MSN Graduate Program

The University of Maine School of Nursing developed its first graduate program in 1992 and the initial group of graduate students received their 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 in nursing education, healthcare leadership & management, gerontology, public health or other professional tracks. Our program faculty are expert practitioners in their field.

The University of Maine Master of Science in Nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

A photo of a nurse checking on a patient


  • Full-time study for 2 years leading to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Part-time study for 3 or 4 years, leading to the MSN
  • Students already possessing the MSN may elect to obtain a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS)
  • Options for Graduate Certificates available; students who wish to continue for a Master’s degree in nursing must apply separately to the School of Nursing MSN program.  Certificate courses may be transferable to a MSN program of study.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Upon completion of the MSN program, the graduate will be able to:
  • Apply evidence from research and best practice models for the provision of patient centered care and the evaluation of healthcare outcomes.
  • Advocate for improved healthcare delivery and patient/community health outcomes through analysis of social, political and economic contexts.
  • Incorporate ethical principles, legal and regulatory mandates, and professional standards in the advanced professional nursing role.
  • Demonstrate leadership, professional accountability, and commitment to lifelong learning in the advanced professional nursing role.
  • Evaluate and integrate a wide range of theories from nursing and related disciplines to provide high quality, culturally sensitive, and ethically based patient centered care.
  • Partner with professional colleagues and healthcare consumers to promote health and to prevent injury and illness in populations served by the advanced professional nurse.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of technology and information systems to enhance knowledge, communicate with the healthcare team, mitigate error, establish differential diagnosis, and to support decision-making for advanced practice
  • The MSN-FNP graduate will be able to serve as primary health care provider in the promotion of health, prevention of injury and illness, and management of acute and chronic health problems through the lifespan and across a variety of settings.
  • The MSN-Nursing Education graduate will be able to synthesize knowledge from nursing science and teaching/learning theories to design, implement and evaluate educational programs/processes in select academic and healthcare settings.
  • The I-MSN graduate with a focus on nursing administration will be able to provide leadership in complex healthcare systems, promoting environments that foster professional development and positive patient outcomes.


Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP)

This theoretical and clinically-based curriculum prepares nurses as primary health care providers who promote health, prevent illness, and manage common health problems across the lifespan.  Health care issues affecting rural and other underserved communities are integrated throughout the curriculum.

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 student’s academic advisor will plan a program of study and timeframe that meets the academic and clinical requirements.

The MSN-FNP curriculum meets the 2022 Criteria for Evaluation of  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 and by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.  The University of Maine MSN-FNP program graduates have performed well on the national certification examinations.

This program will prepare students to be eligible for licensure within the State of Maine. Visit the UMS State Authorization & Licensure page to learn more about the licensure requirements in other states and territories, in addition to the contact information needed to inquire further into the licensure requirements associated with this program.

Prospective students may contact Sean Sibley, Family Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator  (207-581-2597) or for further details and program planning.

Application Process:
  • Apply now
  • Application deadline:
    • Fall admissions – All documents must be received by April 1st
    • Spring admissions – All documents must be received by November 1st
  • Current resume
  • An essay using the Guidelines set by the Graduate School of Nursing
Sample Programs of Study:
Frequently Asked Questions:

FAQ – Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration

Nurse Educator

The MSN Nurse Educator track prepares nurses for teaching roles in academic settings and in professional development services of health care agencies. The program of study includes “core” graduate nursing courses which are required of all graduate nursing students, such as advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment and advanced pharmacology. Nursing education courses address curriculum development, teaching-learning methods, and assessment and evaluation of learning outcomes in nursing education. Required courses also include graduate level nursing research, theory development in nursing, bioethics and health policy, all of which enhance the nurse’s expertise in their area of nursing practice. The student’s practicum experience in nursing education and the graduate capstone (or master’s thesis) provide opportunities to apply all prior learning to the new role of nurse educator and to their area of nursing practice.

A full time student can complete this program of study in two calendar years. Part time study (3 to 4 years) is one option, as some courses are offered during summer and/or online. 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 capstone project or thesis and provides ongoing guidance to each student as he or she progress through the program

Graduates who complete this program meet the educational criteria for the National League for Nursing Nurse Educator certification examination.

Sample Programs of Study:
Frequently Asked Questions:

FAQ – Nurse Educator Concentration

Individualized MSN (I-MSN)

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, public health, gerontology or other specialties.

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.

Sample Programs of Study:
Frequently Asked Questions:

FAQ – Individualized Concentration

Certificate of Advanced Study

The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) is available to the Registered Nurse who possesses a Master of Science degree in Nursing and wants to be prepared as a family nurse practitioner, a nurse educator, or as a nurse administrator. The Graduate Program Coordinator and the CAS student will develop a program of study that builds upon prior graduate education and which meets all requirements for national certification or other expected program outcome. A minimum of 33 semester hours (500 and 600 level courses) is required to earn the CAS.

Prerequisites for admission to the CAS program include:

  • A Master of Science in Nursing degree.
  • Minimum graduate GPA of 3.25
  • Current Maine licensure as a Registered Nurse.

Prospective CAS students may contact Sean Sibley, Family Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator  (207-581-2597) or for further details and program planning.

Application Process:
  • Apply now
  • Application deadline:
    • Fall admissions – All documents must be received by April 1st
    • Spring admissions – All documents must be received by November 1st
  • Current resume with contact information for 3 references
  • An essay using the Guidelines set by the Graduate School of Nursing
Sample Program of Study:

CAS – Family Nurse Practitioner (3r)

Graduate Certificate Programs

The School of Nursing only offers one graduate certificate [Nurse Educator Certificate] but others are available to students, depending on interests.  These other certificate courses may be transferable to the Individualized MSN program.

Student Eligibility and Admission Criteria:
  • BSN or Master’s in Nursing from a CCNE or NLN accredited program
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A college-level statistics course with at least a B
  • A college-level research methods course with at least a B
  • Experience as a Registered Nurse
  • Licensure to practice as a Registered Nurse in the State of Maine or multi-state compact license (by date of admission)
  • A pre-admission meeting with nursing faculty to discuss goals and program of study
Sample Programs of Study:

Graduate Certificate students who wish to achieve a Master’s degree in nursing must apply separately to the School of Nursing MSN program.  The certificate courses may be transferable to the Nurse Educator or Individualized MSN program of study.  Please apply through the Graduate School.

Graduate Capstone Guidelines

The student who earns a Master of Science in Nursing must complete all required course work in the program of study (POS), as well as a thesis (6 credits) or non-thesis graduate capstone (4 credits).

There are four options for completing graduate capstone requirements as follows:

1. Thesis (NUR 699 – 6 Credits)

If you are interested in doing a master’s thesis, please consult with your academic advisor as early in your program of study as possible. See the Graduate School website for thesis guidelines

2. Expert Paper (NUR 697 – 4 Credits)

This graduate capstone option allows the student to develop specialized knowledge in an area of interest. The expert paper will reflect knowledge acquired through critical analysis and synthesis of the literature as well

as a variety of activities that promote professional development. Activities may include, but are not limited to, interviews with leaders in the field, participation or attendance in professional forums, and/or specialized clinical preceptorships. The intent is to develop expertise in a specialized area of study that connects theory, research and practice.

If you are interested in this option, please consult with your academic advisor as early in your program of study as possible. Specific guidelines will be negotiated between the student and advisor.

3. Scholarly Project (NUR 697 – 4 Credits)

The student who chooses this graduate capstone option will demonstrate mastery of specialized knowledge through development of a project that benefits the nursing profession or the population served by nurses in advanced roles. Scholarly projects include, but are not limited to, development and testing of a teaching or evaluation tool; development and implementation of a course; development, implementation, and evaluation of a website; or other substantial activity in the area of interest. An accompanying paper and poster presentation will provide a summary and critique of the process and outcome of the scholarly project. If you are interested in this option, please consult with your academic advisor as early in your program of study as possible. Specific guidelines will be negotiated between the student and advisor.

4. Elective Course and Synthesis Paper (3 Credit Elective + NUR 697 – 1 Credit)

For this option you would register for and take an elective course of your choosing. The elective course should be related to your specialty concentration (FNP, Educator, or Individualized MS) and needs to be approved by your academic advisor. This elective track course will form the context of your synthesis paper.

Once you have taken your elective course you will choose a capstone advisor from the school of nursing graduate faculty (1st reader) and register for NUR 697-1 credit. Your chosen capstone advisor must send an email to Cindy Therrien acknowledging acceptance as advisor before you can be registered and identifying the tentative title of your paper. You must choose a capstone advisor at least two semesters before your anticipated graduation date. Your capstone advisor will be the advisor you recognize at graduation. You should meet with your capstone advisor early on to discuss the focus of your synthesis paper. The synthesis paper demonstrates your knowledge of advanced nursing practice within the context of the elective course. See attached timeline for completion.

The synthesis paper should include at a minimum:

  • Introduction/overview of the issue
    • What exactly is the issue/problem that you are exploring?
    • Why is this of concern to your specialty track?
    • What is the scope of the problem (include national and state epidemiological date where appropriate)?
    • How does this relate to the concepts covered in your elective course?
  • Critical review of the literature
    • Minimum of 10-12 peer-reviewed research articles plus other resources as appropriate Your capstone advisor will guide you in addressing any gaps in your paper that may need additional literature support
  • Implications for advanced nursing practice
    • How will the FNP, educator, or master’s prepared nurse use this information?
    • What changes in practice would you recommend based on knowledge of theory, ethics, and evidence-based practice/research gained throughout your program of study?
    • What additional research might be indicated related to this topic? 
    • What are the health policy implications of the topic explored?
  • Summary and/or conclusion

There is no minimum length for this paper. Most papers range from 12-15 pages depending on the complexity of your topic. Your capstone advisor may want additional areas covered. Final decision on format and content is between you and your capstone advisor/1st reader. You will submit your synthesis paper to your capstone advisor with sufficient time to be read and revised for your anticipated graduation date. You also will choose a 2nd reader approved by your capstone advisor.

In order to stay on track and keep moving forward, you should submit an outline of your paper to your capstone advisor no later than the second month of the semester before your anticipated graduation date (October for May graduation). Remaining deadlines for submission will be negotiated with your capstone advisor. This is not like a class assignment where you submit the paper and it is graded and done. This is a scholarly paper which is revised until it is deemed acceptable by your capstone advisor. Your capstone advisor will determine when the paper should be submitted to your 2nd reader.

This paper must adhere to the editorial style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). At least one bound copy must be submitted at the conclusion of the scholarly work; your advisors may ask for a personal copy.

Dissemination is key to advancing the profession of nursing. Along with the scholarly paper, students will submit for poster presentation at the University of Maine Student Symposium held each spring. Details including deadlines will be provided in the fall. Students are encouraged to submit for poster presentation at other professional venues such at the Maine Nurse Practitioner conference.

Preparation and submission of a manuscript for publication on a topic mutually agreed upon by the student and capstone advisor may be considered in lieu of the synthesis paper.

Once both readers have approved the final paper and poster, your capstone advisor will submit a grade.

Timeline for Capstone:


  • First reader should be a member of the School of Nursing graduate faculty
  • Second reader can be a member of the School of Nursing faculty, outside faculty member (e.g. instructor of elective course or adjunct instructor), or other (e.g. preceptor).

May Graduate Timeline

  1. Previous spring:
    • Choose capstone advisor AKA “first reader”; this will be the person you will acknowledge as your advisor on graduation
    • Identify tentative topic
    • Advisor sends email to Cindy Therrien agreeing to be first reader and listing tentative topic
  • Cindy will then register you for NUR 697-1 credit for fall [Cindy will not register you without the email from your advisor]

**Note NUR 697 can be taken earlier in the program if it fits with your schedule and credit load. You will still need an advisor and topic before you will be registered. If you do not complete the work in the semester you have registered for NUR 697, you will receive an “incomplete”, which will then be converted to a grade when the work is completed in order for you to graduate.

  1. Fall before graduation:
    • Meet with capstone advisor and submit paper outline by the end of October
    • Student and advisor agree upon timeline for completion of paper/project
  2. Spring of graduation:
    • Submit first draft of paper to advisor by the end of February
    • Submit student symposium abstract draft to advisor by the end of February
    • Submit symposium abstract by March deadline
    • Identify “second reader”; approved by “first reader” and agreed to by “second reader”
    • Submit symposium poster by April deadline
    • Present poster at student symposium in April
    • Submit final version of paper by end of April

*Failure to follow this timeline may result in a delay in graduation

University of Maine School of Nursing Graduate Program Scholarly Project Grading Rubric

School of Nursing Graduate Program Policies

As professional registered nurses, graduate students in the School of Nursing are held to a higher level of professional behavior essential to maintaining the public’s trust and confidence. The following are policies adhered to by the UMaine School of Nursing.

Professional Behavior

All students in the University of Maine School of Nursing are expected to conduct themselves professionally and demonstrate safe, competent behavior, which includes the promotion of well-being and respect of all individuals, including patients, patient’s families, health team members, and self. These professional behavior requirements apply in all situations where a student has identified themselves as a UMaine School of Nursing student, including off-campus and “virtual” sites, such as online forums and social networking sites.

Students are expected to act with respect for human dignity and the uniqueness of each client, unrestricted by considerations of the client’s social or economic status, personal attributes, or the reasons they are present in the healthcare environment or are seeking healthcare services.

Social Media and Technology

Social media can facilitate public education and provide health guidance and collegial communication among peers and health care professionals. Therefore, students are expected to adhere to the following standards regarding social media. Failure to do so may result in course failure, suspension, program dismissal, or failure to graduate.

  • Do not post or share confidential information about the university, faculty, staff, students, clinical facilities, patients, or others with whom one has contact in the role of a UMaine Nursing
  • Follow all applicable laws and regulations, including patient privacy laws and regulations, for example, HIPAA and the Maine Confidentiality Law, which prohibit posting identifiable information concerning patients in any online forum or webpage.
  • A smartphone, tablet, or other devices may only be used only as authorized by faculty and facility policy during clinical and Cell phones are to be turned off or muted during class, laboratory, and clinical sessions.
  • Electronic devices (for example, computers, smartphones, tablets, or notebooks) are restricted to note-taking, classroom activities, and testing as authorized by faculty.
  • Students may use video or audio recording devices during nursing courses only with the instructor’s express permission. In the case of guest lecturers, students are required to obtain permission from the guest lecturer. In addition, students may not record interactions with faculty without express
  • Do not circulate class recordings, assignments, supplemental readings, or course discussions without written permission from the instructor.
  • The School of Nursing follows ANA’s Principles for Social Networking requiring students to be responsible in their utilization of social media in a professional manner.

Professional Clinical Practice

The School of Nursing Professional Clinical Practice requirements are derived in part from the (1) American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses (2) National Student Nursing Association Student Conduct Code , (3) International Council of Nurses Code for Nurses and (4) Law Regulating the Practice of Nursing for the State of Maine. The purpose of the Professional Clinical Practice requirements are to:

  • Clarify expectations of the School of Nursing and comply with licensure regulations and clinical site agreements
  • Identify students who need assistance and support them to succeed in the nursing program
  • Provide a framework to evaluate student nursing practice objectively
  • Identify minimal standards of practice, and promote nursing excellence while ensuring patient safety.

Safe and professional clinical practice requires the student nurse to:

  • Practice within the evidence-based standards of care published by professional nursing organizations;
  • Adhere to the policies and procedures of the site to which they are assigned for clinical rotations;
  • Practice within the scope of the student graduate nurse role (skills, procedures)
  • Promote and maintain patient rights, ensuring the client’s right to privacy;
  • Utilize social media in a professional manner that protects patients’ privacy and confidentiality and maintains the standards of professional nursing practice;
  • Promote and maintain a high standard of civil, respectful, and professional conduct in all academic, lab, and clinical interactions;
  • Safeguard the client and the public when health care and safety are affected by the incompetent, unethical, or illegal practices of any person;
  • Assume responsibility and accountability for individual nursing judgments and actions;
  • Abide by the ANA’s Code of Ethics for Nurses  and the NSNA student conduct, state and policies governing professional practice.
  • Follow the policies and expectations as outlined in specific course syllabi; and
  • Abide by the rules and expectations as outlined in the University of Maine System Student Conduct Code, this University of Maine Graduate School of Nursing Student Handbook, and all applicable University of Maine academic policies.

Unsafe patient care may occur when the student practices outside of the role and standards of practice for a graduate student nurse and places the safety of patients or their families at risk. Examples of unsafe patient care may include but are not limited to:

  • Lacking essential theoretical or psychomotor skills required for patient care
  • Providing medication or discontinuation without approval and supervision
  • Violating clinical site policies or procedures or state or federal laws or regulations (such as failure to report abuse, violating HIPAA, etc.)
  • Inaccurately recording, falsifying, or altering a client’s or agency’s record
  • Violation of academic standards: (falsification of assignments, cheating, plagiarism,)
  • Physical or verbal abuse, harassment, or threatening behavior
  • Violation of laws, regulations, or standards of confidentiality
  • Theft or diversion of drugs, supplies, or property of clients or clinical sites
  • Substance use disorders, medical, or mental health conditions, or a combination of these that has resulted, or is likely to result, in the student practicing in a manner that endangers the health or safety of clients (see SON Substance Use Disorder Policy)
  • Utilization of social media in an unprofessional manner that jeopardizes patient privacy and confidentiality or violates the standards of professional nursing practice
  • Violations of professional or ethical standards (including but not limited to inappropriate behavior, incivility, poor communication, disrespect or disregard for instruction, instructors or peers, lack of honesty, routine tardiness, or absences)

Clinical Placements and Field Experience

FNP Students

Clinical experiences for graduate FNP students are supervised by qualified preceptors who are licensed and credentialed advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, MDs, and DOs. Faculty for the specific clinical courses will guide each student in the selection of a preceptor to ensure the student is assigned to an appropriate preceptor within a reasonable driving distance. Students are encouraged to solicit clinical placements early in the program. Legal contracts between the University of Maine and the clinical agency must be in place and current before a student starts their clinical rotation. Students must check with the School of Nursing administrative staff to ensure that all parties have signed and updated the contract ahead of the semester in which the clinical practicum is to take place. Clinical rotations must occur during regularly scheduled semesters unless specific arrangements are made with course faculty and program coordinator.

Specific expectations of clinical preceptors will be explained in the course syllabi and by course faculty. Each preceptor will receive a letter from the course faculty member which will outline course objectives, clinical expectations, and procedures used to evaluate and communicate student performance. The preceptors are asked to provide students and faculty with verbal and written feedback regarding the student’s clinical performance and will verify completion of the required clinical hours. Final evaluation of student performance will be done by the course faculty. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate the preceptor and the clinical site. The course faculty member will make a minimum of one clinical site visit per semester and may make additional visits depending upon student needs. If the student has any concerns or issues regarding preceptors or the clinical site, they should be brought to faculty attention immediately.

Nurse Educator Students

Students are required to complete 210 hours of field experience activities. A minimum of 100 of these hours are to be supervised clinical experiences in a healthcare related setting of the student’s choice.

Students will identify a preceptor, minimally masters’ prepared, with whom to partner for the field experience. In collaboration with the preceptor and course faculty, students will identify a project to be completed during the field experience. This project should allow students to gain new, in-depth nursing knowledge in a population of interest, which may be a specific group e.g. elderly, a specific condition e.g. heart failure, diabetes, or a specific setting e.g. oncology, primary care. The project also could be development and implementation of a clinical teaching strategy e.g. simulation to develop skills in assessing and prioritizing care of the deteriorating patient. For students in the education concentration, a minimum of 10 field experience hours will be accrued in simulation. Activities to meet the remainder of the mandatory hours will be negotiated with the student’s preceptor and faculty member.

MS-Nursing, Individualized Concentration Students

Students are required to complete 210 hours of field experience activities. Students will identify a preceptor, minimally masters’ prepared, with whom to partner for the field experience. In collaboration with the preceptor and course faculty, students will identify a project to be completed during the field experience. This project should allow students to gain new, in-depth nursing knowledge in an area related to the student’s focus e.g. nursing administration, population health.

Clinical Dress Code

In all clinical settings, UMaine nursing students are required to attend to their hygiene, grooming, and attire to convey a professional appearance.

Required Professional Attire:

When at the clinical site, professional attire is to be worn. Students may wear shirts, blouses, turtlenecks, or sweaters that cover the anterior chest and collar bones. There should be no cleavage nor should the abdomen be revealed. Dress slacks, khakis or skirts that fall just below or slightly above the knee are acceptable. Students must defer to the agency dress code if more restrictive than stated above.

Inappropriate Attire:
  • Miniskirts
  • Jeans are not acceptable; athletic or jean shorts
  • Hats, caps, bandanas, hoods or head scarves (unless part of religious or cultural dress)
  • Sweatshirts, sweatpants, pajamas, leggings, spandex or exercise attire
  • T-shirts, tank tops, mesh, halter or tube tops, spaghetti straps, showing of midriff or low cut tops
  • Shirts with inappropriate or vulgar lettering or messages
Name Tags:

Student name tags, identifying them as a University of Maine student, will be worn at all times and in the lab and clinical settings. Name tags can be purchased in the UMaine Bookstore. Hospitals or healthcare centers may require an additional name badge.

Hygiene, Scented Products and Cosmetics:

Perfume, colognes, and scented products ae prohibited. However, deodorant should be worn. The odor of smoke, halitosis (bad breath), or body odor is offensive to patients and hospital staff, so students must take measures to avoid such odors. Students must refrain from chewing gum while in clinical.

Hair and Nails:

Hair must be neat. If it is long, it must be arranged off the face and color, so as not to interfere with patient care. Beards and/or mustaches must be neatly trimmed. In some settings, beards or hair must be covered and/or removed as indicated in infection control policies. Nails must be clean and trimmed short for infection control and free of all nail polish including clear. No artificial nails are permitted.


Students must wear minimal jewelry. For example, students can wear a simple wedding band or friendship ring. Jewelry in pierced nose, lips, tongues, or other exposed body parts other than ears, is not permitted. Earrings must be conservative in appearance with no more than two holes with earrings in each earlobe.

Individuals with ear gauges are to wear crystal clear ear plugs. Necklaces are not recommended. A watch with a second hand is required.

Course, Clinical and Laboratory Attendance 

Attendance is required for all scheduled course, clinical and laboratory experiences. Nurse Practitioner students are expected to arrive on the days and times arranged with their clinical preceptor unless changes are made with mutual agreement of the student and preceptor. Missed clinical may result in insufficient hours to pass the clinical course. Absences will be individually addressed for each missed class, clinical and laboratory experience. Excused absences will be granted in extraordinary circumstances and do not automatically release the student from the experience and requirements. Students who must miss a class, clinical or laboratory experience are expected to notify the instructor and clinical agency before the clinical or laboratory time. Missing a class, clinical or laboratory experience may lead to failure to meet the course objectives and failure in the course. Any decision to cancel clinical experience due to inclement weather will be determined by University guidelines and announced by the University administration. Call 581-SNOW for updates.

A member of any religious group may, without penalty, absent themselves from class, clinical or lab as required in compliance with their religious obligations. Given the diverse religious faiths represented at the University of Maine School of Nursing and acknowledging the non-sectarian nature of the School of Nursing, this policy is intended to apply equitably to all religious groups and to provide opportunities for individuals to meet their religious obligations.

The student who anticipates the need to be absent to accommodate his other religious practice are required to notify faculty in advance of such anticipated absence. This notice should be provided at least one week in advance. Exams and assignments are required to be completed prior to the class, clinical, or lab date. Clinical and lab makeup shall comply with the expectations as stated in each Clinical and Lab syllabi.

No adverse or prejudicial effect shall result to any student who avails themselves of the above policy. If a faculty member has any questions about the request to be absent for a religious accommodation, inquiries may be directed to the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity at 207.581.1226.

Clinical and Laboratory Preparation

Students are expected to be prepared for their clinical and laboratory experience. Students who are unprepared or demonstrate unsafe behavior will not be allowed to remain on the site. Students are responsible for individual preparation, including any extra assignments as determined by their instructor. Appearance is required to be professional at all times.

Documentation of Clinical Hours

FNP Students will be required to document clinical hours and client encounters using the Medatrax system. Detailed student and preceptor instructions will be provided prior to the first clinical course. Each clinical course faculty will provide course specific instructions.


Medatrax is an informatics and data tracking system, which allows the graduate program the online capability to record, maintain, and review complex student clinical criteria through internet accessible data entry. Students with clinical courses, including practicum experiences, will be required to maintain their pre-participation health records in Medatrax. Course faculty will provide specific guidelines on use of Medatrax. Generally, students will log their clinical hours and patient encounters, complete evaluations of clinical sites, and request evaluations of student performance from preceptors. All clinical data will be available to students in reports to utilize when seeking employment, residencies, and professional portfolios (i.e.: number of pediatric patients seen, number of procedures performed such as skin punch biopsy, etc.)

Clinical and Practicum Requirements


These are minimum graduate requirements; individual clinical sites may have additional requirements. All students in the graduate nursing program must submit a health history and undergo a physical exam, prior to entering their first clinical or practicum course in the program. For FNP concentration, students must complete prior to starting NUR 532. Students in the Nursing Education and Individualized concentrations must meet the history and physical and immunization requirements prior to starting their clinical practicums. Health examination forms are located on the BrightSpace Platform UMaine School of Nursing Clinical Communication. The purpose of this examination, by a physician, nurse-practitioner, physician’s assistant, is to verify that the student is in a state of mental and physical health compatible with the responsibilities of nursing practice.

Student Accessibility Services

The physical exam may also assess student needs for a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Any student with a disability is encouraged to make early contact with Student Accessibility Services to discuss the possibilities for reasonable accommodation.


Each student must comply with the Maine immunization law for post-secondary students and the University of Maine requirements for student immunizations prior to enrollment. Full immunizations are needed by FNP students prior to beginning clinical, or prior to beginning Nurse Educator or I-MSN practicum courses.

  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella: 2 MMR’s OR evidence of immunity through documented titers for each, measles, mumps, and rubella. Documentation of prior infection is not accepted.
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox): 2 Varicella or evidence of immunity through documented. Documentation of prior infection is not accepted.
  • Tetanus: (Td or Tdap): Documentation of immunization within 10
  • Hepatitis B Series: The series of 3 doses are required to be initiated, if not complete, before NUR532 Series need to be finished before entering NUR For students participating in clinical practicums for Nursing Education and Individualized concentrations, please coordinate your Hep B series to be complete prior to beginning any practicum work.
  • Influenza Vaccine: Clinical sites require annual influenza immunization. Students who decline influenza immunization must sign a declination form and understand this could affect their clinical placement opportunities. The declination form is available upon request. These are minimum requirements; individual clinical sites may have additional requirements.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine—All students are required to complete the 2-shot Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, or the 1-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine to participate in on-campus classes or clinical experiences. COVID-19 boosters approved by ACIP are strongly recommended and may be mandated by clinical agencies.
  • Tuberculosis: Students are required to complete baseline screening for Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection through one of the following:
    • A two-step tuberculin skin test (PPD). Please look on the BrightSpace clinical platform to learn what a two-step PPD requires.
    • A single Blood Assay for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (BAMT). Two TB blood tests are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are available in the United States: the QuantiFERON®–TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-GIT) and the T- SPOT®.TB test (T-Spot), or
    • Documentation of previous positive testing for Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.
  • Annual Follow-up Testing for Tuberculosis: Students are required to repeat the PPD or BAMT annually. Students who have a positive follow-up screening are required to be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
  • These are minimum graduate requirements; individual clinical sites may have additional.

 Positive Tests PPD or BAMT

Any student who has a positive (current or previous) PPD or BAMT is required to complete a Tuberculosis symptom screening form and be evaluated by a healthcare provider to rule out active tuberculosis disease. This may result in a blood test or chest X-ray. After an evaluation of a positive screening test, documentation about TB status needs to be submitted in writing by the health care provider. Students with previous positive tests are required to complete a Tuberculosis symptom screening form every year. Students with symptoms consistent with Mycobacterium tuberculosis must be evaluated by a health care provider and provide documentation clearing them for clinical participation.

Mandatory CCPS Documentation (Required for all graduate nursing students) instructions can be found on the Brightspace Platform UMaine School of Nursing Clinical Communication.

  • HIPPA/Confidentiality and Patient Safety
  • Nursing Core Competencies/ Quality Improvement
  • Infection Control and Prevention (OSHA bloodborne pathogen standards)
  • Environment of Care

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

The University agrees to provide appropriate training in health care privacy, consistent with HIPAA and Maine law to all students. The University agrees to document for each student the completion of such training, and shall provide such documentation and any training materials provided to students, upon request.

Background Checks

All graduate nursing students are required to complete a Nursing Background Check. The nursing background check process is through Verified Credentials, and is the Compliance Tracking Software the School of Nursing uses for Background Check Verification.

Students in the FNP Program will be required to create an account through Verified Credentials and order the Background Check 3 months prior to their first clinical rotation.

Students in the I-MSN or Education Program will be required to create an account through Verified Credentials and order the Background Check 3 months prior to their practicum start date, if their practicum will take place outside of their place of work.

Students must create their account on Verified Credentials and order the Background Check ($86). A specific code will be shared with you by the Clinical Coordinator.

UMaine Nursing Background Check
  • Nationwide Sex Offender
  • County Criminal Search
  • Maine Statewide Search
  • Nationwide Criminal Search
  • Healthcare Exclusion List (OIG, GSA, OFAC Searches)
Background Check Approval

The health care agency makes a determination regarding acceptance or denial of the student for clinical placement. A student whose CBC reveals convictions from the list below may be denied clinical placement at the assigned, or any, healthcare facility.

  • All felonies
  • Crimes against an individual(s): Assault Battery Sexual Assault Other related crimes
  • Crimes involving theft
  • Crimes involving drugs
  • Misdemeanors that could compromise the care and safety of

New required items have been added at the request of our clinical partners. Our intent is for students to only have to complete this process once during their MSN Nursing Education. Please note that students who slow their progression, may need to repeat the background check, based on facility requirements.

Licensure Requirements

All Family Nurse Practitioner students must be licensed as a Registered Nurse in Maine prior to beginning the program and must maintain licensure throughout, the program of study. Other advanced nursing program students (Individualized, Nurse Educator) must maintain a State of Maine Registered Nursing license or a multistate compact license as a registered professional nurse. Licensure must be maintained for the duration of their participation in the program of study.

Students must immediately make written disclosure(s) to the graduate program coordinator in the event of any disciplinary action taken or restrictions imposed on the student by any nursing licensing board, or termination from a healthcare position, whether occurring prior to admission or during the program of study. Information so disclosed may be shared in the sole discretion of the graduate program coordinator to clinical faculty as deemed appropriate. Failure to disclose may impact program progression, clinical placements, or potential APRN licensing.

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification

All nursing students are required to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before enrolling in courses and maintain certification throughout the nursing program. Certification typically expires every two years. Certification is required to be at the health care provider level and provide hands-on training related to adult, child, and infant CPR. Online training programs without a hands-on demonstration and examination of correct techniques are not acceptable. Appropriate courses include the American Heart Association “Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers.”

A copy of the CPR completion card is required to be uploaded to BrightSpace, UMaine School of Nursing Clinical Communication platform, two weeks before beginning the first nursing course.

Infection Control and Blood Borne Pathogens

All students must demonstrate proficiency and understanding of universal infection control procedures and blood-borne pathogen policies before clinical placement in a health care setting. The School of Nursing provides this training through CCPS clinical modules. Instructions can be found on the BrightSpace, UMaine School of Nursing Clinical Communication platform.

Academic Requirements


The School of Nursing follows the University of Maine Grades and Grading Policy located on the Office of Student Records website. Grades and other student information is confidential and protected by University of Maine policy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Additional information regarding FERPA is available from the University of Maine Department of Student Records.

Definition of Grades

The School of Nursing participates in the +/- grading system. Individual faculty may choose to award a plus (+) or a minus (-) grade in nursing courses. The following criteria have been adopted for plus and minus grades:

Letter GradeNumber Grade

Students who need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability are directed to Student Accessibility Services, 207.581.2319, for guidance.

Nursing students who find it necessary to request withdrawal from a course due to serious illness or injury, or to take a leave of absence or to withdraw from the University, should discuss this with their academic advisor. Withdrawals resulting in less than required course credits for a semester and withdrawals/leaves of absence from the University will be processed through the graduate school.

Grades are assigned as whole numbers are not rounded up. This applies to individual quiz and exam scores, course assignments, and final course grades.

Appealing assignment or course grades

The University of Maine has formal procedures by which students may appeal the assignment of grades by an instructor, accusations of cheating or plagiarism, or certain aspects of classroom procedure. The details of these appeal processes are on the Office of Student Records website.

Written Assignments

Grading criteria for course assignments are described in each course syllabus. All assignments in nursing courses are due on the date designated in each course syllabus. Assignments received after the designated date and time may be subject to late penalty as specified in the course syllabus. Exceptions to the due date will be made only under extraordinary circumstances and should be negotiated with faculty in advance if possible.

School of Nursing adheres to the guidelines of the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Academic Integrity

The School of Nursing adheres to the University of Maine policy on Academic Integrity . Violations of academic integrity such as cheating or plagiarism may result in a failing grade for an assignment or an entire course and may be subject to action under the University of Maine System Student Conduct Code. University faculty use Safe Assign, a program for the detection of plagiarism.

Undergraduate Health Assessment by Examination

Applicants to the graduate program who possess a baccalaureate in nursing degree but who do not have a distinct undergraduate health assessment course on their transcript may fulfill this admission requirement in one of two ways:

Take an undergraduate health assessment course which is equivalent to the University of Maine School of Nursing NUR 300 Health Assessment through the Lifespan, earning a grade of “B” or higher. This option is recommended for applicants who have limited health assessment experience in their clinical practice.


Demonstrate competency in health assessment through a testing option. The testing option consists of two parts:

  1. Health Assessment Written Examination developed by school of nursing faculty based on undergraduate health assessment knowledge
  2. Demonstration of knowledge through a practicum examination

The written examination and practicum grade must each be at least 80%. There is a non-refundable fee of $100 for the competency testing. Further information will be provided upon request.

Acceptance of Courses toward Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS-FNP)

Students with a previous Master of Science degree seeking certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner must demonstrate competency in Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advanced Pharmacology. Competency is defined by earning a final grade of B in each course in their previous APRN coursework, or they are required to retake the course at UMaine. Students whose Advanced Pathophysiology and Advanced Pharmacology courses were taken more than five years prior to admission will be required to repeat the courses. Students whose MS-Nursing was in a non-APRN concentration (e.g. nursing education) will have a gap analysis conducted to determine which of these courses may be considered toward the CAS. Laboratory and/or clinical components of Advanced Health Assessment may be required.

Academic Progression

Students must achieve a mean score of 80% on written exams in order to pass the course. Regardless of other grades achieved for written work assignments, and 80% average is required on exams. If the exam average is <80%, then the student will be awarded a grade no higher than “C” and will not be considered passing.

Students are expected to achieve a grade of “B-” or higher in all courses. If a student earns a “C” or lower in any course, the student is counseled and may be dismissed from the nursing major.

Students who wish to return to the graduate program in nursing after a leave of absence or to re-enroll after withdrawing will re-enter under current curricular requirements. If a significant amount of time has lapsed, additional coursework may be required.

Change in Program of Study

If a student deviates from their original Program of Study as outlined during their interview, seats and registration for future classes cannot be guaranteed and will be provided on an as available basis.

Withdrawing from a Graduate Nursing Courses

All graduate students in the School of Nursing may only withdraw once from any course.

Non-Degree Status

If you do not intend to pursue a graduate degree, but want to take graduate level courses for personal or professional development or to apply for degree status at a later date, you may seek admission as a non- degree graduate student. You can apply for non-degree graduate status on this site.

Up to twelve credit hours may be transferred from appropriate course work taken at UMaine before matriculation in a graduate degree program if no other work is being transferred.


If a student experiences any bias-related or hate crimes (including, but not limited to, any acts of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, age, ability, genetic information, or veteran’s status), the student is encouraged to report the incident to the UMaine Bias Response Team or Dean of Student Office. This enables the university to provide resources and assistance to those individuals.

Student Incident Process

  1. Faculty, adjunct faculty, or staff will document any violation of professional, clinical, course, or laboratory standards using an electronic Student Incident Report (SIR). The SIR will outline the specific incident, location of the incident, time/day of the incident, and any communication or evidence surrounding the incident. The SIR will be sent electronically to the student’s academic advisor and the Director of the School of Nursing.
  1. The academic advisor will notify the associated course coordinator in which the incident occurred to schedule a meeting with the student. During the meeting, the course coordinator and student will review the incident. The student will have an opportunity to provide input or data regarding the incident from their perspective. The course coordinator will discuss potential implications (failure to pass a skill competency assessment, removal from lab or clinical site, dismissal from the program, remediation plan, etc.).
  2. The student will receive a formal letter from the course coordinator via email and snail mail that outlines violations of the Student Handbook and associated consequences, if applicable, along with the appeal process.
    • The School of Nursing may remove students from the class, lab, or clinical rotation and recommend dismissal from the program for any student who engages in unsafe practice, illegal or unethical conduct.
    • Students identified as deficient in knowledge or skills will be required to complete remediation and demonstrate competency prior to returning to the clinical practice site. The SIR will also outline the remediation process and activities to address the identified concerns with a timeline for
    • Students who have a previous remediation for unsafe patient care and then commit the second act of unsafe patient care are at risk for immediate dismissal from the program.
  3. When violations and associated consequences cannot be resolved with the mechanism listed above, the student may file an appeal to the Policy Advisory Committee.
  4. Student appeals require a written letter from the student that provides objective, factual evidence that rejects the incident and associated consequences outlined in the SIR letter the student received from the course coordinator.
  5. Appeal letters will be submitted to the School of Nursing Policy Advisory The committee reviews all academic and professional conduct cases within the school. The committee consists of two academic advisors, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, the Graduate Program Coordinator, and two additional faculty members voted by the full faculty. The committee will review the letter received from the course coordinator to the student, the incident report, and the student’s appeal letter. Next, the committee will discuss the case. Finally, the committee will vote on the outcome adhering to Roberts Rules. The Director of the School of Nursing is the committee chair and doesn’t have voting privileges to maintain equity. The student’s academic advisor will notify the student of the outcome within the day of the hearing. The student will receive a formal letter from the committee that outlines the outcome.

Infringement of any of these will result in the following procedure:

  1. Student problem behaviors may be identified by any University of Maine faculty, staff member, agency personnel, fellow students, clients, or If action is taken, this will be based on facts and/ or surmise from evidence and not hearsay.
  2. If the behavior is limited to one course, the student will be asked to meet with a School of Nursing faculty member associated with the course in which the behavior took If the behavior occurred in more than one course or outside of nursing courses, the student will meet with the Graduate Program Coordinator and/or Family Nurse Practitioner Track Coordinator. Depending on the seriousness of the issue, the Director of the School of Nursing may also be asked to attend. The complainant may choose to bring witness(es) to this meeting. A faculty member may also be invited to serve as a witness.
  1. A written statement describing the problem behavior, and, if appropriate, a plan of action for improvement (contract) will be given to the student, with a copy of all written materials placed in the student’s permanent If the behavior is not remediated within the stated time frame, there are several possible outcomes. These include a lowered clinical/course grade, failure in a course, conditional status (requires a specific contract), suspension and/or dismissal.
  2. There are times when a clinical agency requests that a student be removed from a clinical If the faculty member concurs that the behavior warrants such action, no attempt will be made to secure another clinical placement. This will result in a failing grade for the clinical experience.
  3. In the case where the behavior may pose risk of harm to others, the student may be removed from a clinical placement, the classroom, suspected or dismissed from the major without the opportunity for counseling and improvement plan. This type of decision will be made by the Director, the Graduate Program and/or Family Nurse Practitioner Coordinator, and at least one other faculty member. Examples of behavior which may lead to immediate removal are dishonesty, aggression, serious violation of the professional code of conduct including professional boundaries, and the commission of felonies such as diversion of The Director of the School of Nursing will notify the student in writing if such a decision is made.
  4. The student has the right to utilize the formal appeal process of the University of Maine Graduate School if they disagree with the decision made. The School of Nursing reserves the right to remove from clinical any student who, according to the judgment of faculty, poses risk of harm to clients or others until the matter is formally resolved.

Student Appeal Process

A student who wishes to appeal the School of Nursing programmatic academic action (for example, suspension or dismissal from the program, removal from the lab or clinical site) is required to:

  • Communicate with their academic advisor as soon as possible for guidance regarding the academic appeal process and timeframe.
  • Submit an appeal letter to the chairperson of the Policy Advisory Committee, which is the Director of the School of Nursing within 7 days of the last official day of the semester. The letter should include specific and objective extenuating circumstances that led to the academic violation and a remediation plan.

The Director and the faculty members of the School’s Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) will review the appeal letter and the student’s academic record:

  • The committee will decide the appeal
  • The student will be notified of the Committee’s decision in writing as soon as possible

A student who has been suspended from the University but wishes to return to the School of Nursing is required to apply for re-admission.

  • Students who have been suspended from the University are guaranteed readmission to the University
  • An interview with a nursing faculty advisor is required prior to re-admission to the Nursing program.

A student who has been dismissed from the university or the School of Nursing but wishes to return to the School of Nursing is required to send a letter of appeal for readmission to the School of Nursing

  • The student’s appeal for re-admission will be reviewed by the Director and the School of Nursing Policy Advisory Committee to decide on re-entry.
  • A student who has been dismissed from the University is not guaranteed re-admission