Bridge to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at Vanderbilt University 

[This program was discontinued in March 2017-no new students will be admitted.]

Fisk University Overview of the Fisk/Vanderbilt University BA to MSN Pathway

Fisk University Students Year 1 thru Year 3

Fisk Students interested in bridging to the MSN program at Vanderbilt University, in preparation for becoming an advanced practice nurse ( nurse practitioner)  declare majors in one of several approved majors at Fisk University.  The program requirements of the selected major along with the prerequisite nursing requirements are completed during the student’s first three years at Fisk. The prerequisite nursing courses are listed below with the equivalent Fisk course numbers.

  • Microbiology and Lab ( 4 credits);  BIO 270 & 270L
  • Human Anatomy and  Physiology I and II and Labs (8 credits); BIO 221 & 221L; 222 & 222L
  • Introduction to Nutrition (2 credits); NURS 231 – taken at Vanderbilt
  • Statistics (3 credits);  SSCI 280
  • Child and Adolescent (4 credits);  PSY 205
  • Across the Lifespan (4 credits); SOC 282
  • General Psychology (4 credits); PSY 180

Year 3

During the Fall Semester of Year 3, students will apply for admission to the Vanderbilt University Masters of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program.  The requirements are as follows:

M.S.N. Admission Requirements

Students must apply by December 1 of the year prior to beginning the M.S.N. program; students participating in the joint program, i.e. three years at Fisk and their fourth year in absentia, apply by December 1 of their Junior year at Fisk. The prerequisite courses listed above do not need to be completed at the time of application. However, courses must be completed prior to beginning the M.S.N. program.

  • A separate application to the M.S.N. program which includes the following items:
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score, minimum score of 50%
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or  higher
  • Three letters of reference
  • Statement of nursing career goals
  • Responses to interview survey
  • Official transcripts and any other colleges/universities attended

Year 4

Students will begin coursework at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) .  The first two semesters of the Year 4 nursing courses will count as electives toward completing the 120 hour academic coursework requirement at Fisk University for a B.A degree.  After successful completion of the courses listed below, students are eligible to be awarded a bachelors degree in the selected major from Fisk University.

Year 4 Courses Fall Semester I

Course NumberCourse NameHours
NURS 215Foundations of Professional Nursing Role Development I2
NURS 220Principles of Client-Centered Care1
NURS 225Enhancement of Community and Population Health I2
NURS 235Human Experience of Health and Illness Across the Lifespan I4
NURS 245Fundamentals of Clinical Practice5
NURS 255APharmacology for Nursing Care I2

Year 4 Courses Spring Semester II

Course NumberCourse NameHours
NURS 216Foundations of Professional Nursing Role Development II2
NURS 226Enhancement of Community and Population Health II3
NURS 236Human Experience of Health and Illness Across the Lifespan II5
NURS 246Integration of Theoretical Clinical Aspects of Nursing I3
NURS 255BPharmacology for Nursing Care II2

Students will graduate from Fisk University after Spring semester with a bachelors degree in their specified major. They will continue at VUSN beginning in Summer Semester of Year 4 and continue to complete the requirements for the MSN. Students will be eligible for RN licensure at the completion of the Year 4 Summer Semester.

Year 4 Summer Courses Semester III

Course NumberCourse NameHours
NURS 217Foundations of Professional Nursing Role Development III2
NURS 227Enhancement of Community and Population Health III2
NURS 237Human Experience of Health and Illness Across the Lifespan III4
NURS 247AIntegration of Theoretical and Clinical Aspects of Nursing II1
NURS 247BCapstone Clinical Practicum2
NURS 256Pharmacology for Nursing Care III1
Total 12

Year 5

Students will begin coursework in their selected nursing specialty.  Course requirements will vary according to the selected specialty.  Upon completion of the VUSN requirements, students will be awarded a Masters of Science in Nursing. Licensure will be as an Advanced Practice Nurse in a specialty of choice.

Tuition Cost and Loan Repayment Programs for the Master’s phase of training

VUSN tuition is higher than that for Fisk University and also includes associated course and program fees.  Refer to the VUSN web site for a detailed tuition and fee description, as tuition and fees change each year. Students in this program are responsible for paying the tuition differential themselves

Please refer to the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program website for an overview of loan repayment programs :

For more and continually updated information about this program, contact:Vanderbilt University School of Nursing or Sandy Church, Assitant Director of Admissions at  or her office phone at (615) 322-3800 or, the Fisk University Pre-Health Coordinator Lee E Limbird, PhD