Department of Nursing Programs

The nation is facing a shortage of nurses and nursing faculty and, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for these professionals is only expected to grow. Now in its 50th year, the nursing major at Southern has been identified as one of the top selected majors on campus. The program prepares graduates to incorporate professional standards to provide, safe, evidence-based and compassionate care of the highest quality to diverse populations. Graduates from all of the nursing programs are readily recruited by employers.

The baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in nursing at Southern Connecticut State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

The curriculum in the undergraduate nursing program is designed as an upper-division major. The program requires a strong liberal arts and science base as a prerequisite to nursing courses. Students complete theory courses in the major as well as hospital and community-based clinical practice. Full-time and limited part-time study options are available.

The department offers a BSN completion program designed for RNs who hold an associate's degree or diploma in nursing. Students are provided with individualized attention as they proceed through the nursing program. The program takes into account the rich background of experience of the RN in terms of both clinical and classroom settings. Nursing courses are offered online and most courses are offered in an 8 week format.

The accelerated career entry (ACE) program is a baccalaureate program for individuals already holding a BS/BA from an accredited college or university who wish to change careers and enter the nursing profession. The intensive program allows qualified individuals to complete the nursing coursework in 12 consecutive months (excluding prerequisite courses). 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. Nursing faculty are dedicated to working with this unique population.

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) post master's certificate is designed for registered nurses who already have an MSN. The CNL role has taken on increasing significance in both inpatient and outpatient facilities across the country. CNLs are innovative leaders and critical thinkers who are expert at managing complex patient cases.  They put evidence-based practice into action.

A certificate program is offered for nurses who have already earned an MSN degree in another area. The certificate program consists of 27 credits including Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advance Phamacology. Eighteen credits are required in the FNP Role Specialization (3 six credit courses). The 3 specialization courses require 16 hours of clinical practice each week during the semester, in addition to classroom time. The student and faculty work together to locate a suitable and appropriate clinical site and preceptor for each student.  A total of 660 clinical hours is required to complete the FNP Certificate.  These hours include practice in women's health, pediatrics, family practice and internal medicine, including older adults.

The Certificate in Nursing Education is for registered nurses who already have a MSN. It is for nurses who are interested in developing the knowledge and skill needed to teach nursing. The program is a nine (9) credit program that prepares experienced nurses with knowledge of curriculum development, teaching and evaluation strategies. Courses are offered which enable students to develop course syllabi, prepare for individual class presentations, and utilize evaluative measures. Both classroom and clinical teaching strategies are discussed. Twelve hours (12) per week of clinical experience are required. Students work with an experienced preceptor in the clinical area as a way to experience first hand the role of a faculty member, staff development educator or patient educator.

The Doctoral program in Nursing Education (Ed.D.), developed collaboratively by Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) and Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) faculty is designed to prepare nurses for academic faculty roles. The program, which builds on CSUS's long standing tradition of excellence in preparing educators and nurses, offers individuals with clinical expertise and a master 's degree in nursing an innovative doctoral program focused on the necessary content and skills required to be effective faculty members, advance the science of nursing education, and transform the education of future nurses.

The Clinical Nurse Leader is a relatively new advanced practice role with preparation at the graduate level. Its focus is on managing complex cohorts of patients in a wide variety of health care settings. This 42-credit program consists of core courses (24 credits), two clinical courses (12 credits), and a thesis or special project component. Four hundred clinical hours of practice are required to meet practice requirements for certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader. These are spent exploring the structure and functioning of the macrosystem of a healthcare organization and analyzing its impact on the delivery of evidenced based nursing care to a specified group of patients. Prepared as an advanced practice generalist, the CNL is able to practice with any patient population and in most healthcare settings.

Nurses who hold a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) are eligible to apply to the FNP program to receive a Master's of Science in Nursing. The program consists of 24 credits in core courses, 18 credits in the specialization of FNP (3 courses), and either 6 credits for a thesis or 3 credits for a special project. The 3 specialization courses require 16 hours of clinical practice each week during the semester, in addition to classroom time. The student and faculty work together to locate a suitable and appropriate clinical site and preceptor for each student.  A total of 660 clinical hours is required to complete the FNP program.  These hours include practice in women's health, pediatrics, family practice and internal medicine including practice with older adults.

Nurses who are interested in teaching will find the MSN in Nursing Education to be a comprehensive and high quality program of study.  The MSN in nursing education requires 24 credits of core courses and 18 credits in the specialization of nursing education.  Completion of a thesis or special project will be required for graduation.