Sacred Heart University - College of Nursing | 100% NCLEX Pass Rates

Rooted within the liberal arts of Catholic intellectual traditions, Sacred Heart University is contemporary in spirit and thinking. The mission is to educate the entire person to lead and serve in the world today. The Catholic tradition is the cornerstone of Sacred Heart University, welcoming people from all faith bases and cultural backgrounds.

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  • 100%
    NCLEX Pass Rates
  • On Campus
  • Private
  • Accreditation ccne Accredited
  • Programs RN-to-MSN, RN-to-BSN, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, CNL, BSN-to-DNP, BSN, DNP, MSN, Post-grad Certificate, NP, Other
  • Location Fairfield, CT
  • Telephone 1-203-371-7999
  • Website URL Visit Website
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About Sacred Heart University

Sacred Heart University is a private institution that was founded in 1963.  Situated in Fairfield, Connecticut, the main campus is conveniently located one hour north of New York City and 2 1/2 hours south of Boston.  Sacred Heart is the second-largest Catholic university in New England.

Programs Available

  1. Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  2. RN-BSN
  4. Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice
  5. Master of Science - Clinical Nurse Leader
  6. Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  7. Master of Science - Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
  8. Master of Science - Nursing Education
  9. Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice
  10. Home Health Care Management for RNs Certificate
  11. Advanced Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education
  12. Advanced Graduate Certificate in Nursing Management & Executive Leadership


Bachelor of Science (Traditional)

Sacred Heart University offers five top nursing labs. The simulation labs feature 3G Sim Man and Noelle, the maternity patient. These high end manikins create real life situations for students to practice and test their skills. There are also three beds equipped with cardiac monitors, medication dispense machines, ventilators, code carts, IV supplies, and other patient care equipment. There are also labs that offer other simulation mannequins that provide students opportunities to learn basic nursing skills. There are skills lab hours and are flexible for day and evening times. There is also access to the online testing lab to help prepare the student for the NCLEX licensure exam from day one.

Required Courses

The Nursing Major has a total of 122 credit hours, 55 of which are nursing courses.

Required Non-Nursing Courses

There are 67 credits of required course work from the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Math, Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology, Theology and Religious Studies, Literature, History, and Arts/Communication.

"Are there special admission requirements?"

There are some qualified applicants that may be admitted into the University as pre-nursing students and are guaranteed a seat as a sophomore nursing student if they meet or exceed freshman pre-requisite coursework and GPA requirements.

"When and where will I complete my clinicals?"

Clinical rotations start sophomore year and are completed at extended care facilities such as Ludlowe, Jewish Home for the Elderly and St. Josephs. Junior and senior students go to acute care hospitals such as Stamford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital, Milford Hospital, Griffin Hospital, Danbury Hospital, Yale Hospital, St. Rapheal's Hospital, and Children's Connecticut and Hospital for Special Needs. Other placements include day care centers, visiting nurses associations and local community clinics.


The undergraduate RN to BSN program is created by Sacred Heart Faculty and students will be prepared with the knowledge required in today’s nursing roles as well as the personal touch at the heart of the profession, embodied in the signature core curriculum, the Human Journey.

Sacred Heart University teaches nursing education, but also helps students learn to know what it means to be human, therefore ending their journey as better nurses. The Human Journey core curriculum builds upon the common condition and values through the prism of literature, history, sociology, science, philosophy, and religion throughout the ages.

Coursework within online RN to BSN program also covers:

  • Health, wellness, and care across various cultures
  • Clinical leadership development
  • Qualitative and quantitative measures of care outcome
  • Bioethics
  • Information technology for nursing practice

Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  1. Current, unencumbered RN license
  2. Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Diploma in Nursing
  3. GPA 2.5 or above
  4. Resume
  5. Statement of professional goals
  6. Two letters of recommendation
  7. Proof of malpractice insurance

"Do I have to take classes at a certain time?"

There is access 24/7 through the flexible online format. The coursework is completely asynchronous.

"How much time does it take to complete courses in the online RN-BSN degree program?"

Online nursing programs require about twelve to fifteen hours each week per course. There may be more required time within the course if you do not have a background of knowledge of the course.

"Are there opportunities to study or conduct clinical rotations abroad?"

There are Global Programs available for Sacred Heart students to be able to travel abroad if desired.



The RN–BSN–MSN program at Sacred Heart University offers an accelerated way to save time and money to get to your Master’s degree. This option is for nurses who hold a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing. To save money, you will be able to take graduate classes at the undergraduate level, utilizing the undergraduate tuition rate. This program, depending on your MSN specialization, allows you to take eight to nine courses instead of 12, earning your BSN along the way.

Choose an MSN Specialization

SHU offers three specialization programs along with a fast track to two in-demand nursing degrees.

  1. Clinical Nurse Leader (348 hours of clinical practicum): This track helps you to lead a team, focusing on safety and quality of patient care, as well as costs involved. Graduates of the MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program are eligible to sit for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing CNL Certificate Exam.
  2. Nursing Management & Executive Leadership (120 hours of clinical practicum): This track prepares students to become efficient in high-level organizational skills. It also focuses on the management side, from day-to-day operations to long-term planning.
  3. Nursing Education (100 hours of clinical practicum): This track will focus on educating future nurses. The curriculum will include a focus on design and evaluation theory, instructional strategies, and issues in nursing education. Upon graduation, the student will sit for the National League of Nursing (NLN) Nurse Educator Certification Exam.

RN-BSN-MSN Program Features

  • Up to 90 credits can be transferred
  • Online and flexible 24/7 format
  • Faculty consist of award-winning members with extensive clinical experience, scholarly and teaching credentials and up-to-date knowledge

"Do I also receive a BSN as part of this program?"

Yes, upon successful completion of the courses, the student will earn a BSN.

Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

The Family Nurse Practitioner program requires 42 graduate credit hours to become a certified Family Nurse Practitioner. To enter the program, you must have a BSN.

FNP-DNP - Family nurse practitioners can go on with their studies to expand their qualifications when they earn a DNP.  The program is best sutied for those who have had experience with patients and clinical skills but recent graduates will be considered.

Graduates are eligible to take a national examination for certification as a family nurse practitioner and to apply to practice in the expanded role in Connecticut or other states, based on regulatory guidelines.

Clinical Nurse Leader Specialization

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) position is a role that was developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to recognize those who want to help lead present and future changes in patient care. Clinical Nurse Leaders are advanced generalist clinicians who can use their skills of patient evaluation, risk assessment, and communication with other health care team members, to offer the best possible care across all types of health care settings.

The CNL specialization course work with an additional 348 hours of role immersion prepares students to be eligible to sit for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing CNL Certification Exam.

Nursing Management & Executive Leadership Specialization

Sacred Heart's Nursing Management & Executive Leadership specialization is targeted toward those students who wish to move out of bedside nursing and into positions that are of administrative responsibility in health care organizations. The role of leadership in organizing and delivering high quality health care is more important today than ever before. Students will learn the role competencies essential for today’s nursing leader.

The curriculum which includes a total of 120 clinical practicum hours with a preceptor in the community, can help the student focus on information management, healthcare delivery systems, financial resources, research and ethics, human resource management, the quality improvement process, strategic planning, workforce development, and transformational leadership.

Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice

Focused on practice with innovation and practical clinical research, the program is designed to serve academically talented nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse executives, and educators.

Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice ONLINE

The online DNP program is also suitable for nurse practitioners, clinical nurse leaders, midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse executives and educators, as well as other masters-prepared nurses.


Home Health Care Management for RNs - ONLINE

The Home Health Care Management certification is designed for nurses in management positions in Home Health Agencies. The program enables nurses to meet the state of Connecticut DPH requirements.

Advanced Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education - ONLINE

The Advanced Graduate Certification in Nursing Education is geared to prepare nurses to formally educate the next generation of nurses as well as provide education for patients and their family members.

Advanced Graduate Certificate in Nursing Management & Executive Leadership - ONLINE

Sacred Heart's Nursing Management & Executive Leadership specialization is designed for students who want to be involved with administrative issues in health care organizations.


U.S. News Media Group placed Sacred Heart University among the top colleges and universities in the North in the rankings for 2016.

SHU is recognized as a 2016-2017 College of Distinction.

The Chronicle of Higher Education examined student enrollment at 111 Catholic schools from 2004 to 2014. SHU ranked 10th for growth.

The Princeton Review ranked Sacred Heart University as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education in its new 2017 edition of its college guidebook, The Best 381 Colleges.

2017 Rankings - US News & World Report

Sacred Heart University is ranked #44 in Regional Universities North and is ranked #25 (tie) in Best Colleges for Veterans.


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited all nursing programs at SHU.

Latest Reviews (Max 10)

  1. Visit jbudrick profile page
    May 8, '17, 1:17 pm by , MSN Pro
    Overall: 5.0 Avg Rating
    Recommend: 5 stars
    Experience: 5 stars
    Staff: 5 stars
    Academics: 5 stars
    Costs: 5 stars
    Support: 5 stars

    Status: Alumni
    Program: Master's
    Classes: Online
    Graduation: 2014
    Focus: Educator

    My Experience

    I graduated from Sacred Heart University (SHU) in December, 2014, with an MSN Education. This program was online and accelerated with a new course every eight weeks. The program was designed for working nurses. Practicums were required for professional development and academic education which would be arranged by the student. SHU advised students about facilities that were already contracted or the student could choose their own facility and obtain a contract. I chose this program, in part, because it was within easy commuting distance so I could complete the academic education practicum there.

    I applied to the program to begin in Fall, 2012. The application process seemed standard. Copies of transcripts, license, letter of reference from employer, and personal statement were required. My admission representative was pleasant and helpful. No GRE was required due to my high GPA in previous coursework. Recent courses in statistics and health assessment were required.

    Blackboard was the platform for the program. All courses required discussion board posts written in a scholarly manner in APA format, written papers, and group projects. Pathophysiology required some online tests. I spent about 20 hours per week on the courses. The courses were fast paced and reading was often required before the first week of class. SHU provided an assistant to sign up for classes and to provide reminders to obtain books. The same nurses were in most of my classes so we were able to get to know each other. SHU also provided an academic advisor throughout the program.

    Until the final classes with practicums, I was able to complete all requirements without missing work. The hours required within the eight week classes caused me to reduce my work schedule by one day per week for 16 weeks. My practicums were easy to arrange. The clinical placement coordinator referred me to the right people to contact.

    Overall, attending SHU was a positive experience. The classes were interesting and worthwhile. The professors were knowledgeable and pleasant. I highly recommend SHU for nursing education.

    About The Staff

    The staff was always pleasant and helpful.

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