• Certifications and Licenses
  • RN - Connecticut

    • Not a Compact State
    • participates in NURSYS
    • Renewal every year

    Overview

    The Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Nursing consists of 12 members appointed by the Governor who work in conjunction with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to maintain the standard for the education of nurses and determine eligibility for a Connecticut nursing license. Over 83,000 registered nurses held active licenses in March 2022. Licensure requirements are subject to change based on new legislation, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures adopted by the DPH. Applicants must meet current Connecticut RN licensure requirements.

    About

    Connecticut nursing license candidates must register for an online account to submit applications and check on the status of their applications. All applications must be submitted online. The Board isn’t accepting paper applications.

    When submitting applications that require documentation, all documents must be submitted directly to the Board from the source. The Board won’t accept documentation submitted by applicants. It’s the responsibility of the applicants to arrange for the submission of required documentation from the various entities to ensure the timely completion of their applications. To view a list of outstanding documents, applicants can log in to their accounts and select “License Status” to retrieve this information.

    Renewal

    Connecticut RN licenses are renewed annually during the nurse’s birth month. The first renewal will be required in the first birth month immediately following initial licensure. The RN must pay the full renewal fee regardless of the length of time between initial licensure and their first renewal.

    Nurses receive notifications in the mail with instructions on how to renew online about 60 days before their license expires. They can pay the invoice for their renewal with a credit card or eCheck drawn off their bank account. A new license document is mailed the third week of the month following the month the renewal occurred.

    Connecticut RNs have a grace period of 90 days following the expiration date of their licenses. During this period, they can continue practicing nursing. However, if they haven’t renewed by the 91st day, their license becomes void and they must apply for reinstatement

    Continuing Education Requirements

    Registered nurses actively practicing in Connecticut and applying for license renewal after January 1, 2022, must complete two contact hours of training or education on:

    • Screening for conditions like depression, grief, suicide risk, and post-traumatic stress disorder

    • Suicide prevention training

    Activities that qualify for continuing education (CE) include online and in-person courses offered or approved by the Connecticut Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, Connecticut League for Nursing, and Connecticut Hospital Association, or a specialty nursing society or an equivalent organization in another jurisdiction. Courses offered by a regionally accredited academic institution or a state or local health department and educational offerings sponsored by a hospital or other healthcare institution also qualify.

    A contact hour includes at least 50 minutes of instruction. RNs must attest that they satisfied their CE requirement during renewal. They must retain certificates of completion or records of attendance to prove compliance with CE requirements for at least three years following the year they completed the CE and must submit these records to the Board for inspections within 45 days of them being requested. The two contact hours must be repeated every six years following the initial completion in 2022.

    Requirements

    Connecticut isn’t currently part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) so a multistate license isn’t available for local nurses or accepted for practice by nurses holding a Compact license from another state. The Board also doesn’t currently require background checks, but it does have very specific nurse education requirements.

    Nurse education programs must include a curriculum that meets the requirements for eligibility to take the RN licensing exam and integrate theory and clinical practice in a way that ensures graduates meet the educational outcomes required for registered nursing. The nursing component of these programs must be equivalent to four 15-week academic semesters with at least 35 semester hours in nursing. Of these, 50% of contact hours must be in supervised direct care, observational, and simulated experiences to facilitate the nursing program’s educational outcomes, and laboratory experiences to acquire and practice clinical nursing skills.

    Fingerprinting Requirements

    Connecticut doesn’t mandate background checks for nurse licensure applicants, but some healthcare facilities require them. Nursing certification boards also require applicants to submit information regarding their past criminal history.

    Contact Information

    Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing 410 Capitol Avenue, MS #13PHO Hartford, CT 06134-0308 [email protected] (860) 509-7603

    Licensure by Endorsement

    Applicants with current out-of-state nursing licenses may be eligible for licensure by endorsement in Connecticut. They must arrange for verification of all current or expired RN licenses they’ve held. Licenses can often be verified electronically on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing's Nursys System because a majority of states use this program for RN license verification. However, applicants licensed in states that don’t participate in Nursys can send a paper verification form to their state’s Board of Nursing and request that it mail a written verification directly to the Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Nursing. Most states charge fees for this service. 

    Applicants for a Connecticut nursing license by endorsement must have completed a nursing education degree program that meets or exceeds Connecticut's nurse education requirements. Out-of-state registered nursing education programs are deemed approved if they comply with the curriculum requirements set forth for programs offered in Connecticut, are approved by the authorized nurse licensure board in the state the program is located, and the state maintains licensure requirements that are significantly similar to or higher than those in Connecticut. 

    If these nurse education programs were shorter in length than the minimum requirement in Connecticut, applicants can combine education with clinical work experience performed under the supervision of a licensed RN to meet this minimum. This work experience must have occurred following graduation from the nurse education program.

    RNs with licenses issued by states or U.S. territories that don’t require passing the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) aren’t eligible for licensure by endorsement and don’t qualify for temporary permits. They must meet Connecticut’s requirements for licensure by exam and take this route instead.

    Licensure by Exam

    New graduate nurses must apply for Connecticut RN licensure by exam. To be eligible, applicants must complete an approved registered nursing education program that meets the requirements outlined in the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. Nurse education programs must be provided by a college or university, hospital, or external degree program in nursing approved by the Board. All required documentation, including official nursing school transcripts, must come directly from the source.

    First-time Connecticut RN license applicants also must pass the NCLEX-RN. They must register to take this exam with Pearson VUE and shouldn’t submit their Connecticut nursing license application until they’ve registered for the exam. Once the Board receives the RN licensing application and a transcript verifying completion of an approved nursing program, they’re deemed eligible to sit for the NCLEX. Pearson VUE sends the applicant an Authorization to Test letter through email or in the mail, which includes information on scheduling the exam.

    Results of the NCLEX-RN aren’t official until they’re received in the Board of Examiners office. Exam results aren’t disclosed over the telephone. The Board mails the official results to the applicant following routine processing.

    Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Foreign educated and trained nurses applying for licensure in Connecticut must complete the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International Certification Program. The program evaluates the candidate’s nursing education and license credentials and requires them to pass the CGFNS Qualifying Exam and an accepted English language proficiency exam. Applicants must arrange for verification of completion of this program, but a transcript from their nursing school isn’t required.

    Once the Board receives a foreign-educated nurse’s application and CGFNS verification, they deem them eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. The applicant receives an Authorization to Test notification electronically from Pearson VUE with details on scheduling the exam. They must pass this licensure exam to qualify for a Connecticut RN license.

    For nurses trained and licensed in Canada in or after 1970 who meet the current nurse education requirements of Connecticut may receive their Connecticut nursing license without taking an exam if their Canadian licensing exam was in English and they received a passing score equivalent to the passing score on a comparable nurse licensing exam used in the U.S. Nurses whose nursing exam wasn’t in English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) administered by the Educational Testing Service and earn a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 213 on the computer-based test. Nurses trained and licensed in Canada before 1970 who meet the current nurse education requirements of Connecticut must take the NCLEX-RN. 

    Timing

    Once the Board receives an applicant’s fully executed application and related documentation, it makes an eligibility determination. Board members make this decision within three to four weeks and notify the applicant of their determination. Approved applicants receive an email notification of their application approval that contains their license number and effective date. Licensing documents are forwarded to the address on file during the third week of the month following the month the applicant received their license.

    Temporary Nurse License

    Registered nurses already licensed in another state or U.S. territory applying for a Connecticut nursing license by endorsement are eligible for a 120-day temporary permit pending issuance of full licensure. Once the Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Nursing receives and approves a complete application, the nonrenewable temporary permit will be issued in 15 business days.

    Graduate nurses applying for a Connecticut RN license may be granted temporary practice privileges pending the results of their nurse licensing exam. Temporary practice periods can’t exceed 90 calendar days from the date of graduation and must occur in a hospital or similar institution where adequate supervision is provided. Should the graduate nurse fail the NCLEX-RN, their temporary practice privileges cease immediately upon notification.

    Fees

    Fees collected for initial Connecticut nursing licenses cover the costs of determining eligibility and related administrative tasks. Connecticut RN license renewal fees are distinctly different from application fees but also cover the costs of reviewing and processing these applications. All fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable, even if an applicant is found ineligible for licensure. Currently, RN licensure fees are:

    • Application for Licensure by Exam/Endorsement: $180

    • NCLEX-RN Registration: $200

    • Renewal Application Fee: $110

    Applications that remain incomplete and inactive for a year are destroyed per the Department’s record retention schedule. Applicants wanting to continue the application process once their application has been destroyed must submit a completely new application and fee.

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    Frequently asked questions

    How can RNs applying for endorsement in another state verify their Connecticut nursing license to other nursing boards?

    Connecticut participates in the Nursys system, so nurses can arrange for their verification to be sent from there electronically. Verification of Connecticut RN licensure can also be made on the State of Connecticut's eLicense Website.