University of Southern Maine
51 Westminster Street
Lewiston, Maine 04240
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Nursing Programs OfferedAccelerated BSN Programs
Accelerated MSN Programs
Family Practice Nurse/Nurse Practitioner - Post-master's certificate
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing - Post-master's certificate
RN to BSN Programs
RN to MSN Programs
RN to BSN Program Details
The RN to BS option, created in the early 1980's, broadens the context in which nursing is studied and practiced and builds on the student's foundation of professional experience and knowledge. Recognizing the breadth and richness of a liberal education as central to professional practice and learning, students enrolled in the RN to BS option complete courses in physical and behavioral sciences, humanities, and fine arts, as well as in nursing.
Admission to the RN to BS option is open to graduates of both diploma and associate degree nursing programs. Students may begin their program of studies in either fall or spring semester.
The RN applicant must:
meet the general admission requirements of the University;
hold a minimum 2.5 GPA in their previous academic work;
provide evidence (photocopy) of current licensure as a registered nurse in Maine.
BSN Program Details
The BS program in nursing is designed to prepare a beginning professional nurse for practice in a variety of settings. It provides a foundation for advanced study in nursing. The nursing curriculum is based on prerequisite courses in the liberal arts, physical sciences, and social sciences. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education(CCNE). It offers traditional and innovative clinical experiences to prepare graduates for the changing health care environment.
The baccalaureate degree in nursing is conferred on students who successfully complete: the USM core curriculum, the required physical and social sciences, and 64 credit hours in nursing. A total of 122-130 credits are required for graduation.
MSN Program Details
The Clinical Nurse Educator concentration prepares graduates to teach in entry-level nursing programs in both didactic and clinical courses and engage in other professional roles such as professional staff development. The Nursing Education concentration is four academic semesters in length for students taking an average of nine to twelve (9-12) credits a semester. Both full-time and part-time studies are available. A total of 43 credits are required for completion of this nursing concentration.
The number of required experiential hours (contact hours) is based on national certification examination requirements, not on a credit hour to contact hour basis. The clinical nurse educator concentration has a total of 224 experiential hours: 112 hours in clinical semester one and 112 hours in clinical semester two.
Graduates who complete this program meet the educational criteria for the National League for Nursing (NLN) Nurse Educator Certification. The graduate must also meet the NLN role criteria for certification eligibility.
RN to MSN Program Details
The RN to Master of Science program has been created specifically for registered nurses whose career goals will be enhanced through graduate study. The program facilitates and supports educational mobility and strengthens the leadership abilities of nurses who already have a foundation of professional experience. When required undergraduate courses have been completed, students in this program proceed directly into the master's program, bypassing the baccalaureate degree. A BS in nursing is not required.
The following areas of specialization are offered in the graduate program, preparing nurses for advanced nursing practice in:
Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP)
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (AHCNS)
Adult Psychiatric/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (PMH/CNS)
Adult Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (APMH/NP)
Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (FPMH/NP)
Clinical Nurse Leader
Dual Degree Program:
Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration
Accelerated BSN Program Details
This program is designed for students holding baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines. It requires full-time study for the 15 month duration of the program. Students begin their studies in May and graduate with a BS in Nursing 15 months later in August of the following year. Students are eligible to sit for NCLEX-RN after completion of the program.
The program builds on the student's prior university/college education where the student will have gained knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences. The vast majority of the courses in this program are in nursing. The program starts May each year.
Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Details
The doctor of nursing practice (DNP) prepares graduates to provide the most advanced level of nursing care for individuals and communities. This includes the direct care of individual patients, management of care for individuals and populations, administration of nursing systems, and the development and implementation of health policy. The DNP program places emphasis on practice related consideration beyond what a student typically acquires during their master’s level education. The DNP is designed to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice and focuses heavily on practice that is innovative and evidenced-based, reflecting the application of credible research findings. The practice-focused DNP includes integrated practice experiences and an intense practice immersion experience. Students in the DNP program carry out a practice application-oriented “final capstone project” which is an integral part of the integrated practice experience.
Admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program is on a competitive basis. The doctoral program in nursing seeks candidates whose master’s preparation, scholastic achievement, professional experience, interest, motivation, and references are predictive of successful doctoral study.
At the current time, only applicants who have attained a master’s degree in an advanced practice specialty (Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Anesthetist) will be eligible to apply to the DNP program.