Southern Connecticut State University Nursing School Review

Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) enrolls almost 12,000 students each year, yet their student to faculty ratio is just 15 to 1, giving them a small college feel. Southern began as a two year teacher training school in 1893, and became a four year institution in 1937. It gained its current name in 1983 and was made part of the state’s University System.

The Nursing Program is part of the College of Health and Human Services.

Nursing Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The BSN nursing program at Southern has been in place since 1969 and is National League for Nursing accredited. The traditional BSN program requires students to complete 128 credits to graduate, at which time they will be allowed to sit for the Registered Nurse (RN) licensing exam.

To apply for the 4-Year Traditional Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree program, students must first complete 11 prerequisite courses in the subjects of English Composition, Statistics, Math, Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Physics. Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher in these courses to enter the program. It should take the first two years of study, including summer, for students to complete these prerequisites.

Once a student is admitted into the undergraduate nursing BSN program, it will take four years to complete it from start to finish on a full time basis. The BSN program may be taken full time or part time, and students are admitted once a year.

Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) BSN

The ACE program is for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field of study, who now want to earn their BSN. As long as the requirements listed above have been met, this intensive program takes 12 months to complete.

Due to the high demand for this program, only the first 120 students that apply each year will be considered for admission. Students must have a 3.0 GPA to apply.


This program has a flexible admission policy for RNs who have graduated from an associate degree or diploma program, and who want to earn their BSN.

Students will be granted 30 credits from prior education in accordance with the Connecticut Articulation Agreement, plus additional credit for equivalent courses if they have any. Students may also challenge certain general education courses and test out of them for credit. Associate degree students may transfer a maximum of 75 credits, diploma students up to 63 credits, and those who were in a 4 year program up to 90 credits.

Students must take the prerequisites of English Composition, Statistics, Math, Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Statistics with a grade of C+ or better to apply for the program.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

This program allows students to continue professional growth and apply theory and knowledge, provide leadership, and conduct research.

Students must be a licensed RN with a BSN degree to apply. Applicants must submit an essay and letters of reference. There are three MSN programs students may choose to study:

  • Nursing Education – for nurses who wish to teach, this program requires 24 credits of core master’s classes and 18 credits of specialized nurse educator courses. Students must also complete a thesis or special project to graduate.
  • Clinical Nurse Leader – this program requires 24 credits of core classes and 12 credits of clinical courses, plus 500 clinical hours of practice and a thesis or special project.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner – this program requires 24 credits of core classes, 18 Family Nurse Practitioner specialization courses, and a thesis (6 credits) or a research project (3 credits). Students will also complete 660 hours of clinical practice.

Bridge Program

RNs that have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing can enter the MSN program through the Bridge Program. This is a flexible program with many online offerings in addition to traditional classes.

To apply, RNs must be currently licensed and demonstrate they have the skills of a BSN graduate by taking National League for Nursing challenge exams. They must also show proof of having taken Research, Statistics, and Health Assessment.

Post Master’s Certificates

SCSU offers Post Master’s Certificates for students who already hold an MSN degree. These are offered in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Nurse Educator, and Clinical Nurse Leader. Students need to hold a current Connecticut RN license to apply.

The FNP Certificate takes two years, 27 credits of study, and 660 hours of clinical practice to complete, and qualifies graduates to take the nurse practitioner certification exam.

The Nurse Educator Certificate is a 9 credit option with 12 hours per week of clinical experience.

The Clinical Nurse Leader Certificate requires 6 credits of study to complete the program.

Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Nursing Education

This program is offered in collaboration with Western Connecticut State University and is the only one of its kind in Connecticut, and one of a few in the United States. It is designed to train nurses to be nursing faculty.

The program is mostly offered online, and also includes on campus residencies at the beginning of the program, after the first year, and after the second year of study.

Only 25 students are admitted into this program each year. Students must have a current RN license, an MSN degree, GRE or MAT scores, references, a resume, and personal statement. The program requires 51 credits of study including a dissertation.

Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT, 06515

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