Apr 20, 2024  
2002-2003 Graduate Catalog 
2002-2003 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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The School of Nursing offers a variety of program plans for graduate study:

  1. The Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  2. The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) for those with an MSN
  3. The RN to MSN
  4. 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 35 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 in Maine.

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 focus area.

The RN to MSN program offers an innovative means to facilitate advanced professional education for highly qualified nurses. An individualized undergraduate plan of study will be submitted to the Graduate Program Committee by the RN Studies Coordinator for approval prior to graduate admission. Participants must meet graduate admission requirements and maintain a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate course work. Upon successful completion of the individualized undergraduate program the student will enter graduate courses. Prerequisites for admission to the RN to MSN program include: minimum nursing GPA of 3.0; satisfactory GRE or MAT scores, current licensure as a registered nurse in Maine.

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 selected to reflect the area chosen for study in depth, plus a minimum of 6 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.

Graduate Faculty

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.

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.

Kathy Poindexter, M.S.Nsg. Admin. (Northern Michigan U., 1990), Assistant Professor. Critical care, pediatric nursing, web-based education, distance education.

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.

Jean Symonds, Ed.D. (Vanderbuilt U., 1990). Associate Professor Emerita. Ethical issues in health care, women’s health.

Carol Wood, Ed.D. (Maine, 1992), Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator. Postdate pregnancy, gestational age assessment, osteoporosis.

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