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Nursing License Requirements in CT: Become a Nurse in Connecticut!

Connecticut’s RNs and LPNs are regulated by the Board of Examiners for Nursing, a part of the Department of Public Health.

Connecticut is not part of the nurse license compact. U.S. and Canadian nurses with active licenses apply by endorsement. Other candidates apply by examination – they take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) at either the RN or PN level. In order to remain in good standing with the Board, nursing education programs must maintain at least an 80% first time pass rate. The Board lists first time pass rates by program (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3143&q=519800).

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The Connecticut Nurses’ Foundation has a number of scholarship programs (http://ctnursesfoundation.org). Additional scholarship information is available through individual schools.

LPN Requirements in Connecticut

LPN Education Requirements, Application Process and NCLEX-PN Exam

A student should enroll in a program that is approved by the Board. Connecticut-approved programs are at least 10 months long and included at least 1,500 contact hours; fully half of the contact hours are done in clinical practice.

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Read "Choosing an LPN program in Connecticut" to get a better idea of how to evaluate LPN programs prior to selecting one.

After the candidate completes requirements, the candidate will have an official transcript sent to the Department of Public Health. The candidate will need to apply to the DPH and register with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-PN (http://www.vue.com/nclex). The application will be submitted with a $150 fee (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389408); an additional $200 is due to the testing company. The Board asks that the candidate registers for the exam before the candidate submits the application; that way, the Board can make them eligible upon reviewing the application.

After completing program requirements, the candidate is eligible for graduate status. The candidate must be employed in a setting that provides appropriate supervision. Graduate status is available for, at most, 90 days following graduation. In order to continue working, the candidate will need to pass the NCLEX. The candidate will schedule a testing session after the ATT arrives.

Connecticut participates in the Pearson quick results program. For about $8, the candidate can get the unofficial results in an expedited manner – just two business days after the candidate tests. It is the official results, however, that determine licensing status.

Out-of-State and International LPNs

Practical nurses licensed in the U.S. are eligible for license by endorsement; in many cases, Canadian nurses can also be licensed without further examination. License verification is required from each state, territory, or province where the nurse has held licensing. The Connecticut Board notes that it is generally possible to view Georgia license verifications online without the candidate needing to be involved in the process. Many other states use the nursys.com online system. There is a link to register with NURSYS on the endorsement page (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389406). In other cases, a paper form will be necessary.

The LPN will also need to verify the education using the appropriate form. An endorsement candidate should have education that is substantially equivalent to what the candidate would have gotten in a Connecticut program. Connecticut expects at least 1,500 hours of total nursing education; there are clinical standards that must be met as well. If the nurse’s program was shorter, the candidate will need to demonstrate appropriately supervised post-education experience.

A U.S. candidate who holds a current license and has submitted educational verification can be issued a 120 day permit while the candidate is going through the endorsement process.

A Canadian practical nurse who took the licensing exam in 1970 or later will not be required to take the NCLEX. If the candidate took the licensing exam in French, however, the candidate will need to pass a language proficiency exam.

Nurses educated in other nations will have additional requirements. They will first have a professional report through CGFNS. Later they will take the NCLEX.

RN License Requirements in Connecticut

RN Education Requirements

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A student will need to graduate from a professional nursing program that is approved by the Connecticut Board or meets similar requirements. There are a number of programs at both the baccalaureate and associate’s levels. There is also one diploma program and one direct entry master’s program. The Connecticut League for Nursing, a nursing education organization, publishes a guide to in-state programs (http://www.ctleaguefornursing.org/) and you may want to check out "Choosing an RN program in Connecticut".

In addition to approving in-state programs, the Board reviews external (distance learning) programs. Excelsior is approved at the associate and baccalaureate levels.

Application Process and NCLEX-RN Exam

Upon graduation, the candidate will have a transcript sent to the DPH. The candidate should register with Pearson to take the NCLEX-RN even before the candidate submits the application to the DPH (http://www.vue.com/nclex). A $200 fee will be due to the testing company upon registration. A registered nursing candidate will need to pay $180 to the Connecticut Treasury upon application. The application form is short, but requires notarization (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389432&dphNav_GID=1821). The candidate will need to tape a recent photograph to the form before submitting it.

The candidate may work under graduate status while meeting the NCLEX requirement, provided the candidate takes the test promptly and passes on a first attempt. Graduate status is valid for up to 90 calendar days after graduation. The exam is computer adapted and scored as pass-fail. Candidates will receive official exam results in the mail.

The Connecticut Nurses Association supports the state’s RNs through advocacy and continuing education (http://www.ctnurses.org/).

Out of State and International RNs

In most cases, registered nurses who are licensed in other U.S. jurisdictions are eligible for license by endorsement and can be granted a temporary permit while going through the endorsement process. If, however, the license was not granted on the basis of passing the national exam, the candidate will need to apply by examination.

The candidate must request license verification from every U.S. jurisdiction or Canadian province where the candidate has been licensed. In many cases, this is a simple online process. Some jurisdictions, though, require submission of a paper form. Fees are variable.

Assuming the candidate turns in a complete application and appears license-worthy, a temporary permit can be issued in three weeks (15 business days).

Canadian registered nurses may be endorsed into Canada based on scores on the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination. The minimum standard is a 400 on each section. If the nurse took the exam in French, the candidate will need to demonstrate English proficiency by passing the TOEFL. The standard is 213 on the computerized version or 550 on the paper version.

An internationally educated RN (or first level nurse) should have the credentials evaluated by CGFNS. The Connecticut Board will need the evaluation to determine NCLEX eligibility.

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