How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Connecticut

Nurse Administrators recruit, hire and train nurses while also supervising those on their shift. They may be responsible for other health care team members and often have the task of scheduling and completing job reviews.

In Connecticut, the health care industry is comprised of over 200,000 jobs and generates more than $140 billion annually. With Yale, Connecticut Children’s, Hartford Hospital and Trinity Health all located in Connecticut, the state supports a wide variety of health care professions.

Career Outlook for Nurse Administrators

Nurse administrators utilize both leadership and their education to help lead patient care teams efficiently and effectively. This position oversees not just nursing staff but patients and the facilities they operate in as well.

Healthcare centers hire nurse admins to identify issues and outcomes, develop plans to solve problems, and effectively carry out those plans. Strong leadership and communication skills are definitely needed for this position. Nurse administrators can be found in hospitals, rehab centers, physician offices, mental health facilities, specialists’ offices, and more.

Over the next decade, the healthcare industry is expected to grow at a rate of 32%, way above the national average. In this time, almost 140,000 jobs will be added. As nurse admins are an important part of running a healthcare facility, the career is a stable one that will undoubtedly experience fast growth as well.

Nurse administrators generally have high salaries. The average salary for a nurse administrator in the United States is just over $72,000 a year but can range anywhere from $30 – 200K depending on the employer, facility and experience of the individual.

Certification or Licensing Requirements in Connecticut

To become a nurse administrator in Connecticut, registered nurses (RNs) must hold at least a master’s degree as well as a nursing degree. The master’s can be in healthcare administration or nursing. Additional supplemental coursework focuses on leadership and management roles in a healthcare setting.

Those looking to become nurse administrators can push even further to obtain a doctoral degree (DNP). A minimum of one year of nursing experience is required to be a nursing administrator in Connecticut. Certification isn’t required, but is preferred by most employers and recommended.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Organization of Nurse Executives are the top two groups that offer certification. Both offer Nurse Executive Certification, but the American Organization of Nurse Executives also offers a Certified Nurse Manager and Leader certification as well as a certification in Executive Nursing Practice. Specifications vary, but you generally need a degree, valid RN license, record of experience and continuing education credits.

Nurse Administrator Programs in Connecticut

1. The University of Connecticut – School of Nursing

The University of Connecticut, more commonly referred to as UConn, is well-known for its sports divisions. UConn is a public university in Storrs, Connecticut. The main campus is 4,400 acres in size, and secondary campuses are located in Hartford, Avery Point, Stamford, Waterbury and Farmington.

UConn was founded in 1881, and current-day programs span health, law, sciences, art and more across 14 schools and colleges. Just over 32,000 students enroll at UConn each semester. This is a university with an active student social life. Despite the large enrollment, UConn boasts less than 20 students in 53.3% of its classes and a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

With a 56.1% acceptance rate, UConn students look at an average of $30,000 in tuition for in-state students and just over $50,000 for out-of-state students. With over 100 residence halls on the main campus, housing isn’t a problem. Graduate students have their own housing in apartment-style facilities that come fully furnished and include a kitchen.

Among the 17 graduate degrees at UConn are several options within the School of Nursing. MS degrees are available in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator, and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Of these, nurses interested in Nurse Administrator positions will do well with the MS Nurse Leader program.

All MS Nursing programs are conducted online and have DNP (Doctorate) options post-master’s. The Nurse Leader Master of Science is a 33-credit program focusing on practice systems and organization as well as administration. This program is only available in the fall, so students will need to apply no later than April 1. The application process requires written responses, letters of reference, a current resume, transcripts and a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

2. Sacred Heart University – College of Nursing

Sacred Heart University, located in Fairfield, Connecticut, is a private Catholic university. Sacred Heart was noted as a Catholic College of Distinction and a College of Distinction in Connecticut by Colleges of Distinction in 2021-2022.

Just under 10,000 students attend Sacred Heart each year, and this number includes 3,000 graduate students. The average class size at this university is 21, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Sacred Heart describes its residence halls as “an extension of the classroom” and “home away from home.” They look to form relationships that last a lifetime between their students. Graduate students are connected to resources to help find off-campus housing, either on an individual basis or with other graduate students.

The College of Nursing at Sacred Heart offers an MS in Nursing as well as a Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice and several certificate programs. All MS Nursing programs are available online and are broken into four distinct areas: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nursing Management and Executive Leadership, Nursing Education and Family Nurse Practitioner. Both the Clinical Nurse Leader and Nursing Management and Executive Leadership MS programs focus on leadership within the field of nursing and are ideal for those pursuing a career as Nurse Administrators.

Certificates available for nursing students include Home Health Care Management, Advanced Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education and Advanced Graduate Certificate in Nursing Management & Executive Leadership.

Each MS program in the College of Nursing is a two-year online course. A BSN is not required for admission; however, students must have a current RN license, Bachelor’s degree in any field with a 3.0 GPA, transcripts of nursing and academic work, resume, statement of professional goals, letters of recommendation, proof of malpractice insurance and the necessary prerequisite courses.

3. Fairfield University – Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies

Fairfield University is a private Jesuit university located in Fairfield, CT. Established in 1942, Fairfield University has just over 5,000 students enrolled each year. This university has a 56% acceptance rate and an annual tuition of $38 – 70,000.

The 200-acre campus houses students in residence halls, townhouses and apartment complexes. Graduate students have access to an Off-Campus Living Guide. The small number of enrolled students leads to small class sizes, with less than 20 students per class and a 12:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

Fairfield University’s School of Nursing & Health Studies offers the Accelerated Master’s Entry to Practice Nursing Program, a graduate program beginning each May. This program is an opportunity for those with non-nursing Bachelor’s degrees to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing at an accelerated schedule. The entire program takes place over the course of two years full-time.

To be admitted to this program, students must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university. Their GPA must be 3.3 or higher, and all applicants must complete the required prerequisite courses prior to being admitted.

4. University of Hartford – Department of Nursing

Established in 1957, the University of Hartford brought together the Hartford Art School, Hillyer College, and the Hartt School. UHart is a private university, and the 350-acre campus spans Hartford, West Hartford and Bloomfield. The campus is only two hours away from New York City and Boston.

Just shy of 6,000 students attend the University of Hartford each year. The student-faculty ratio is surprisingly small at 8:1, with class sizes an average of 12. UHart has a slightly higher acceptance rate at 77%. Graduate students have the option of applying for housing in a fully furnished townhouse complex.

Among the 64 graduate programs offered at the university is a Master of Science in Nursing. The online program is a 34-credit comprehensive approach to nursing education, management and public health nursing. The program can begin in the fall, spring or summer, and most students are full-time, but part-time is allowed. It’s geared to allow nurses to continue working full-time while completing their graduate nursing degree part-time, if necessary.

Students interested in applying to the MSN in Nursing program need to complete an online application, show evidence of current RN license or eligibility for RN license in Connecticut, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, at least one year of clinical practice, official transcripts, resume, letter of intent and letters of recommendation. Applicants must also have a BA from a nursing program accredited by the NLNAC or CCNE or, alternatively, a BA outside of the field of nursing.

UHart also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice for Nurse Administrators looking to pursue higher education in their field. The DNP program is online only and includes at least 500 hours of practicum experience as well as a scholarly project on completion.