Nursing Department | Fitchburg State University
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Nursing Department

FALL 2020 UPDATE: The Department of Nursing will offer the following open office hours for visits to the main nursing office, Thompson Hall, Room 324 for Fall 2020. Office hours are 10:30am -11:30am and 2pm - 3pm. Please contact Rhonda Burgess at or by phone 978-665-3221 or Deborah Gifford at or by phone 978-665-3023 to schedule an appointment. 

Location: Thompson Hall, Room 324
Chairperson: Deborah Benes, PhD, RN, PNP-R 978.665.3325
Admin. Assistant: Rhonda M. Burgess, 978.665.3221
Admin. Assistant: Deborah Gifford, 978.665.3023
Admissions Office: 978.665.3144 or

Accreditation (Approval Status)

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.

The Department of Nursing has full approval status from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Board of Registration in Nursing
239 Causeway Street, Suite 500, 5th floor
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617.973.0900
Fax: 617.973.0984

In addition, the Department of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing (MACN).

The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) accredits Fitchburg State University.


The Department of Nursing is proud of our long distinguished history in Nursing education. Our faculty and staff are committed to providing a contemporary nursing education while fostering individual student development.

FSU DON Mission, Vision and Terminal Outcomes (PDF)
University Catalog
Four Year Plans of Study



Nursing department facilitiesThe students in the Department of Nursing gain experience in healthcare settings throughout Massachusetts. In addition to off-campus health care facilities where students gain hands-on experience, the department offers:

  • A well equipped health assessment lab
  • A state-of the-art clinical skills/simulation lab
  • Home care setting lab
  • SimMan, SimBaby, SimNewB, and SimMan 3G, technologically advanced manikins which challenge and test students’ clinical and decision-making skills during realistic patient care scenarios

Technical Standards for Admission: Progression and Graduation

The faculty of the Department of Nursing has identified a set of technical standards that we deem essential to a student's success in meeting the outcomes of the nursing program.

Communication Skills

The nursing student must be able to communicate with accuracy, clarity and efficiency with patients, families, members of the health care team, instructors and peers. This includes both verbal and nonverbal communication. Each student must have the ability to speak, read, comprehend and write the English language.

Cognitive Abilities

The nursing student is expected to demonstrate cognitive abilities, which include intellectual, conceptual, integrative, quantitative, critical thinking and comprehension skills that allow the student to carry out the nursing process in the care of patients.

Visual, Auditory, and Tactile Abilities

The nursing student must have sufficient capacity to make and interpret visual, auditory, and tactile observations.

Motor Abilities, Strength and Physical Endurance

The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to provide comprehensive nursing care.

Behavioral and Social Attributes/Abilities

The nursing student must possess the emotional and mental health required for full use of their intellectual, communication/observation, motor and sensory abilities in order to exercise sound, stable judgment in the care of patients in a variety of settings.

As students progress through the nursing program, it is essential that nursing students meet the above Technical Standards

Good Moral Character

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing requires that
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. Please refer to the Good Moral Character Requirements for Licensure for more information.

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