Mary WalkerWelcome to the University of Maine School of Nursing! It is both an honor and a privilege to lead a School wholly committed to building a learning community of students and scholars where “everybody knows your name.”  Within the School of Nursing, you will find that that the gifts and talents of our faculty, staff, alumni and students create a Commons of regard, respect and understanding steeped in the rich traditions that characterize this Institution.  The University of Maine established its nursing program in 1939, creating the first baccalaureate program for nurses in the state. The School has a long and very proud tradition of educating nurses. Our standards are high, our programs are rigorous, and our graduates are consistently sought after everywhere.

Both our baccalaureate and Master’s programs in nursing are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).  The BSN program is approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing.   The School of Nursing is philosophically linked with the University of Maine’s mission to be the state’s center for learning, discovery, and service to the public. Faculty, staff, and students of the School serve as a vital resource to the people of Maine and the nation through clinical practice, scholarly activities, community engagement and disciplinary leadership.

Now more than ever, health and health care dominant our conversations and our culture. This is both a time of opportunity and a time of challenge, a time to be wholly engaged in advancing  health both nationally and globally. In the words of Margaret Stacey:

“The kinds of society we invent and particularly the way we handle issues of life, health, suffering, and death arise from the way…we perceive this essential part of our humanness. And how we perceive it, how we behave in relation to the biological base, also affects our destiny as social beings.  For there is no doubt about the social creation of illness and suffering as well as the social construction of the knowledge about it.”

In order to address Stacey’s challenge, the University of Maine School of Nursing supports a values-based academic framework anchored in the mission of the School to prepare caring, innovative, professional nurses who are leaders in addressing the evolving health care needs of all people and in advancing the profession of Nursing. 

This mission is operationalized through our vision as a member of the flagship campus of the University of Maine System to:

  • Prepare professional nurses who personify a culture of care;
  • Create a learning environment where knowledge is created and shared;
  • Serve the rapidly-changing health care needs of individuals, families, communities and society at-large and
  • Provide leadership in the advancement of the profession.

The values that provide the underpinnings for these efforts include participation in an academic community that fosters excellence, self-reflection, accountability, respect for diversity and life-long learning.

The work of our faculty and staff positions our students to make lasting contributions to the health of the American people.  The scope of these efforts is both challenging and humbling: embracing care of individuals, families, and populations, engaging in scientific discovery and application, managing complex health systems and implementing public health programs nationally and globally. These efforts, exemplified by the impressive credentials and achievements of our alumni and faculty, create the leading edge of our academic, scholarly, and service activities, consistent with the dynamic nature of health and health care now.

As so much continues to evolve in our knowledge about health and the way care is delivered, our commitment to others – individuals, families, and communities – remains unchanged.  That dedication has animated us since our founding in 1939 and is deeply rooted in the University’s New England identity. 

As you consider our nursing programs at the University of Maine, keep in mind the question posed by the poet, David Whyte in his book “Everything is Waiting for You”:

“What seed still lives inside of you that is waiting to spread its branches against a future sky?”

Then, take the bold step to embrace a University of Maine education where character formation for leadership is the key to your future.


Mary K. Walker, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor of Nursing


Stacey, M. (2003). The Sociology of Health and Healing.  New York:  Springer.

Whyte, D. (2003;2012).  Everything is Waiting for You. Langley, WA: Many Rivers Press