The University of Maine School of Nursing developed its first graduate program in 1992 and the initial group of graduate students received their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in May 1994. For the first years, the MSN program focused on preparing the nurse for the advanced professional role of family nurse practitioner (FNP). Later, in response to the diverse graduate education needs of Maine nurses, our graduate program expanded to prepare nurses for professional roles such as nurse educator, nurse administrator, or other professional roles. Graduate program faculty are expert practitioners and leaders in a number of different specialties and are eager to assist students to individualized programs of study. Students may select a flexible program of study, either full-time or part-time. The University of Maine Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and the MSN program are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
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). Prerequisites 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; graduate of an NLN or CCNE accredited BSN program with minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0; current licensure as a registered nurse in Maine
- The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) for registered nurses with an MSN. The CAS offers a clinically focused program of study to registered nurses who already possess a MSN. Students in the CAS program must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours (500 and 600 level courses) within The University of Maine. Prerequisites include: graduate of an NLN or CCNE accredited MSN program; minimum graduate GPA of 3.25; current licensure as a registered nurse in Maine.
- Individualized plans of study leading to an MSN for nurse practitioners, certified in various specialties, who hold a baccalaureate in nursing. 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 include: graduate of an NLN or CCNE accredited BSN program, minimum GPA of 3.0; satisfactory GRE or MAT scores; current licensure as a registered nurse in Maine. National certification in specialty area preferred; minimum 2 years practice as a nurse practitioner (NP), evidence of recent clinical practice. The NP to MSN candidate may choose to expand expertise as a FNP or may select the individualized MSN program (see description below).
Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP)
The family nurse practiitioner is prepared to provide health care to individuals and families across the lifespan (newborns, infants, children, adolescents, adults, pregnant and postpartum women and older adults). Primary care includes health promotion, disease and injury prevention, and the evaluation and management of common acute and chronic health problems. The focus of care includes individuals within families and the family unit; however the family chooses to define itself. Family nurse practitioners demonstrate a commitment to family-centered care in the context of communities.
The program of study may be tailored for full-time or part-time study. Course formats are a mix of online and classroom instruction. Clinical experiences are arranged to meet program outcomes and to accommodate the needs of the student. The Graduate Program Coordinator and the student’s academic advisor will help plan a program of study and timeframe that meets the academic and clinical requirements. The combined credit requirement would be approximately 49-51. The MSN-FNP curriculum meets the 2008 criteria for nurse practitioner programs published by the National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education.
MSN-FNP graduates are eligible to take national certification examinations for Family Nurse Practitioners which are offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (http://www.nursecredentialing.org/NurseSpecialties/FamilyNP.aspx) and by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (http://aanpcertification.org). The University of Maine MSN-FNP program graduates have performed well on the national certification examinations.
The Master of Science in Nursing Nurse Educator program is designed for the experienced nurse who wishes to have advanced knowledge in nursing combined with preparation to teach and evaluate learning. Course content in the education specialization includes curriculum development, didactic and clinical teaching methods, evaluation in nursing education, and population-focused care. It is intended to prepare nurses for careers in nursing faculty or in-service education roles.
A full time student can complete this program of study in two years; part time study (3 to 4 years), Faculty guidance is an integral part of each portion of the student’s program of study. The Faculty Advisor serves as the chairperson of the project or thesis committee and provides ongoing guidance to each student as he or she progress through the program
This theoretical and field-experience curriculum allows the student to develop a program of study that builds upon their professional interests and career goals. Through core courses, specialized courses, and experiential components, I-MSN students may prepare for professional careers in areas such as nurse administration and clinical leadership roles.
The program of study may be tailored for full-time or part-time study. The Graduate Program Coordinator and the student’s academic advisor will help plan a program of study and timeframe that meets the academic and experiential requirements. The combined credit requirement would be approximately 35-49, dependent upon focus area.
A full-time student can expect to complete MSN degree requirements in 2 years. All work for the CAS or the MSN must be completed within a 6 year period.
Mary Reagan Brakey, D.N.Sc. (Widener, 1999), Associate Professor. Oncology, cancer education, role socialization.
Nancy Fishwick, Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve, 1993), Director and Associate Professor. Domestic violence, rural health, primary health care.
Judy Kuhns-Hastings, Ph.D. (Wayne State, 2000), Associate Professor. Health promotion, health maintenance.
Patricia Poirier, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts, Boston 2005), Associate Professor, Oncology, Fatigue and Policy.
Mary Shea, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2008), Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Undergraduate Pediatrics, Professional Issues Advanced Practice Nursing
Ann Sossong, Ph.D. (Catholic U. of America, 2002), Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator. Health Policy, ethics in health care, core competencies in nursing.