||Nellipher Lewis Mchenga
LPN to BS/RN
to BS Program Chair
The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Fitchburg State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) http://www.ccneaccreditation.org
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.
Vision of the Department of Nursing
As a center of excellence in baccalaureate nursing education, the Fitchburg State University Department of Nursing prepares students to assume healthcare leadership roles in the global society of the 21st century. The Department uses continuous program evaluation and innovation to maintain an educational culture that fosters social responsibility, service commitment, client advocacy, and lifelong learning. Graduates are nurse generalists who use critical thinking and current evidence to solve problems using integrative care to meet the evolving healthcare needs of populations and environments.
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) http://www.ccneaccreditation.org. The undergraduate nursing program is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.
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.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
For information on admission to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program as a Pre-major, refer to the Department of Nursing.
LPN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
For information on admission to the LPN to BS in Nursing program as a Pre-major, refer to the Department of Nursing.
Nursing Pre-Majors / LPN Freshman Year Students
- All students must successfully complete ENGL1100 Writing I; ENGL1200 Writing II; PSY 1100 Introduction to Psychological Science; SOC 1100 Introduction to Sociology; and MATH 1700 Applied Statistics by the end of the spring semester of their first year.
- All students in the nursing pre-major/LPN freshman year must achieve a grade of 2.5 or higher in the following prerequisite courses: BIOL 1200 Anatomy & Physiology I; BIOL 1300 Anatomy & Physiology II; and CHEM 1200 Chemistry for the Health Sciences to be eligible to enroll in any nursing (NURS) courses by the end of the Spring semester of the freshman year.
- Successful completion of the requirements by the end of the spring semester of the freshman year will guarantee a seat in the sophomore nursing courses.
- Students who do not successfully complete the requirements by the end of the spring semester of their freshman year will be transferred out of the Nursing Pre-Major/LPN to BS in Nursing track.
- Nursing students must achieve a minimum grade of 2.5 or better in each nursing (NURS) course. Should a student withdraw OR fail a course, that course can be repeated only one time. The student must achieve a grade of 2.5 or higher in the repeated course in order to move forward in the nursing program.
- For each NURSING course, nursing students must satisfactorily complete:
- theoretical requirements (i.e. exams, papers, projects)
- all required laboratory psychomotor skills
- requirements for all clinical experiences (including pre/post conferences or seminars and final clinical evaluations as applicable)
- Traditional sophomores who withdraw from one nursing course, or failed to achieve a grade of 2.5 in one nursing course are required to complete the following during the following semester:
- Academic Coaching and Tutor Center
- Take an Academic Success Workshop: Take the LASSI (Learning and Study Strategies Inventory), have a follow up meeting with an academic coach to discuss the results of the LASSI, and meet at least two additional times with an academic coach to discuss/ assess the effectiveness/ ineffectiveness of recommended study strategies.
Complete Group and Individual Tutoring: During the following semester, the student is required to complete 15 hours of group or individual tutoring, while enrolled in the previously failed or withdrawn course.
2. Nursing Lab
- Fall Semester: Students who failed or withdrew during a fall semester course will serve as a peer mentor in an assigned Foundations Nursing lab in the following fall semester. Students will assist the lab instructor with hands on instruction of foundation skills in five 3 hour labs.
- Spring Semester: Students who failed or withdrew during a spring semester course will complete a 15 hour clinical judgment/critical reasoning program during the following spring semester.
3. Sophomore students must also achieve a grade of 2.5 or better in BIOL 2700 Medical Microbiology and BIOL 1650 Nutrition in order to progress to all junior nursing courses.
4. Junior and senior nursing students, as well as LPN to BS in Nursing students who fail or withdraw from one nursing course will be allowed to repeat the failed course during the following semester. Failure to achieve a grade of 2.5 or better when the course is repeated will result in dismissal from the major.
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing requires that all applicants meet the Good Moral Character requirement.
Criminal Offender Record Information CORI checks
CORI checks are completed for all students upon matriculation into the nursing program and yearly thereafter. Agencies often require students to update the CORI check prior to participation in an educational experience. An agency can refuse to accept a student as a result of a CORI check, and Fitchburg State University assumes no obligation to locate an alternative site and cannot guarantee the completion of degree requirements. Students are required to notify the Department Chair immediately of any changes in their CORI status.
Undergraduates in the Nursing program who have been awarded advanced placement credit on the basis of a College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or an Advanced Placement (AP) examination administered by the College Board will be granted no grade for these credits. Official transfer credit evaluations are conducted by the Registrar’s Office when a student is admitted to the university. For more information, refer to the university policy.
Advanced placement within the Nursing program may occur in two ways for Registered Nurses:
- Must hold a current Massachusetts Registered Nurse License
- The Department of Nursing has articulation agreements with many community colleges. These Agreements grant advanced placement to graduates of these colleges 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.
- Licensed Practical Nurses must hold a current Massachusetts Licensed Practical Nurse License; graduated from an accredited Practical Nursing program in Massachusetts; successfully complete three specified NLN Accelerated Challenge Exams at the determined decision scores to meet one of the criterion for eligibility for admission to the Program.
- The National League for Nursing’s Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exams I PN-RN are administered to prospective LPN to BS in Nursing candidates to evaluate their previous learning and experience in order to award credit and placement in the LPN to BS in Nursing Bridge Program.
- LPN students who meet the above criteria will receive 18 transfer credits upon admission to the program.
Course Exemption Policy
Course exemptions are made through Advanced Placement, university testing, military transcripts and transfer credit for previously taken college courses. This occurs during the undergraduate admissions process. Fitchburg State University Department of Nursing policies for course exemptions at the undergraduate level are congruent with those of the University.
All nursing courses must be taken at Fitchburg State University according to the plan of study for the respective degree program. For more information refer to the university policy.
Readmission to the Nursing Department Policy
- Students who withdraw from the Department or University in good standing must request readmission. The application first goes to the Registrar, who then consults with the Chairperson of the Department of Nursing. Readmission depends on clinical space availability. If it has been longer than one year, the student must reapply to the program.
- 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. The student must first gain readmission to the University.
- If the student left due to academic or clinical difficulty, to be considered for re- admission to the Department, a written letter is required. The letter should include information which describes the reason for the academic or clinical difficulty, and what has been done to assure that the difficulty will not reoccur.
- The letter is considered by the Student Policies Committee, who recommends action to the Department Chairperson.
- The final decision rests with the Department Chairperson. Readmission also depends on clinical space availability.
- No student will be re-admitted if they have failed two or more nursing courses.
- Students who are not readmitted to the Department of Nursing are eligible for readmittance to the University. Please refer to the University Catalog.
Education Mobility Policy
The faculty of the Department of Nursing support educational mobility and stand ready to assist students in achieving their academic goals. The department supports the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Educational Mobility Position Statement and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing Position Statement.
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 (BS) degree at a state university or UMass;
- Make the process of transferring credits from the ADN to the BS in Nursing 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 BS in Nursing;
- 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.
- 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-BS in Nursing 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-BS in Nursing 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 BS in Nursing 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/BS in Nursing 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 BS in Nursing 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 BS in Nursing degree.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Notwithstanding any provision of this policy, the Nursing Education Transfer policy does not:
- Preclude community colleges or the state universities or the UMass campuses from entering into similar agreements with other institutions of higher education.
- Prevent the state universities or UMass from admitting community college students through existing admission processes.
- Limit a state university or UMass campus from eliminating a school, department or degree program.
- Ensure eligibility for federal, state, or institutional financial assistance.
- Provide any guarantees or representations regarding tuition rates or fees at the community colleges, state universities, or UMass.
- 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 BS in Nursing degree.
Transfer Students Policy
The Department of Nursing does not accept internal or external transfer students into the traditional nursing program at the present time.
To graduate from Fitchburg State University, students must meet the following criteria:
- Achieve a minimum of 2.5 or better in each nursing (NURS) course.
- Obtain 120 credits including four year plan of study in Nursing.
- Meet all department of Nursing requirements.
- Complete all elective Liberal Arts and Science requirements.
*For additional requirements, see academic progression policy.