(Licensed Practical Nurse) LPN Programs In CT (Connecticut): A career as a Licenced Practical Nurse (LPN) in Connecticut (CT) is a rewarding one for those interested in entering the healthcare field. It features attractive salaries and state-supported benefit packages and it has opportunities waiting for you in years to come.
In CT, there are expected to be more than 5,000 job openings for LPNs within the next five years. An LPN who works in CT can expect to make more than the national average salary.
Students who enroll in LPN programs in accredited educational institutions in CT are provided with hands-on training in one to two years and are prepared to sit for the state licensing examination. After graduating, the students are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN examination to obtain their state licensing.
LPNs play a crucial role in patient care while working under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses (RN) in several healthcare systems such as hospitals, community clinics, physician’s offices, and long-term care facilities.
Becoming an LPN is one of the fastest ways to get into the nursing profession. This makes it an excellent choice for those who might not have the patience to spend years in school. Before you can become an LPN, you do need to get the required education from an accredited LPN degree, diploma, or certificate program.
You should first consider how reputable the school and program they offer are. The school having proper accreditations is the best way to do this. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, The Connecticut Board of Nursing, or any other regional accrediting bodies can help out with this.
Duties Of LPNs
The duties of LPNs are to provide basic medical care services for patients while working under the direction of doctors and registered nurses (RNs). Although, some of their duties may be less prominent while others would be more so.
This would depend on the type of health setting the LPN work in. However, it is likely that as an LPN, you will be a central figure in any medical establishment. Some of these duties can include the following:
- Basic patient care such as inserting catheters, changing bandages, etc.
- Monitor patient status by taking vitals such as temperature, blood pressure, etc.
- Discuss care with patients.
- Keep patient records updated.
- Provide for the comfort of patients by helping them with hygiene care, dressing, etc.
- Update RNs and doctors regarding patient status and concerns
LPN Job Outlook In CT.
LPNs are in high demand nationwide and they are expecting a 12% growth in their job market between 2016 and 2026. This is almost double the 7% growth that is expected during the same period for all other careers.
This is according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through the United States Department of Labor. The majority of LPNs can be found in nursing care facilities, home health care services, and retirement homes.
In Connecticut, most job openings for this type of nurse can be found in the West and East Hartford metro areas. In 2012, the employment of LPNs was around 8,850. This year, the employment is around 10,420. The projection shows an average annual opening of 370.
How to Become An LPN
The first step is an obvious one; enroll in an approved LPN program at an accredited school. Although every institution has its specific requirements for admission, there are some basic requirements shared by all schools. They are:
- High School diploma, GED, or equivalent.
- Completion of any prerequisites.
- Being 18 years of age or older.
- Minimum GPA of 2.5.
Now before you can apply for licensure, you must complete the program. Most LPN programs contain 1,500 hours of theory for at least ten months.
Also, the state mandates that 50% of these hours be supervised in a patient care setting with observational experiences. This is because practical nurses need to have experience working with patients in a clinical setting.
For nurses who completed nursing school outside the United States, they must make arrangements for a ‘Professional Report’ that will be submitted directly to the Connecticut Department of Health LPN Licensure office from the CGFNS International.
For students who completed their program outside the state, they must have the Dean or Director of the nursing program complete and return the Verification of Theory and Clinical Instruction Form to the Connecticut Department of Health LPN Licensure office.
For LPNs who would prefer to accelerate the licensure process, they can contact the Connecticut Department of Health via email to check on the status of their file and confirm receipt of all the required documents.
The List of Best LPN Programs in CT
In Connecticut, LPN programs are regulated by the Connecticut State Department of Public Health. To this effect, only three schools are approved by the body to offer the LPN program in CT. They are all less than two-year private schools that operate in a for-profit capacity.
Between the three schools, there are nine campuses that the state has approved to educate the next wave of LPNs. These programs are all accredited by the Connecticut Board of Nursing and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Inc.
For LPN licensure, these programs are required to provide 1,500 or more hours of nursing theory spread over a minimum of ten months of study. It also allows for clinical work experience to be used as a substitute for missing hours.
Porter & Chester Institute – Rocky Hill
This campus was established in 1973 and is located less than ten miles south of the capital city, Hartford. The Rocky Hill Campus of Porter & Chester Institute was rated the 35th Best Place to Live in the United States by CNN’s Money Magazine.
It offers a well-rounded education to start your career in the nursing field. It has a 100% NCLEX-PN pass rate and the per credit hour tuition cost is $350.
Porter & Chester Institute – Branford
This campus is less than ten minutes east of New Haven. The Bradford campus of Porter & Chester Institute offers an LPN program that promises education and training to pass the NCLEX-PN in a large suburban setting.
The campus was opened in 1996, it still has state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities for LPN students. It also has a 100% NCLEX-PN pass rate and per credit hour tuition of $350.
Porter & Chester Institute – Enfield
This campus was opened in 1979, and the Enfield campus of Porter & Chester Institute offers LPN training in as little as 15 months. Enfield is a part of Hartford County that is bordered on the west by the Connecticut River.
It provides students access to a number of river activities between classes and clinicals. It has an NCLEX-PN pass rate of 92% and a per credit hour tuition cost of $350.
Porter & Chester Institute – Waterbury
Waterbury was nicknamed “The Brass City,” it is home to the fourth campus on this list which is another campus of Porter & Chester Institute. The Waterbury LPN program follows all others through this school by boasting a 70 percent graduation rate.
It is home to the fifth largest city in Connecticut and one of the few LPN programs in CT. The NCLEX-PN pass rate is 83% and the per credit hour tuition cost is $350.
Porter & Chester Institute – Stratford
The Stratford campus of Porter & Chester Institute is seen as its main campus and has stood since 1973. It offers its LPN program at the standard Porter & Chester Institute cost of $17,220 for tuition and fees with $1,600 in books and supplies.
It is located on the Long Island Sound along the “Gold Coast” of Connecticut, Stratford sits at the mouth of the Housatonic River. They have an NCLEX-PN pass rate of 75%.
Lincoln Technical Institute – Shelton
Lincoln Technical Institute was opened in 1946 and it offers both day and evening programs. Their LPN program requires roughly 52 and 92 weeks to complete respectively. It has 1,591 instructional hours for a total of 61-semester credits.
The Shelton campus of Lincoln Technical Institute has the motto, “Vision To See, Faith To Believe, Courage To Do”. This is an excellent mantra for those pursuing a career in nursing if you ask me. It has an NCLEX-PN pass rate of 96.5% and a per credit hour tuition cost of $470.
Lincoln Technical Institute-New Britain
Lincoln Technical Institute also offers its LPN program at its campus in New Britain. The only difference between this program and the one offered at their Shelton campus is that they have a higher graduation rate, which is 74%.
New Britain’s largest employer is the Hospital of Central Connecticut which works well for the students in this LPN program. There is another interesting piece of New Britain history that is totally unrelated to LPN programs, it is the fact that the basketball skill of dribbling was developed here in 1895.
This campus has an NCLEX-PN pass rate of 87% and a per credit hour tuition cost of $470.
Stone Academy – West Haven
This institution offers an LPN program that promises no prerequisites, no waiting lists, flexible schedules, and job placement assistance. Also, regardless of which campus you enroll in, Stone Academy provides an LPN program that is 1,800 hours and takes an average of 16 months to complete.
The Stone Academy campus in West Haven is their main campus and boasts a higher graduation rate of 71%. The West Haven campus has the newest facilities with roughly 28,000 square feet of generously sized classrooms, library space, medical labs, administrative offices, and a vast student lounge.
The campus offers an NCLEX-PN pass rate of 83.5% and a $460 per credit hour tuition cost.
Stone Academy – East Hartford
This LPN program offered at the East Hartford campus of Stone Academy costs a little more than the same program at their main campus. It also has a lower graduation rate of 55%.
The campus was opened in 2005, it has an NCLEX-PN pass rate of 84% and a per credit hour tuition cost of $500. It is the highest in terms of per credit tuition cost and also the last school on this list of LPN programs in CT.
The right information will always go a long way in helping when it comes to choosing the school that will meet your unique needs while pursuing an LPN program. Evaluating the schools listed here based on your specific qualifying factors will help narrow the list for you.
Why is the NCLEX-PN Pass Rate an Important Factor When Selecting an LPN Program In CT?
The past few years have seen Connecticut boasting of high passing rates for the NCLEX-PN that are higher than the national average. This goes to show how well practical nursing programs in the state prepare students for situations in the real world.
The job market for LPNs is good in the state, but it is also a highly competitive field. So, to help employers know that they are hiring someone qualified and competent, they often look for graduates who finished from schools that have high NCLEX-PN pass rates as one hiring factor.
How to Obtain My LPN License in Connecticut?
Once you choose the right LPN program for yourself, it will be required that you complete at least one year of classes and hands-on training that will prepare you for your licensure examination.
The steps to take to obtain your LPN license in CT include:
- Complete your LPN education to get a certificate, diploma, or degree.
- Have transcripts sent and apply for licensing with the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing through the Public Department of Health.
- Register to sit for the NCLEX-PN with PearsonVue.
- Get approval to test, or ATT, from PearsonVue.
- Obtain your CPR card and pass the NCLEX.
- Get your license.
How Much Does LPNs in CT Earn?
The average LPN salary in Connecticut is about $28 per hour. This equates to an average annual salary of about $59,000 for full-time employment. This is about 14% greater than the national average.
Although you should know that the average amount of money earned can vary based on experience and competency. This means you may be able to make as much as $65,000 a year in this career.
What skills do you learn in LPN programs in Connecticut?
LPN programs that are of quality in CT tend to provide students with the knowledge and training they need to qualify for Connecticut LPN licensure and prepare them to be competent caregivers. As a student of these programs, you should expect to graduate from your LPN program with competence in some areas, such as:
- Clinical skills that give you the ability to work with various healthcare professionals to maintain, promote, and restore patient health. They include properly administering medication, using medical equipment, preventing accidents and injuries, and monitoring overall patient health.
- Supervision and delegation skills give you the ability to work effectively under the supervision of doctors, RNs, and other supervisory staff as well as to properly delegate and oversee the work of nursing assistants, orderlies, and others.
- Critical thinking skills involve thinking rationally and applying the accepted standards of care for treating patients in a range of circumstances and practice settings.
- Communication skills that involve effective oral and written abilities for communicating with supervisors and fellow staff members as well as with patients and their families.
Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LPN program in Connecticut?
The LPN programs offered in CT are quite expensive, and most students would need help with funding. The good news is that there are several valuable financial resources available. The most popular is the student loan, but other common resources include scholarships, grants, and employer reimbursement programs.
How long do LPN programs in Connecticut take to finish?
The time frame for Licensed Practical Nursing programs in Connecticut will vary, depending on the specific school and if the program is a full-time day or part-time evening/weekend one.
For instance, day programs at Lincoln Tech, Porter and Chester, and Stone Academy can be completed in as little as 52 weeks, 15 months, and 16 months, respectively. While evening/weekend programs at Lincoln Tech and Stone Academy are 90 and 92 weeks, respectively.
Are There Online LPN Programs in Connecticut?
Out of the three current LPN programs in CT, two feature some online study components. Lincoln Tech’s program includes a combination of residential, fully-online, and hybrid (online/on-campus) coursework.
Porter and Chester’s program on the other hand is delivered in a hybrid format that includes online synchronous lectures, course materials, and assignments.
Besides the online components, all LPN students in CT still complete most of their education and training through on-campus classes and labs and clinical rotations at local program-approved healthcare facilities.