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Bridge Program

nursing imageThe Bridge Program is designed for RNs with baccalaureate degrees in fields other than nursing. The Bridge Program provides a special course of study which qualifies students to apply to the Master of Science Degree in Nursing program. The program offers a flexible selection of options to accommodate individual learner needs, including achievement testing, traditional classes, and select on-line offerings. If qualified, an acceptable score on the NLN Challenge Exam for Baccalaureate Students can be substituted for course work.

Students have many questions about the process of going through the Bridge Program at SCSU; see below for answers to some frequently-asked questions.  Feel free to contact Dr. Cynthia O'Sullivan graduate program coordinator, or or come in for an appointment with any other questions you may have.  Dr.O'Sullivan may be reached at (203) 392-6486 or via email at

We value you as a prospective graduate student and want to help you succeed with your goals.  We have learned that individuals with backgrounds varying from the traditional preparation for graduate study in nursing bring to the classroom and the health care arena points of view that allow all of us to consider situations and ideas differently.  This is a wonderful opportunity none of us should miss, and having you join our nursing community here at Southern helps ensure we do not miss it. Nursing needs you! 

Policy on Admission of Student with a BA/BS in Another Field:  Bridge Program

  1. Applicants with an RN and a baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than nursing can apply to the MSN program.  In order to be admitted these nurses must first demonstrate that they possess the knowledge and skills of the baccalaureate in nursing degree graduate.
  2. Applicants must submit to the Graduate Program Coordinator verification of undergraduate courses(3 credits each) in each of the following: Statistics, Research, and Health Assessment.  There is currently no restriction related to when courses were taken.  A grade of "C+" or better must have been earned in each of these classes.  Once these classes are completed, the student is eligible to take up to 6 graduate credits prior to passing the NLN challenge exams.  The NLN challenge exams may be taken at any time but the 3 courses must be completed prior to enrolling in graduate classes.
  3. Applicants must also take and successfully complete the National League for Nursing multiple choice "challenge exams" in the four areas:  Adult health (219 questions-single four hour session), Childbearing(200 questions- single four hour session), Childrearing and Mental Health(132 questions-single 2 1/2 hour session).  The exams are typically administered over a course of two days.  Although there is no study guide specifically designed to use in preparing for these examinations a general NCLEX Review book is recommended.  Applicants should schedule these exams with Cynthia O'Sullivan at or by calling 203-392-6486.
  4. The fee of $200 is payable to the "SCSU Nursing Department" at the time the examinations are administered.  Currently the "paper and pencil" form of the NLN challenge exams are being utilized by the SCSU Nursing Department.  It may take more than 2-3 weeks for the results of the exams to be reported to SCSU.  Test results will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Committee.   A passing score is 77.
  5.   Alternatively, an RN with a BA/BS in an area other than nursing may elect to take RN/BSN courses and earn a BSN prior to applying to the MSN Program.  This remains an option if passing scores are not achieved on the NLN examinations.








updated 5/29/13