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Who Educates Nurses in Connecticut?

This report explores the state of pre-licensing nursing education in Connecticut. The report was created in collaboration with the Connecticut League for Nursing (CLN). The data used in this Nursing Education Report was created from an annual survey the CLN disseminated to all the nursing schools and programs in Connecticut, and includes information and demographics about students and faculty. It focuses on Registered Nursing (RN) and Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) programs.

This is the most recent RN and LPN survey data captured in the 2020 statistics (January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020), collected in the spring of 2021, and analyzed and published in August 2021. You can also access previous (2017, 2020) Connecticut education data.

Programs

Registered Nurses Degree Programs

In 2020, there were twenty-nine (29) accredited RN Pre-licensure program options in Connecticut. Of those,

  • Ten (10) are 4-year baccalaureate programs,
  • Ten (10) are 12–15 months accelerated or 2nd degree programs (+1 from 2019),
  • Eight (8) are 2-year associate degree programs,
  • and one (1) is a master's entry program at Yale School of Nursing.

2020 NEW RN Student Enrollment

Statewide, seat capacity from the RN programs is 2,812 (+99 compared to 2019) students. With a total of 11,934 (+1,123 from 2019) qualified applicants, the "first-day" student enrollment stood at 2,692 students which represents only 23% of qualified student applicants were able to pursue their RN nursing education. Based on this number, 96% of the total seat capacity was realized across all RN programs. Among the enrolled students, 124 (4.6%) held an LPN license.

Due to near capacity enrollments and limited attrition in state's RN programs, the only way that the State of Connecticut can increase annual graduation numbers for the RN would be to expand enrollments at the existing schools.

How does it compare to 2019 enrollment?

In 2019, 10,811 individuals statewide qualified for admission into CT's RN Programs with an acceptance rate of 25%. Among the enrolled students, 107 (4%) held an LPN license.

2020 Total Student Enrollment

In 2020, a total of 7,160 students were enrolled in RN education programs across Connecticut. Of these students enrolled,

  • 2,435 (34%) are in an associate degree program,
  • 4,043 (56%) are in a baccalaureate degree program,
  • 584 (8%) are in an accelerated (or 2nd degree) program, and
  • 98 (1%) are in a master's entry degree program.
Among 2,692 new enrollees in 2020,
  • 944 (35%) are in an associate degree program,
  • 1,241 (46%) are in a baccalaureate degree program,
  • 409 (15%) are in an accelerated (or 2nd degree) program, and
  • 98 (4%) are in a master's entry degree program.

RN Programs at the Associate Degree Level

Community Colleges

Six community colleges offer an RN program (associate degree). These are Capital, Gateway, Naugatuck Valley, Northwestern CT, Norwalk, and Three Rivers community colleges with a combined new student capacity of 594 in 2020 (-10 seats compared to 2019).

Private Colleges and Universities

The two other associate degree programs are located at Goodwin University (formerly Goodwin College, seat capacity of 192 students in 2020) and Saint Vincent's College at Sacred Heart University (seat capacity of 180).

The two programs had 1,394 qualified applicants in 2020 (+156 from 2019), of which 492 were admitted (35%), and 361 enrolled, filling 97% of the combined seat capacity of 372 students.

RN Programs at the Baccalaureate Level

Four (4) state universities offer an RN program (baccalaureate degree):

  • Central Connecticut State University (new student seat capacity of 70, 69 enrolled in 2020),
  • Southern Connecticut State University (90 seats, 89 enrolled),
  • University of Connecticut (130 seats, 148 enrolled),
  • Western Connecticut State University (85 seats, 85 enrolled).

Six (6) private universities offer an RN program (baccalaureate degree):

  • Quinnipiac University (new student seat capacity of 210, 189 enrolled in 2020),
  • Sacred Heart University (280 seats, 281 enrolled),
  • University of Saint Joseph (92 seats, 64 enrolled),
  • Fairfield University (175 seats, 156 enrolled),
  • University of Hartford (90 seats, 70 enrolled),
  • University of Bridgeport (90 seats, 90 enrolled).

Accelerated and 2nd Degree RN programs

There are ten (10) RN second degree programs, of which four are offered by the University of Connecticut.

  • Quinnipiac University (new student seat capacity of 80, 83 enrolled in 2020),
  • Southern Connecticut State University (36 seats, 36 enrolled),
  • University of Saint Joseph (40 seats, 35 enrolled),
  • Fairfield University (60 seats, 52 enrolled),
  • Goodwin University, formerly Goodwin College (30 seats, 30 enrolled),
  • Sacred Heart University (30 seats, 23 enrolled) – new in 2020
  • UConn CEIN – Avery Point / Groton (29 seats, 28 enrolled),
  • UConn CEIN – Stamford (37 seats, 34 enrolled),
  • UConn CEIN – Storrs (50 seats, 50 enrolled),
  • UConn CEIN – Waterbury (38 seats, 38 enrolled).

Masters Entry Pre-licensure RN Program

Yale University School of Nursing is the only institution in the state to offer a master's level RN program. In 2020, its new student seat capacity was 104, and of the 172 admitted students 98 enrolled.

Nurses graduation Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash

2020 Registered Nurse (RN) Graduates

A total of 2,081 RN students graduated in 2020 (an increase of 127 from 2019). The majority of RN students graduated with:

  • 4-year bachelor's degree (868, or 42%)
  • 2-year associate degree (757, or 36%)
  • 15-month accelerated option, student previously held a 4-year colleges degree (350, or 17%)
  • Master’s entry to Practice (106, or 5%)

Licensed Practical Nurse Programs

Lincoln Technical Institute, Porter & Chester, and Stone Academy are the three organizations in Connecticut that provide LPN training. They operate 10 day programs and 10 evening programs across 10 towns.

In 2020, the total new seat capacity stood at 2,085 (-313 from 2019). Of 2,034 qualified applicants, 1951 were admitted and 8 waitlisted, resulting in 1,534 new enrollees in the 2020 calendar year, filling up 74% of all new seats.

How does it compare to the previous year?

In 2019 calendar year, 2,657 qualified LPN applicants applied and 2,419 (91%) got admitted, and of those admitted 1,519 enrolled, filling up 63% of available new seats.

Students

Nursing students Photo by javier trueba on Unsplash

Students by Age

Registered Nurses

In 2020, about 73% of all enrolled RN students were aged 17-25, and 85% were 30 or younger.

Licensed Practical Nurses

LPN students tend to be older than RN students. In the same year, 54% of all enrolled LPN students were over 30 years old.

Students by Race

Below is the breakdown of RN and LPN students by race and Hispanic ethnicity. Other category includes American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students, as well as those self-identifying as having two or more races, and non-US citizens.

Registered Nurses

Two-thirds of students training to become registered nurses in 2020 self-identified as white, about 13% as Hispanic or Latino, and 10% as Black or African American.

Licensed Practical Nurses

The majority of LPN students in 2020 self-identified as Black or African American (51%). About 20% were Hispanic or Latino, and 17% were white non-Hispanic.

RN and LPN Faculty By the Numbers

  • Of 933 RN faculty positions, 32% were full-time and 68% were part-time.
  • Of 287 LPN faculty positions, 25% were full-time and 75% were part-time.
  • There were 39 vacant faculty positions for RN programs (majority full time), and 70 vacant faculty positions for LPN programs (majority part time).

Faculty Educational Attainment

Below is the breakdown of RN and LPN faculty members, both full- and part-time, by educational attainment.

2020 Full-Time Faculty

  • 62% of all full time RN faculty held a Doctoral degree or equivalent (PhD, DNP, EdD, MD, Juris) as the highest level of Education.
  • 36% of full time RN faculty held a Master's degree as the highest level of Education.
  • 69% of all LPN faculty held a Master's degree as the highest level of Education.
  • 25% of all LPN faculty held a Bachelor's degree as the highest level of Education.

Part-Time Faculty

  • 84% of all part time RN faculty held a Master’s degree as the highest level of Education.
  • 47% of all part time LPN faculty held a Master’s degree as the highest level of Education.
  • 39% of all part time LPN faculty held a Bachelor’s degree as the highest level of Education.

RN and LPN Faculty by Age

RN Faculty

Full-time RN faculty members tend to be older than their part-time colleagues. 50% of full-time faculty surveyed who indicated their age are over the age of 55, compared to just 22% for part-time faculty.

LPN Faculty

LPN faculty, both full- and part-time, tend to be younger than RN faculty. In fact, 49% of full-time faculty and 53% of part-time LPN faculty members are 50 and younger.

As the number of full-time faculty directly correlates to the "available seat capacity" offered at each of our RN programs, these data indicate that over 50% of our full time RN faculty are over the age of 55. It is imperative that the State of Connecticut allocate resources to support nurses to pursue doctoral degrees to fill the full-time faculty roles which will be available due to faculty retirements and the aging of our nurse faculty workforce.

RN and LPN Faculty by Gender

Just like in previous years, in 2020 the overwhelming majority of RN and LPN faculty, both full- and part-time, are females. Under 1 in 10 respondents identified as male, and 9 respondents preferred not to disclosed their gender. No respondents identified as non-binary.

RN and LPN Faculty by Race

The charts below show race and Hispanic ethnicity breakdown both full and part time RN and LPN faculty. It is clear that the LPN faculty is much more diverse than the RN faculty.

Other category includes Native Americans, Native Hawaiian, and faculty members who identify as 2 or more races. Unknown category includes non-US citizens and faculty who chose not to disclose their race/ethnicity.

Hover over bar charts to see both counts and percentages.

  • Based on self-reporting, these data indicate that 88% of Full-time RN Faculty identify as White; and in contrast, 61% of Full-time LPN Faculty identify as White.
  • Moreover, 58% of part-time RN Faculty identify as White and 53% of part-time LPN Faculty identify as White.
  • Connecticut has a tremendous opportunity to be intentional to attract, recruit and onboard faculty who identify as non-white to best mirror the student populations within our RN and LPN Programs, as well as promote Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives that will better prepare our graduates to care for all residents of Connecticut.

RN and LPN Full-time Faculty by Race

RN and LPN Part-time Faculty by Race