School of Nursing

BS in Nursing

This program prepares individuals to begin their nursing practice in a variety of health care settings and in specialty areas. Graduates possess generalist nursing knowledge, an orientation to leadership, and a foundation to begin graduate studies.

The baccalaureate nursing program requires the completion of a minimum of 120 credits of study and culminates in a baccalaureate degree (B.S.). Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Students must fulfill the USM general education requirements by completing any one of the following pathways: the USM Core curriculum, the Russell Scholars Program, or the University Honors Program. Beginning coursework in the baccalaureate curriculum includes English composition, quantitative decision making, natural and behavioral sciences, arts, and humanities.

Nursing content at the upper division is organized to facilitate the integration of nursing knowledge and skills and to draw on a foundation of learning from other disciplines. The nursing curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop skills in partnering with various community stakeholders to identify community strengths, resources, and needs. Courses focus on the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health. Students have experiences that involve assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of care for individuals of all ages: in families, groups of clients, and communities across the health continuum. Inpatient and outpatient settings, community health agencies, public health settings, long-term care facilities, schools, and industries are used for clinical experiences.

Junior level clinical courses begin in either the fall or the spring semester in Portland and in the spring semester in Lewiston. Students follow a specific sequence of didactic and clinical courses with a student cohort group.

Undergraduate Nursing Policies

Because the baccalaureate nursing program includes supervised clinical experiences, the nursing faculty reserves the right to limit enrollments. Admission to the program is highly selective.

In addition to the requirements established for admission to the University, high school students applying to the School of Nursing must complete high school chemistry and biology with labs. SAT or ACT scores for first year applicants, academic record, and a required essay are considered in the application review process. Please see the admission section of the USM undergraduate catalog for further requirements.

First-year applicants internal to USM with 32 or fewer credits, a minimum USM GPA of 3.0, and who have successfully completed specific prerequisite requirements (math readiness, English composition or equivalent, anatomy and physiology I or chemistry, and two of the following three social sciences: introductory sociology, multicultural human development, or general psychology) may apply for a change of major to nursing in consultation with the nursing advisor.

Transfer admission into the nursing major is available according to the number of open seats in a cohort-based system. Internal and external applicants may apply for transfer with a minimum of 30 credits, a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all prior college work, a minimum GPA of 2.67 in the natural science courses that have been completed (anatomy & physiology I & II with labs, chemistry, microbiology with lab, pathophysiology, and human nutrition) and math readiness as determined by the University. Applications for the admission of transfer students will be processed once a year for fall admission. The application deadline is January 15. Applicants will be notified of decisions by mid April.

Sample plan of study:

Fall Semester Freshman Year

EYE 1XX – Entry Year Experience course
*College Writing
*Human Anatomy and Physiology I 
*Practical Human Anatomy and Physiology I
MAT 120 – Introduction to Statistics 
TOTAL CREDITS: 14.5

Spring Semester Freshman Year
*Human Anatomy and Physiology II 
*Practical Human Anatomy and Physiology II 
*CHY 107 – Chemistry for the Health Sciences
*HRD 200/SBS 200 – Multicultural Human Development
*NUR 100 – Introduction to Professional Nursing 
*PSY 101 – General Psychology I
TOTAL CREDITS: 16.5

Fall Semester Sophomore Year
*Microbiology for Health Sciences
*Microbiological Laboratory
*SOC 100 – Introduction to Sociology
Cultural interpretation course
Thematic Cluster course or elective
TOTAL CREDITS: 14

Spring Semester Sophomore Year
*Pathophysiology 
*CON 252 – Human Nutrition
CON 356 – Concepts in Community Health 
Thematic Cluster course or elective
Creative Expressions course
TOTAL CREDITS: 15

Fall Semester Junior Year
CON 321 – Health-Related Research 
*NUR 300/301 – Health Assessment and Lab
*NUR 302 – Pharmacology
*NUR 306 – Nursing Arts and Science 
*NUR 307 – Fundamentals in Nursing Lab 
TOTAL CREDITS: 16

Spring Semester Junior Year
NUR 323/325 – Adult/Older Adult Nursing and Lab
NUR 330/331 – Mental Health Nursing and Lab
NUR 332 – Nursing Care of the Older Adult in the Community
NUR 339 – Community Nursing Partnerships I 
TOTAL CREDITS: 17

Fall Semester Senior Year
NUR 341 – Community Nursing Partnerships II
NUR 421/422 – Reproductive and Sexual Health Nursing and Lab
NUR 424 – Clinically-Applied Genetics 
NUR 427/428 – Child Health Nursing and Lab
TOTAL CREDITS: 15

Spring Semester Senior Year
NUR 413 – Advanced Nursing Skills Lab
NUR 423/425 – Management of the Critically Ill Adult/Older Adult and Lab
NUR 470 – Leadership, Management, and Ethics 
NUR 480 – Practicum/Care Management 
TOTAL CREDITS: 12

120 credits required to graduate

*Must be completed prior to NUR 323/325

The core curriculum requirements in science exploration, ethical inquiry, international, diversity, and socio-cultural analysis are met through the Nursing curriculum.

The plan of study is subject to change. Please check  here for updates

Program Information:

Admission to the BS in Nursing Program

  • First-Year Students - Deadline: February 15 for fall admission

    The School of Nursing accepts first year students directly into the bachelors degree program for fall semester. Acceptance is based on high school grades, SAT or ACT scores (if applicable), and meeting the USM requirements for admission.

    Application process for First-year students