Jun 23, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, B.S.

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Nancy Duphily Robert Dumas  
  Linda McKay  
  Ann Scannell  
Associate Professors
Assistant Professors
Magda Bechar Deborah Benes Althea Aranda
  Christine Devine Arlana Arsenault
  Akwasi Duah Teresa Finn
  Nancy Duphily Nancy Green
  Tara Mariolis Allison Shields
  Deborah Stone  
Lab Coordinator
Staff Assistant, LPN to BS/RN to BS Coordinator
Part-Time Instructors
Carol McKew Sarah Blood Jean Kressy
    Lola Meskauskas
Clinical Placement Coordinator
Stephanie Easton    

The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Fitchburg State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation

Vision of the Department of Nursing

As a center of excellence in baccalaureate nursing education, the Fitchburg State University Department of Nursing graduates students who are prepared to assume healthcare leadership roles in the global society of the 21st century. The Department uses continuous programmatic evaluation and innovation to maintain an educational culture that fosters social responsibility, service commitment, client advocacy and lifelong learning. Graduates are nurse generalists who are system sensitive problem solvers and critical thinkers. The graduate is committed to evidence based practice and to recognize financial and regulatory mandates which govern health care practices. Graduates are capable of meshing technological innovations with holistic nursing measures to provide integrative care that meets the diverse needs of changing healthcare populations and environments.

Mission of the Department of Nursing

The mission of the Fitchburg State University Department of Nursing is to prepare professional nurses capable of meeting societal healthcare needs in a variety of settings. In their teaching, the faculty nurtures respect for diversity, social responsibility, and a commitment to excellence. Collaborative and interactive teaching methods foster the use of critical thinking to build a strong foundation for the practice of holistic nursing. Legal, ethical, and professional standards guide the faculty in teaching the art and science of nursing.

Description of the Program in Nursing

As the first public state university in Massachusetts to offer a nursing program, Fitchburg State has a long, distinguished history in nursing education. The baccalaureate degree in nursing and the master’s degree in nursing at Fitchburg State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation. The undergraduate nursing program is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.

Terminal Outcomes

Upon completion of the nursing program, the graduate will:

  • Synthesize knowledge from the liberal arts, sciences, and nursing as a foundation for safe, client-centered care.
  • Incorporate basic organizational and systems leadership to provide quality care and patient safety.
  • Integrate evidence-based practice including current research and critical thinking in the management of client care.
  • Analyze information using information technology to improve patient outcomes.
  • Examine the impact of health care policy, finance and regulatory environments on nursing practice.
  • Integrate principles of communication in professional practice.
  • Synthesize knowledge of health promotion and disease/ injury prevention in designing population focused care.
  • Integrate professional standards of moral, ethical and legal conduct into nursing practice.

The department provides well equipped laboratories for on-campus practice of clinical skills and health assessment skills, and a wide variety of client care opportunities in affiliated health care agencies. All senior students participate in a 17 hours per week preceptorship capstone clinical experience. Graduates are in great demand in the professional job market, and many have earned advanced degrees and have progressed to leadership positions in practice, administration, research, and education.

Criteria for Admissions and Retention

Students wishing to pursue the nursing major must be admitted to Fitchburg State University as a nursing pre-major. Their high school science courses must include Biology and Chemistry. During freshman year, students must successfully complete all prerequisite nursing courses which include: Writing I and II, Introduction to Sociology and General Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Chemistry for the Health Sciences, and Applied Statistics. A grade of 2.5 or better is required in each of the three science courses. In addition, students must achieve a grade of 82 or above on the Accuplacer Math Readiness exam or have completed Basic Math I and/or II Non-STEM track with a grade of “S”. Students who have successfully met these requirements at the end of freshman year will be automatically admitted into the nursing major. Any student not completing these requirements by May of their freshman year will remain in the university but will be transferred into the undeclared major. The department admits qualified transfer students, who are not licensed nurses, but who meet the prerequisites for the sophomore year on a space-available basis.

Registered Nurses are admitted into junior year. They are provided a variety of opportunities to achieve advanced placement in Liberal Arts and Sciences courses and in nursing via the CLEP program, college examinations, NLN ACE II examinations, a portfolio review process, and articulation agreements with numerous community colleges.

Licensed Practical Nurses are admitted into the LPN to BS in Nursing track which allows LPNs to earn advanced placement credits via NLN ACE I challenge exams.

As a professional preparation program, successful progress in the major necessitates requirements in addition to those common to all college students.

These include:

  • A grade of 2.5 or better, Medical Microbiology and Nutrition.
  • A grade of 2.5 or better in all Nursing (NURS) courses. Sophomores who fail or withdraw from one nursing course are required to participate in 30 hours of tutoring at the Fitchburg State Tutoring Center, as well as complete 15 hours of skills in the nursing lab during the semester. Failure to comply will result in dismissal from the program. Juniors and seniors who fail or withdraw from one nursing course will be allowed to repeat the course the following semester on a space available basis. Failure to achieve a 2.5 when the course is repeated will result in disenrollment from the major.
  • Students may repeat only one Nursing course throughout the entire program.
  • Any subsequent grade of less than 2.5 in other Nursing courses will result in disenrollment from the major.
  • Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to clinical practice sites.
  • Annually, prior to participation in any clinical nursing course, students must present evidence to the Department of Nursing of: Hepatitis B Series and titer, other immunizations, CPR certification/recertification at the professional level from the American Heart Association, a physical examination, and Massachusetts nursing licensure (if applicable). Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulations regarding health records for students enrolled in the health sciences must be met through the campus Health Services office.

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing requires that all applicants meet the Good Moral Character requirement.

Purpose This policy is used by the Board to review the “Good Moral Character” (GMC) of applicants for initial nurse licensure and applicants for authorization as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN). This Policy is also used by the Board as a guide to determine the GMC of nurses and APRNS already licensed and/or authorized by the Board.
Date Adopted/Revised September 8, 1999; effective January 1, 2000; revised January 9, 2002; clarified April 4, 2002, May 22, 2002, November 6, 2002; revised February 14, 2007; September 9, 2009; October 13, 2010; April 13, 2011 (revised), June 12, 2013 (revised), November 13, 2013 (revised)
Application of Policy The Board will evaluate each application for initial nurse licensure by examination and by reciprocity, and for APRN authorization under the policy governing the determination of GMC in effect on the date the Board receives the application.
Attributes of GMC
  1. GMC must be demonstrated by reliable evidence of good conduct;
  2. Examples of such conduct include:
    1. honesty;
    2. trustworthiness;
    3. integrity;
    4. accountability;
    5. reliability;
    6. distinguishing between right and wrong;
    7. avoidance of aggression to self and others;
    8. taking responsibility for one’s own actions and similar attributes found relevant by the Board.
Conduct Showing the Absence of GMC The absence of the attributes of GMC is most often demonstrated by certain conduct. Such conduct includes hostile or destructive conduct to another or to self and conduct that demonstrates a disregard for the welfare, safety or rights of another or disregard for honesty, integrity or trustworthiness. Examples of such conduct include the conduct underlying certain criminal convictions and disciplinary actions taken by a licensure/certification body in another jurisdiction.
Conviction For the purpose of this Policy, “conviction” means the final judgment on a verdict or finding of guilty, a plea of guilty, a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) or a plea treated by the court as a guilty plea, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the conviction was entered.
GMC is a Prerequisite for Initial Licensure by Exam, Licensure by Reciprocity, and for Initial APRN Authorization An applicant must be “of good moral character” for the Board to find the individual to be safe and competent to practice nursing. The GMC standard is created by statute and it assists the Board in determining whether an individual’s character poses a risk to the public health, safety or welfare and/or to the likely provision by the individual of safe, competent nursing care.
The Burden of Demonstrating GMC is on the Applicant The applicant must meet this burden by submitting to the Board required documentation of all available pertinent information as to the applicant’s present and past conduct, disciplinary history, and criminal history.
Withdrawal or Expiration of Application Prior to GMC Evaluation Will Result in a Determination of Non-compliance

An application that is withdrawn by an Applicant before the Board either receives all required documents or completes the evaluation of eligibility for licensure will be denied licensure based on non-compliance with the Board’s GMC licensure requirement.

An applicant whose application expires prior to the Board’s receipt of all required documents will be denied licensure based on non-compliance with the Board’s GMC licensure requirement.

Disclosure of Licensure Disciplinary Actions and Criminal Convictions

All licensure disciplinary actions and criminal convictions (including misdemeanors and felonies) must be disclosed regardless of when they occurred.

Motor Vehicle Offenses that do not involve drugs or alcohol are not required to be disclosed.

Any Open Criminal Matter or Licensure Disciplinary Action at the Time of Application will Result in a Determination of Non-compliance

Failure to meet the following requirements related to a criminal matter or licensure disciplinary action at the time of application will result in a determination of non-compliance with GMC and the application will be denied:

  1. all court-ordered requirements in connection with all criminal matters involving the applicant have been closed for at least one (1) year; and
  2. all requirements imposed by a licensure/certification body in connection with disciplinary action (including probation) are completed and that the license is not subject to any restrictions.
There are Permanent and Temporary Exclusions from Licensure and Authorization based upon GMC Determination

Permanent Exclusion

Conduct underlying certain felony convictions will result in mandatory permanent exclusion from the practice of nursing in Massachusetts.

Examples of such conduct are:

  1. conduct underlying the crimes listed on Attachment A and any other violent crime against any person(s) that involves extreme disregard of human life;
  2. trafficking in, or illegally manufacturing, any controlled substance; and
  3. exploitation or criminal mistreatment of a vulnerable individual including, a minor, elder and/or disabled person.

Temporary (Five Year) Exclusion

When the applicant has engaged in any of the following conduct within the five (5) year period immediately before the date of an application s/he shall be temporarily excluded from the practice of nursing in Massachusetts (unless s/he meets the requirements in the “Exception to Temporary Exclusion” section below):

  1. conduct for which there is a criminal conviction that does not result in permanent exclusion;
  2. knowingly falsifying or attempting to falsify, any documentation or information submitted on an application for examination or licensure or for APRN authorization, that is related to the qualifications for such examination or licensure, or authorization; or
  3. cheating on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), or on any other licensure or certification examination.

Timing of the Period of Temporary Exclusion

Temporary exclusion shall be for:

  1. at least five (5) years from the date of the most recent conviction or the date the conduct at issue last occurred (whichever is later), and
  2. at least one (1) year from the date of the applicant’s successful completion of all court-ordered requirements.
There are Certain Cases When the Required Temporary Exclusion Will Not Apply (Exception to Temporary Exclusion)

Exception to Temporary Exclusion

An applicant who falls under the Temporary Exclusion section of this Policy due to his or her criminal conviction may still ask the Board to evaluate his/her compliance with the GMC requirement, but only in the following circumstances:

  1. the applicant makes a written request (with substantiating documentation satisfactory to the Board) for a determination of his/her compliance with the GMC requirement; and
  2. the applicant:
    1. during the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of the application, has only one criminal conviction for a single misdemeanor offense or multiple criminal convictions for misdemeanor offenses that are all based on the same one (1) incident or episode;
    2. was not sentenced to any period of incarceration (whether served, suspended, or stayed), unless in connection with a first time operating while under the influence or comparable offense: the incarceration, suspended, or stayed sentence was required by the convicting jurisdiction’s mandatory sentencing guidelines, and that sentence was the least required by law (Note: this must be substantiated by the applicant and provided to the Board as required documentation);
    3. successfully completed all related court-ordered requirements, if any, including probation;
  3. the applicant’s criminal conduct, if it occurred outside Massachusetts, would constitute a misdemeanor in Massachusetts;
  4. the applicant’s criminal conduct was victimless and nonviolent; and
  5. the applicant has no open criminal case(s) against him or her.

An applicant who the Board finds meets all of these requirements will have his/her GMC compliance determined by the Board using the case by case evaluation process, below.

Case by Case GMC Compliance Evaluation

Case by Case GMC Evaluation

If an applicant is not permanently or temporarily excluded from licensure or authorization under this Policy, the Board will evaluate any conduct demonstrating an absence of the attributes of GMC to determine whether the conduct:

  1. poses a risk or threat to the public health, safety or welfare;
  2. is of significance to the provision of safe and competent nursing care; and
  3. is characteristic of the applicant’s conduct.

In doing so, the Board will evaluate factors including:

  1. the nature and seriousness of all conduct at issue, including any criminal conviction(s) or disciplinary action(s) by a licensure/certification body;
  2. the sufficiency of the applicant’s sustained rehabilitation;
  3. the applicant’s age at the time the conduct at issue occurred;
  4. the frequency of occurrence of the conduct at issue;
  5. how recent the conduct was;
  6. any mitigating or aggravating circumstances related to the conduct; and
  7. the applicant’s acknowledgment of its significance to nursing licensure and/or APRN authorization.
Ineligibility Based on Determination of Non-Compliance; Denial of Application for Initial Massachusetts Nurse Licensure by Exam, by Reciprocity, or Advanced Practice Authorization

An applicant who is not in compliance with the GMC requirement will be denied licensure and APRN authorization, and a complaint will be opened and then closed for purposes of reporting as required and authorized by law, and for tracking by the Board.

Complaint Opened Against an existing RN License of an APRN Applicant

An applicant for APRN authorization by the Board, who is not in compliance with the GMC requirement, will not be eligible for such authorization. In addition, the Board will open a complaint based on noncompliance with the GMC requirement against an existing Massachusetts nursing license or advanced practice authorization of the applicant.

Notice and Review of Denial Based on Noncompliance with GMC Requirement

The Board will notify any ineligible applicant of its decision to deny licensure or APRN authorization, the reason(s) for the denial, and the opportunity for review of the denial. The Board may also inform the applicant of the requirements, if any, that the applicant must satisfy before the applicant may reapply. the Board shall afford the applicant an opportunity for a hearing where the applicant alleges, and can reasonably substantiate, the existence of specific areas of factual dispute relevant to the determination of his or her Good Moral Character ineligibility under this Policy.

If there are no areas of factual dispute, the Board may rely on written submissions in rendering a final decision on review. Judicial review of a Board final decision to deny licensure or authorization may be sought as provided by G.L. c. 30A, § 14.

Timing of GMC Review The amount of time that is needed for the Board to determine an initial applicant’s compliance with the GMC requirement varies. However, an initial applicant should expect that the process will take at least eight (8) weeks.


1Enabling Authority: Massachusetts General Laws (G.L.) Chapter 112, sections 74 (RN licensure by examination), 74A (LPN licensure by examination), 76 (licensure by reciprocity), 80B (Advanced Practice authorization) and the Board’s regulations at 244 CMR 4.00, 8.02(1) (a), 8.03(1) (a), 8.04(1) (a), 8.04(2) (a), 8.04(3) (a), and 9.03.

Attachment A - Criminal Convictions Excluding Individuals from initial Licensure as a Registered Nurse or Practical Nurse by Examination or Endorsement, and from Advanced Practice Authorization by the Board

The felony convictions that will result in the mandatory permanent ineligibility for initial Massachusetts licensure as a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse and for advanced practice authorization by the Board include, but are not limited to, convictions (as defined by Licensure Policy 00-01) for any of the following criminal offenses by any court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or convictions for any similar criminal offenses by a court in another state or by a federal court:

Murder First degree murder is the killing of a human being committed with deliberately premeditated malice aforethought (intentionally), or with extreme cruelty. All other murder, arising from reckless or negligent conduct, is second degree murder.
Rape Sexual intercourse by a person with another person who is compelled to submit against their will by force or threat of bodily injury or sexual intercourse with a child under sixteen years of age.
Aggravated Sexual Assault The unwanted touching of the genitals, mouth or anus of one person by the genitals of another person as the result of violence, force or the threat of force.
Assault with intent to rape the use of force or the threat of force with intent to commit rape.
Armed assault with intent to murder with felony intent Assaulting another with intent to commit murder or maim or disfigure that person.
Armed assault with intent to rob While being armed with a dangerous weapon assaulting another and robbing, stealing or taking money or personal property from that person.
Burglary, armed assault on occupant Breaking and entering a dwelling in the nighttime, to commit a felony, armed with a dangerous weapon at the time of such breaking, with any other person being lawfully therein.
Kidnapping Without lawful authority, forcibly or secretly confining or imprisoning another person within this commonwealth against his will or forcibly carrying a person from the commonwealth against their will or secretly confining or imprisoning a person.
Breaking and entering, day/night, intent to commit felony, fear Entering or breaking and entering, in the day time, a building, ship, vessel or vehicle with intent to commit a felony and placing any person lawfully therein in fear.
Burning a building Willfully and maliciously setting fire to, burning or causing to be burned a building other than a dwelling.
Burning dwelling house (attempt) Willfully and maliciously setting fire to, burning or causing to be burned a dwelling house or a building adjacent to a dwelling house.
Indecent assault and battery, child under 14 Any unwanted touching of the breast or genitals either directly or indirectly, enhanced penalty if the victim is fourteen years of age.
Indecent assault and battery, child 14 or over Any unwanted touching of the breast or genitals either directly or indirectly, enhanced penalty if the victim is fourteen years of age.
Unnatural acts with child under 16 Committing any unnatural and lascivious act with another person, enhanced penalty if the other person is under sixteen years of age.
Assault and battery dangerous intimidation, race, color, religion Committing an assault or a battery upon a person or damaging the real or personal property of a person with the intent to intimidate such person because of such person’s race, color, or religion; an enhanced penalty is imposed if serious bodily injury occurs.
Administering drugs to obtain sex Administering to or causing to be taken by a person any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy or overpower such person so as to thereby enable any person to have unlawful sexual intercourse.
Induce sex, minor Inducing any person under eighteen of chaste life to have unlawful sexual intercourse.


For further information, go to http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/hcq/dhpl/nursing/.

The Department of Nursing requires all nursing students to complete a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) through the Fitchburg State University Office of Campus Police/each year they are enrolled as a nursing major. In compliance with the policy, all applicants/students are informed that completion of the bachelor of science degree does not guarantee admittance to the registered nurse licensure examination.

Advanced Placement Policy

All candidates for advanced placement within the Department of Nursing must hold a current registered nurse or practical nurse license in good standing.

Advanced Placement Policy for Registered Nurses

All candidates for advanced placement within the Department of Nursing must hold a current registered nurse license in good standing. Advanced placement to the Department of Nursing is awarded to graduates of accredited Associate Degree Programs and to graduates of Diploma Programs in Nursing. The Department of Nursing has articulation agreements with many community colleges. These agreements grant advanced placement to graduates of these colleges who hold a Massachusetts registered nurse license, and who achieved a minimum grade point average of 2.5. Graduates of non-articulated but accredited registered nurse programs who meet the minimum GPA are also eligible for advanced placement. Those applicants who are graduates of diploma RN programs are also able to obtain advanced placement through the use of NLN ACE II exams, which grant Fitchburg State University credit for a score of 90 or better. Please see the Nursing Education Transfer Policy for additional information.

Advanced Placement Policy for Licensed Practical Nurses

For licensed practical nurses, advanced placement to the Department of Nursing is awarded through the use of NLN ACE I exams, which grant Fitchburg State University credit for scores which meet the required decision score.

Course Exemption Policy

Course exemption for students in the Nursing major is accomplished in two ways. For non-Nursing courses, students must submit an official transcript to the registrar of the university for evaluation. For Nursing courses, students must submit an official transcript to the Registrar’s Office showing their grade for the course in question. A copy of this transcript, as well as a course description and a syllabus will be submitted to the department chair. The chairperson, in consultation with appropriate faculty, evaluates the course in relation to the comparable course offered by the Department of Nursing. Course exemption is awarded based on the similarities of the courses, as well as the grade achieved in the course to be used in place of a required Nursing course. Courses to be accepted in lieu of a required Nursing course must have a grade of 2.5 or better, and must have been taken at a Board of Registration in Nursing approved CCNE or NLN accredited school.

Readmission to the Nursing Department Policy

Students who withdraw from the department or university in good standing may request readmission. The application first goes to the Registrar’s Office, which then consults with the chairperson of the Department of Nursing. Readmission depends on clinical space availability. If the student has been away for more than two years, they may be required to repeat courses.

Students who have left the department or university and are not in good standing at the time of departure are not guaranteed readmission to the university or to the department. To gain readmission to the university, students must meet with the dean of Student and Academic Life, who will review the reasons for suspension or dismissal and will make a contract with them if they are readmitted. To be considered for readmission to the Department of Nursing, if the student left due to academic or clinical difficulty, the student is required to write a letter which describes the reason for the problem, and what has been done to assure that the difficulty will not re-occur. This letter is considered by the Department of Nursing Student Policies Committee, who recommends action to the department chairperson. The final decision rests with the department chairperson. Readmission depends on clinical space availability. If the student has been away for more than two years, they may be required to repeat courses. The academic standards of the department are followed. No student will be readmitted if they have failed two or more Nursing courses.

Education Mobility Policy

The Department of Nursing recognizes that career decisions and the selection of the program of study necessary to enter Nursing are the responsibility of the individual and are based on career goals, abilities and resources. As career goals are revised, and nurses seek to gain competencies not achieved in their basic nursing education program, educational mobility enables an individual to move from one educational level to another with acknowledgment of acquired competencies and minimal repetition of previous learning. The development and implementation of efficient and creative methods for identifying and evaluating prior learning and experience is the responsibility of nurse educators.

Nursing Education Transfer Policy

Agreement for public two- and four-year Institutions of Higher Learning in Massachusetts.


  • Create a seamless, cost effective, timely and transparent pathway for students to progress from community college Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at a state university or UMass;
  • Make the process of transferring credits from the ADN to the BSN transparent for students and administrators and mitigate the need for inter-campus articulation agreements between public two- and four-year nursing programs;
  • Reduce the overall time for transfer students to complete the BSN;
  • Eliminate any unnecessary duplication of coursework, thereby reducing costs for students; and
  • Rationalize curriculum pathways among the community colleges and state universities and UMass to clarify course selection.

Key attributes:

  • BORN-approved ADN degree programs require a maximum of 72 credits;
  • All courses earned as part of a BORN-approved public ADN degree program will transfer, without time restriction,* as a body of knowledge and practical experience that is prerequisite to NCLEX licensure, to any upper-division nursing program at the state university or the University of Massachusetts;
  • The 34-credit MassTransfer General Education Block may be completed at the community college and these credits will transfer to address the general education requirements of any upper-division nursing program at the state university or UMass;
    • Community colleges must indicate the completion status of the MassTransfer General Education Block on the transcripts of students seeking to enroll in an upper-division nursing program;
    • At the discretion of the receiving institution, 6 additional credits may be required to fulfill the general education requirements;**
  • A maximum total of 128 credits will be required to earn the RN-to-BSN degree, which includes: upper-division nursing courses, related major courses and any electives that may be needed to meet minimum degree and residency requirements of the receiving institution;
  • The post-transfer course work required for completion of the RN-to-BSN degree includes: upper-division nursing courses, related major courses and any electives that may be needed to meet minimum degree and residency requirements of the receiving institution;
  • The minimum GPA for admission to the BSN program is determined by each public higher education institution. Students who meet the institution’s minimum GPA and have a GPA of 2.75 or higher receive the following benefits:
    • No application fee
    • No application essay
    • Preferential admission to the RN/BSN program based on availability;
  • A prior bachelor’s degree earned from a regionally accredited public four-year institution qualifies as meeting the general education requirements in a BSN program at a state university or UMass nursing program.

* Credits earned in a BORN-approved public ADN program offered at an institution of higher education will be transferred as a block, without a time restriction except for the four-year public institution’s policy on time limits for specific courses, i.e., sciences.

**Baccalaureate institutions may also substitute their own general education requirements for the MassTransfer General Education Block, if doing so will facilitate a more timely completion of the BSN degree.

Information sharing:

The Massachusetts public higher education institutions agree to share information about participating students as set forth in this section, to the extent permissible under appropriate statutes, regulations and institutional policies regarding confidentiality of student records. This exchange of information allows institutions to provide students with the broadest range of academic choices and support services, thereby creating an environment conducive to academic success.

  1. To the extent permissible under applicable law, the Massachusetts community colleges, upon request, agree to provide the state universities and the UMass campuses with directory information, as defined by the respective community college, such as names, addresses, and majors for participating students enrolled on their campuses.
  2. To the extent permissible under applicable law, the state universities and the UMass campuses agree to provide non-identifying student information on nursing transfer students such as graduation and retention rates, grade point averages, and academic majors and degree programs upon request from the community colleges. Any release of such information shall not, directly or indirectly, transmit personally identifying information about any student who has not granted permission for participation institutions to share such information.
  3. Each state university and University of Massachusetts campus agrees to provide freshman applicants not offered admission with information on the nursing education transfer system if the applicant is potentially suitable for participation. The state universities and UMass campuses will provide the appropriate community college(s) with names and addresses of all such applicants who grant permission for the release of this information.

In order to encourage students who are academically suspended, or who otherwise leave the state university or University of Massachusetts campus while not in good academic standing to consider educational opportunities at the community colleges, the state universities and UMass campuses agree to undertake reasonable efforts to provide community colleges with the names, addresses and other pertinent academic records of such students who grant permission for the release of this information.

Further information:

Notwithstanding any provision of this policy, the Nursing Education Transfer policy does not:

  1. Preclude community colleges or the state universities or the UMass campuses from entering into similar agreements with other institutions of higher education.
  2. Prevent the state universities or UMass from admitting community college students through existing admission processes.
  3. Limit a state university or UMass campus from eliminating a school, department or degree program.
  4. Ensure eligibility for federal, state, or institutional financial assistance.
  5. Provide any guarantees or representations regarding tuition rates or fees at the community colleges, state universities, or UMass.
  6. Prohibit baccalaureate institutions from substituting their own general education requirements for the MassTransfer General Education Block, if doing so will facilitate more timely completion of the BSN degree.

Transfer Students Policy

Transfer into the Nursing major is competitive. Non-Nursing majors at Fitchburg State University (internal transfers) wishing to apply to the Nursing program must complete a formal application to the program at the beginning of the spring semester during which the student anticipates completion of the prerequisite courses. Transfer students must have a 3.0 or better cumulative average for their college work to date, and are held to the same prerequisite requirements and standards as current Nursing majors.

Those students who are transferring from other institutions (external transfers) must apply through the Admissions Department of the university. External transfers who have previously been enrolled in another nursing program must submit an official letter from the dean or director of that program stating that the student left in good standing and is eligible for readmission to that program.

The number of transfer students admitted to the Nursing major is determined by the availability of clinical sites, faculty, and the number of continuing Nursing students.

Requirements for the Major in Nursing

Graduation requires a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit comprised of:

  • 62 credit hours of Nursing
  • 40 hours of required core courses in Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • 18 hours of elective Liberal Arts and Sciences credits

Once in the Nursing major, each semester of Nursing includes a clinical/laboratory component as well as classroom theory. A variety of inpatient and community agencies in Massachusetts offer practice opportunities to assist students toward professional competency.

To provide majors with assistance to meet the progression requirements and achieve success in the program, the department uses individual academic and personal advising by Nursing faculty, referrals to campus services, and internal departmental resources. All senior students select an area of Nursing practice for concentrated study in accordance with individualized learning objectives.

All Nursing majors are required to complete yearly Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks.

RN Students

Please follow this link to the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ONLINE ), B.S.  program.

LPN Students

Please follow this link to the LPN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Bridge Program, B.S.  program


All Nursing majors will complete option C in the new LAS requirements.

* Fulfills the requirement for Computer Literacy and Listening and Speaking

** Fulfills the Requirement for Jr/Sr Writing

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