A stunning 76th-minute winner from Sone Aluko handed the Tigers an unlikely 3-2 victory after they had twice trailed to the Magpies.
The win was particularly sweet for Geordie Bruce, who on his last visit to St James' Park as Sunderland manager in October 2010, left on the wrong end of a 5-1 scoreline.
He said: "That was certainly the darkest Sunday afternoon I have had in football. It was the worst result I could probably ever think of.
"It's taken a long time to come back, but we have come back and dusted ourselves down, and it's always nice to win here.
"As you know, I'm a Geordie and it's always nice to come back, especially if we can get a result."
Bruce added: "We play two strikers and we are a little bit different and at the end of the day, it doesn't surprise me that we can come up here and win because we have got some good players.
"I hope they can keep their feet on the ground and keep enjoying it the way they are. The big thing for me is can we stay injury-free with the big players we have got?"