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Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) Program

The ACE program is an accelerated BSN program for individuals already holding a BS/BA in any field from an accredited college or university who wish to enter the nursing profession. The intensive program allows qualified individuals to complete the nursing coursework in 12 consecutive months.

Nursing Students

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts by year 2012, one million more registered nurses will be needed in the United States. An analysis of nursing workforce needs at the state level indicates that Connecticut will be one of the states that will experience the worst shortages unless actions are taken to remedy the situation. In fact, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) projects that by 2010, Connecticut nursing workforce will be 33% short of what is needed and by 2020 that number will increase to 57% (Connecticut League for Nursing, 2005).

In order to meet this demand, many colleges and universities across the nation have developed accelerated BSN programs for students with baccalaureate degrees in other fields to increase access for people desiring a change in career later in life, and allow faster entry into the workforce. In fact, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2005) there are 168 accelerated BSN programs in existence, with 46 more in the planning stages.

While Connecticut has several of these programs, none are located within the state university system, limiting program choice options for students who want a quality program at a reasonable price.  The undergraduate nursing program at SCSU is recognized as a high quality program. Our NCLEX pass rates have been mostly between 90-100% over nearly three decades and employers readily hire and confirm the quality of our new graduates. Many curricular changes have been implemented during the last several years to improve the quality of our instruction and better prepare students for the realities of practice.

Advantages of the ACE Program

  • The nursing curriculum can be completed in just 12 months (excluding nursing prerequisites).
  • The ACE program is based on the same curriculum as SCSU's highly successful and nationally accredited traditional nursing program.
  • There are opportunities to learn with other highly motivated, adult learners with rich life and work experiences.
  • We offer small class size and affordable tuition.
  • Our faculty are dedicated to working with this unique population.



To apply for the 2018 ACE Cohort, please select the "Apply" button at the top of the page and then choose "Transfer Application". This is the only application that will need to be completed. You should not be completing the Common App. Select the "Sign Up" button under the log-in area. Complete the form and an email will be sent to you with the link for the application.

  • The application will be available on the Undergraduate Admissions website beginning April 17, 2017. Applications will CLOSE at 4 pm on January 1, 2018. There is no rolling admissions. All applicants are reviewed equally and at the same time once the application has closed.
  • When completing the application select “Spring 2018” as desired entry term and select the Pre-Nursing ACE option under intended major.
  • There is a required essay portion of the application. Applicants may save the application and return to it at a later date if additional time is needed. Failure to submit your essay by the closing date will result in an incomplete application.
  • Official transcripts from ALL post-secondary schools attended MUST be sent to the Admissions Office by January 1, 2018.
  • High School transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, and recommendations are not required and will not be accepted.
  • Not all prerequisite courses need to be completed at the start of the application, but they will need to be completed by the application deadline, January 1, 2018.
  • DO NOT complete a Graduate Program application. This is an Undergraduate Program.
  • Students may not apply to both the ACE and traditional BSN program in the same year.
  • If you have previously applied to the program and wish to reapply, you must complete these same steps. You may fill out a fee waiver form if you wish to do so.



To be considered for the 2018 ACE Cohort, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Conferred Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited university or college by January 1, 2018.
  • A minimum 3.0 CUM GPA (including all post-secondary GPAs from regionally accredited schools attended).
  • Successful completion of ALL eight prerequisite courses with no less than a C+ in each individual course with final grades submitted to Undergraduate Admissions by January 1, 2018.
  • Students must complete the ACE Checklist and Prerequisite Form. Students are required to upload a copy of this form to their online admissions portal and also submit a copy to the Nursing Department. Only after you submit the application and pay the fee will you be provided with instructions on how to upload items to your portal.
  • The essay component of the application must be uploaded to the online application portal, just like the Checklist Prerequisite Form.
  • Students are ineligible to apply for admissions to the SCSU nursing program if: the above criteria is not met, if they have been dismissed for academic or clinical reasons from another nursing program, and/or if they have failed to meet benchmark scores on assessment testing in another nursing program.
  • The option for a Summer Transcript Review is now closed. Any applications submitted after August 1st, 2017 will be reviewed once the application deadline has closed on January 1st, 2018. All applicants will be notified of a decision no later than April 1st, 2018.

SCSU's ACE Program would like to know more about you and your abilities for this admissions process. Please choose one (1) of the perspectives on nursing videos by selecting A Day in the Life. Please compose a 500 word essay on one of the video's incorporating all of the following:

1.) Why are you considering a career change to the Nursing profession?

2.) Identify what potential challenges in nursing you might anticipate.

3.) Compare and contrast your view of nursing with the ideas portrayed on the video

Please remember to list at the top of your essay the video you chose to address. We encourage all applicants to read the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's recent report entitled, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health."

With only 30-36 students being accepted into the program each year, admission is competitive and qualified students may not be accepted because of limited Department of Nursing resources and clinical placements. The Department of Nursing admission committee members will evaluate the overall academic record and select candidates whose academic and personal qualifications present the greatest potential for program success.

Students applying to the ACE program should understand that, if accepted, they will need to follow the ACE program's plan of study and required course sequencing. Students are advised to refer to the Student Policies Governing Academic and Professional Responsibilities of Undergraduate Programs in Nursing (2011). 

Transfer of Credits and Prerequisite Course Requirements

SCSU does not have a limit on the number of credits that you may transfer into the university.

Below is a list of required prerequisite courses and their CT Community College equivalencies.  All eight must be successfully completed, each with a grade of a C+ or higher, and submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by January 1, 2018 for consideration to the Summer 2018 cohort.

SCSU CT CC Equivalency
Anatomy & Physiology I (BIO 200) [Formerly BIO110] Biology 211
Anatomy & Physiology II (BIO 201) [Formerly BIO111] Biology 212
Microbiology (BIO 120) Biology 235
Math for Natural Sciences (MAT 108) Math 142
Elementary Statistics (MAT 107) Math 167
General Chemistry (CHE 120) Chemistry 121
General Psychology (PSY 100) Psychology 111
Life Span Development (PSY 219) Psychology 201

If you have taken courses at another college or university within the state of Connecticut, please use the Transfer Articulation Request tool to search for course equivalencies from most CT colleges and universities.

Plan of Study

Summer Session C - Begin Program

  • NUR 340 (3cr.): Theoretical Foundations of Professional Nursing
  • NUR 350 (2cr.): Therapeutic Nutrition


  • NUR 341 (3cr.): Health Assessment
  • NUR 342 (3cr.): Evidence Based Nursing Interventions
  • NUR 343 (3cr.): Integrated Pathophysiology/Pharmacology I
  • NUR 344 (2cr.): Gerontological Nursing
  • NUR 351 (2cr.): Nursing Research

Winter Sessions

  • Nursing Electives (1cr/course): Two required


  • NUR 353 (3cr.): Integrated Pathophysiology/Pharmacology II
  • NUR 352 (4cr.): Adult Health Nursing
  • NUR 340 (3cr.): The Childbearing Family
  • NUR 354 (3cr.): Mental Health Nursing
  • NUR431 (3cr.): The Childrearing Family

Summer A

  • NUR 432 (4cr.): Adult Response to Complex Stressors
  • NUR 442 (3cr.): Community Health Nursing
  • NUR 433 (3cr.): Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice Across the Life Span

Summer B - Complete Program

  • NUR 443 (4cr.): Nursing Capstone
  • Nur 444 (3cr): Leadership, Management and Health Care Issues in Nursing


If you are interested in both the traditional BSN and ACE programs, you may be interested in comparing the two.  

For further information contact the Nursing Department.