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Nursing - LPN to BS in Nursing Bridge Program (BS)

Degree Overview

The LPN to BS in Nursing Bridge Program is designed to transition the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to the role of a baccalaureate prepared Registered Nurse. The program is unique as it spans both Graduate and Continuing Education (GCE) and Day course schedules creating an accelerated curriculum. This approach allows students to attain their goals as quickly as possible as well as keeping them on a schedule that works with their career demands. Courses offered or taken through the day division in fall and spring carry the undergraduate day tuition and fees; courses offered in the evening, winter, or summer through GCE carry the undergraduate GCE tuition and fees.

Graduates of this program are prepared to meet societal healthcare needs in a variety of settings. Respect for diversity, social responsibility, and a commitment to excellence in nursing care are emphasized.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the 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.
  • Incorporate evidence-based nursing 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 effective 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.

Admissions Criteria

The next cohort of LPN to BS in Nursing Bridge Program students will enter in the Fall 2019 semester. January 1, 2019 is the priority deadline for admission and all required supporting materials including NLN exam results. Applications will continue to be read on a space available basis after that time.

  • Current Massachusetts LPN license in good standing
  • Graduate of an accredited LPN Program with Cumulative Grade Point Average
    ≥ 77 / GPA ≥ 2.5
  • Successful completion of three specified National League for Nursing - Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exams (NACE) I PN-RN at determined decision scores. NLN Testing will be scheduled by the Nursing Department. Exam outlines and study guides will be available.
    • NLN exam registration information and study guide links:
      NLN Information Bulletin/"Study Guide" (PDF)
      Student Guide NLNs (PDF)
      NLN LPN Exam Information Spring 2019 (PDF)
      NLN NACE I Exam Dates for Spring 2019

      January 30, 2019

      4:00 PM 8:00 PM Library Instruction Lab (HA101) NLN NACE I - Foundations of Nursing Exam

      February 13, 2019

      5:00 PM 7:00 PM Library Instruction Lab (HA101) NLN NACE I - Nursing Care of the Child Exam

      February 27, 2019

      5:00 PM 7:00 PM Library Instruction Lab (HA101) NLN NACE I - Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family

      Registration for each NACE exam opens approximately one month prior to the exam date, and closes approximately 5 days prior to the exam date.
      Borrow PN textbooks (PDF) at Fitchburg State Library to prepare for exam
  • Professional resume
  • Two letters of recommendation; one from a current employer and one from LPN program faculty on professional letterhead
  • Required essay to include your professional nursing skills, personal interests and career goals in nursing
  • Applicants must also complete all Fitchburg State University Admission Criteria - view the Transfer Application Checklist (PDF) for details.

Requirements and Curriculum

LPN to BS in Nursing Bridge Program
Two-Year Course Rotation

To earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Fitchburg State University, students are required to earn 120 credits in the LPN to BS in Nursing Curriculum. Courses offered or taken through the day division in fall and spring carry the undergraduate day tuition and fees; courses offered in the evening, winter, or summer through GCE carry the undergraduate GCE tuition and fees.

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  • Grade Requirements - Courses with an asterisk (*) have a minimum grade requirement of 2.5
  • Transfer of Credits - Fitchburg State University has articulation agreements with many Massachusetts colleges for transfer of credits.
  • Transfer of previous college credits is completed through the Registrar after admission to the program.
  • Transfer of Previous Science College Courses - Transfer of previously completed science courses (A&P I, A&P II, Microbiology, Chemistry) will be evaluated on an individual basis.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) - Some courses may be fulfilled through CLEP - Official transfer credit (PDF) evaluations are conducted by the Registrar's Office when a student is admitted to the university.
  • Accuplacer Algebra Placement Test - Accuplacer is a Department of Higher Education Requirement (DHE) upon admission. Refer to Placement Testing for details. The Department of Nursing requires a score of ≥ 82 on the Accuplacer, or completion of Basic Math II with a final grade of "S" by the end of Year I - Spring Semester.
  • Sequence - Nursing courses must be completed in the outlined sequence.  All liberal arts and science course must be completed by the completion of the nursing courses. 

Additional Requirements When Enrolled in Nursing Courses

  • Annual physical examination, tuberculosis screening, and current immunizations
  • Current health insurance
  • Current American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR Certification
  • Fitchburg State uniform, lab coat, name pin, watch, stethoscope, white sneakers
  • Meet Department of Nursing Technical Standards
  • Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI). Drug screening by clinical agencies as requested per agency requirements.
  • Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) testing within nursing courses

Students will receive a “Department of Nursing LPN to BS in Nursing Bridge Program Undergraduate Student Handbook” upon admission for current nursing policies and program details.

Career Opportunities

Once the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and the NCLEX-RN exams are completed, graduates are eligible to work as a professional Registered Nurse in various healthcare settings, e.g., acute care, primary and long-term care, seek nursing leadership roles, and apply to graduate programs in nursing.


Face-to-face courses offered during the day with some evening courses. One summer semester with day courses.

Total Credits

120 credits

Program Cost

Tuition and fees



The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Fitchburg State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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