree.
Master's in Nursing Programs in Connecticut
MSN-prepared nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are important players in Connecticut's healthcare system. To be eligible for advanced practice licensure in Connecticut, you must have a MSN and national specialty certification.
Earning an MSN degree generally takes about two years if you attend school full-time. If you decide to attend school part-time while still working, you may be in school for up to four years. RN to MSN degrees can be a bit more lengthy, as they combine Bachelor's-level courses and Master's-level courses into one degree. At an RN-MSN program, you may attend school for five or six years.
Program outcomes are diverse, as you should graduate with a wide range of skills that prepare you for advanced nursing work. You should develop a good knowledge of evidence-based care, nursing research, and modern approaches to nursing. In addition, it's important to hone your nursing leadership skills so that you can be a leader in your institution.
The courses you take as a nursing student can help you tackle all of these learning goals. Courses at the core of the program include Theoretical Perspectives in Nursing, Nursing Research, and Economics & Finance in Nursing. When you get into nursing management, you may take classes like Theory in Nursing Management and Leadership Skills in Health Care Institutions. Nurse practitioner students take courses like Care of Childbearing Women and Children, Common Health Problems in Family Health Care, and Advanced Pharmacodynamics. Direct care specialties tend to have significant clinical requirements that put you into the workplace for several hundred hours.
Connecticut is home to a wide range of scholarships for students in nursing programs in CT. The Connecticut Student Nurses Association offers scholarships of $1,000 to $5,000. Other local organizations that offer scholarships include the Connecticut Nurses' Foundation and the Connecticut League for Nursing.
Working With Your MSN in Connecticut
Surveys of Connecticut hospitals reveal a need for more nurse managers. As a nurse with an MSN degree in nursing leadership or management you should have little problem finding an advanced nursing role in Connecticut that can have a broad impact on healthcare. Whether you chose a role in management or in direct patient care, you can expect to be entering a satisfying and rewarding period of expansion in your nursing career.
In Connecticut, higher-level nursing professionals can often earn salaries that are considerably higher than the national average. O*Net notes that nursing instructors earn an average of $74,300 per year, while nurse midwives claim an average salary of $93,800 per year. The average Connecticut salary for nurse practitioners is fairly similar to the national average; Connecticut nurse practitioners earn an average of $93,400 per year (O*Net, 2013). The median salary for nurse anesthetists is $168,600 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Professional organizations for advanced practice, master's-prepared nurses in Connecticut include the Connecticut Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Connecticut League for Nurses, Connecticut Nurse Practitioner Group, Inc. and the Connecticut Nurses Association.
Some MSN programs for Connecticut nurses that may interest you include:
- Fairfield University. Fairfield offers a convenient master's-level clinical nurse leader (CNL) program. Students attend part-time; they typically attend class one night per week for about three hours and finish the program in three years. A CNL master's degree may be useful for nurses who wish to work as case managers, unit-based clinical nurse leaders, quality improvement professionals, nurse educators and hospital administrators.
- Southern Connecticut State University. MSN students at Southern Connecticut can pursue a degree as a family nurse practitioner (FNP), clinical nurse leader (CNL) or nurse educator. The school has an outstanding record of preparing FNPs for success: the 2010 class scored a 100 percent pass rate on the national certification exam.