The School of Nursing offers a variety of program plans for graduate study:
- The Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) for those with an MSN
- Individualized plans of study leading to an MSN, for nurse practitioners of various specialties who hold a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing or other appropriate health-related field, and wish to become advanced practice nurses with an MSN. In addition, an option for the MSN for the nurse who seeks graduate education but is not interested in the nurse practitioner role will be tailored to an individual’s experience and needs. The graduate program, initiated in 1992, offers a flexible program for full-time and part-time study. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, the Registered Nurse Studies program (RN to BSN), and the MSN program of The University of Maine School of Nursing are accredited by the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education).
The curriculum provides a theoretical and clinical base that enables graduates
to engage in advanced professional practice, either through the role of the
nurse practitioner or the nurse in an advanced practice role. The family nurse
practitioner is a primary care provider educated to integrate theory, research,
and clinical knowledge in promoting health and assessing and managing common
health problems across the lifespan. Graduate options for practitioners prepare
the nurse for various credentialing examinations, under the guidelines of the
specialty organization (e.g. FNP, WHNP). This program contains a focus on health
issues specific to rural and other underserved populations.
Family theory, research, professional issues in advanced practice, health assessment
and physical appraisal, advanced pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics are
the foundations for the clinical courses offered in the program of study for
the MSN. Clinical experiences highlight the sociocultural characteristics and
challenges of providing primary health care in rural and underserved communities.
Clinical practice is conducted in a variety of health care settings under the
instruction and supervision of appropriate clinical preceptors and faculty.
The Master of Science in Nursing degree is awarded after successful completion
of from 33 to 47 semester hours, dependent upon the program selected. A full-time
student can expect to complete degree requirements in 2 years. Prerequisites
for admission to the BSN to MSN track include: minimum grade of B in a baccalaureate
level health assessment course; minimum grade of B in a statistics course; satisfactory
GRE or MAT scores; minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0; current licensure as a
registered nurse in Maine.
The CAS offers a clinically focused program of study to registered nurses who
already possess a Master of Science in Nursing. Students in the CAS program
must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours (500 and 600 level courses) within
The University of Maine. Prerequisites for admission to the CAS track include:
an MSN; minimum graduate GPA of 3.25; current licensure as a registered nurse
The individualized MSN track will consist of core courses and an experiential
component appropriate to the focus area, e.g. education, clinical nurse specialist,
business, or administration. Additional options are available by arrangement.
The combined credit requirement would be approximately 33-47, dependent upon
The nurse practitioner holding a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing
(or an appropriate health-related field) may apply for an individualized program
of study leading to the MSN. The individualized program of study will reflect
the applicant’s scope of practice, currency of clinical knowledge, and prior
credentialing. Waiver of credit, if deemed appropriate, is approved at the time
of admission to the program. Prerequisites for admission to the individualized
program of study for the NP to MSN track include: minimum GPA of 3.0; satisfactory
GRE or MAT scores; current licensure as a registered nurse in Maine.
The family nurse practitioner (FNP) seeking a MSN may apply for an individualized
program of study. Candidates for the FNP to MSN would meet the following requirements:
graduate of an NLN or CCNE accredited BSN program (or an appropriate health-related
field); satisfactory GRE or MAT scores; current licensure as a registered nurse
in Maine; national certification in specialty area preferred; minimum 2 years
practice as an FNP; validation of clinical competency. The FNP to MSN candidate
may choose to expand expertise in an area of advanced clinical practice with
focused study, or may select a program of study which focuses on health policy,
research, or general issues of health promotion and illness prevention. The
FNP to MSN candidate would be required to complete the non-clinical core curriculum
of 23 credit hours, plus
a minimum of 10 additional credit hours of appropriate, related coursework.
All work for the CAS or the MSN must be completed within a 6 year period. Graduates
of the program are prepared to seek professional certification through the American
Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
as appropriate to their program of study.
Therese Shipps, D.N.Sc. (Boston U., 1988), Associate Professor and Director,
School of Nursing. Ethics, cultural, role and advocacy issues.
Catherine Berardelli, Ph..D.(Adelphi U., 1994), Associate Professor
and RN Studies Coordinator. Women’s health, preterm labor, weight reduction
via gastric bypass.
Elizabeth Bicknell, M.S.N. (Boston U., 1982), Associate Professor. Nursing
administration, gerontology and community health.
Mary Reagan Brakey, D.N.Sc. (Widener, 1999), Associate Professor. Oncology,
cancer education, role socialization.
Elizabeth Clark, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2002), Assistant Professor. Severe mental illness and quality of life, men in nursing.
Nancy Fishwick, Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve, 1993), Assistant Professor.
Domestic violence, rural health, primary health care.
Judy Kuhns-Hastings, Ph.D. (Wayne State, 2000), Associate Professor.
Health promotion, health maintenance.
Ursula Pritham, RNC, M.S., M.Ed., M.S.N., WHNP (UCSF, 1989), Clinical
Instructor. Women’s health, community health.
Ann Sossong, A.B.D. (Catholic U. of America, 2002), Associate Professor.
Health Policy, ethics in health care, core competencies in nursing.
Mary Ellen Symanski, Ph.D. (Wayne State, 1994), Associate Professor.
Adolescent mothers’ parenting skills, neonatal care, parent education.
Carol Wood, Ed.D. (Maine, 1992), Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator. Postdate pregnancy, gestational age assessment, osteoporosis.