How Can I Become a Nurse Practitioner in Connecticut?
When the wait to see a doctor is more than a month long, what's the solution? Patients need to have access to healthcare, whether preventive or diagnostic in nature. Highly trained nurses can meet many of the same needs as physicians at a fraction of the cost. As a result, patients enjoy shorter wait times, increased local access to care, and a greater variety of healthcare providers.
As a registered nurse, you may be able to become a nurse practitioner with a Master's in nursing or a doctorate degree in nursing practice. This position comes with an increase in responsibility, a more advanced nursing license, and a broader scope of practice.
Curious about opportunities in advanced nursing practice? Find out what family nurse practitioner programs and other specialty programs in Connecticut expect.
Nurse Practitioner Degree Requirements: Master's Level
- Credit hours required: 36 to 42 credits
- Average cost: $1,000 per credit; public schools have different rates for residents and non-residents
- Clinical hours required: At least 500 clinical hours
- Timeframe: Up to 3 years
Nurse Practitioner Education Requirements: Doctorate
- Credit hours required: Up to 90 beyond the Bachelor's degree level
- Clinical hours required: No fewer than 1,000 hours
- Timeframe: Approximately 5 to 6 years beyond a Bachelor's degree
You can get more information on schools in your area now. Scroll down to our list of nurse practitioner programs and contact schools to find out more.
What Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Available in Connecticut?
When you decide to become a nurse practitioner, you have to decide which population you wish to work with. This choice influences which courses you are required to take and which patients you work with during clinical rotations. Possible areas of focus in Connecticut include family care, adult-gerontological care, and neonatal care.
The learning outcomes for each NP program give a peek into the priorities and goals of the program. To be a competent nurse practitioner, you have to be ready to multitask, work on your own, and still be part of a team when it's needed.
Many nurse practitioner programs focus on evidence-based nursing interventions, ability to provide care to people from various backgrounds, evaluation of one's nursing practice, and analysis of ethical issues in nursing.
Course requirements vary between areas of specialty care. At most schools, all nurse practitioner students complete the same set of core courses before moving on to courses that address care needs of a chosen population. Possible course titles and topics are listed below.
Core Nurse Practitioner Schooling Courses:
- Nursing Science and Patterns of Knowing
- Statistical Methods in Nursing
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Health Promotion and Advocacy
- Principles of Ethical Theory in Nursing
Nurse Practitioner Courses for Different Specialties:
- Advanced Neonatal Embryology/Physiology
- Advanced Neonatal Nursing Theory
- Applications of Genetics to Healthcare
- Common Problems in Primary Care
- Principles of Radiography
- Complex Problems in Primary Care
- Special Topics in Adult Pharmacology
Clinical rotations are required in every nurse practitioner program; they're the main way to master techniques, become competent in an advanced care role, and demonstrate your licensure qualifications.
Although requirements state that Master's programs must have 500 hours and doctoral programs must have 1000 hours, many programs exceed these requirements to give students a well-rounded education.
How Can I Pay for Nurse Practitioner School in Connecticut?
Financial aid options may decrease or eliminate out-of-pocket expenses, depending on academic performance, financial need, and award availability. Connecticut options include grants, scholarships, and loan repayment programs.
Scholarship and Grant Programs for Connecticut NP Programs
- BestNursingDegree.com Scholarship: Our scholarship program aims to make education more accessible for nurses who could change the face of healthcare. There are four award cycles each year; individual awards are worth $2,500.
- NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: This option may require some flexibility in your post-graduation work options. It involves accepting a scholarship for nursing school and paying it back by working full-time in a Health Professional Shortage Area for two years.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: If you take out loans for nursing school, this may help you avoid excessive monthly payments. Up to $50,000 of student loans are forgiven for accepted applicants who spend two years at an NHSC-approved location.
- Connecticut Nurses Foundation scholarships: Each year, this professional organization awards 24 different nursing scholarships, many of which are open to Master's degree students.
- Connecticut Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Society scholarship: This organization is an excellent resource for those who want to go into advanced practice. Scholarship awards are worth $1,000.
Licensing and Practice Requirements
On top of maintaining your RN license, you must get an advanced practice license to work as a nurse practitioner. Through the Connecticut Department of Public Health, you can submit proof of certification through a national organization and proof of 30 hours of pharmacology education at the graduate level.
Official transcripts are also required. A $200 application fee must be submitted at the same time. With your NP license and degree, you may work within your full scope of practice. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners notes that Connecticut gives full practice rights to nurse practitioners (2016).
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Connecticut
The need for primary care practitioners is growing quickly in Connecticut, which may benefit you in your career choice. According to O*Net, job openings for nurse practitioners may increase 34% between 2012 and 2022 in Connecticut (2016). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of $105,840 per year for Connecticut nurse practitioners (2016).
Both your income and job outlook may be affected by your practice setting. Nurse practitioners who are employed by clinics and hospitals may receive traditional benefits and an annual salary. Those who open their own clinics may take on the expenses of business ownership, as well as a fluctuating starting salary. However, clinic owners with an established client base may see their income potential increase significantly as they gain business experience.
Nurse practitioners can revitalize the field of primary care and reach huge patient populations. If you want to explore new opportunities in nursing, compare Connecticut nurse practitioner programs below. Request more information to get started.