School of Nursing

BS in Nursing - Accelerated Program

The faculty of the School of Nursing recognizes the desire of people with baccalaureate degrees in disciplines other than nursing to become nurses and has designed an accelerated program that leads to a B.S. in nursing in 15 months of full-time study. Students enrolled in this program build their undergraduate nursing courses upon previous academic and life experiences.Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

 

The University policy exempting immunization requirements for students born prior to 1956 does not apply to nursing students. Since health care workers are at a higher risk for certain illnesses, all students must meet the health requirements of the School of Nursing. These requirements are listed in the student handbook, and on the School's Web site.

All health requirements must be met and the documentation must be on file in the School of Nursing (SON) prior to entry into clinical courses, beginning with NUR 323/325. Students are required to provide verification of compliance with health requirements throughout their program. Failure to comply with maintenance of health requirements will result in removal from all courses. Students must be certified in professional rescuer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR certification is accepted only from the American Heart Association. Students must have  health insurance, equal to or better than the USM Student Health Insurance Plan prior to entry into NUR 323/325.

Students must pay for and complete a comprehensive background check prior to starting NUR 323/325. Students must sign a disclosure agreement allowing the School to provide access to this background information to our clinical affiliates. Affiliates have the right to deny clinical placement based on criminal background. Denial of clinical placement will stop progression in the nursing program.

Students may be asked by some clinical agencies to meet other specific clinical requirements. For example, some agencies require drug screens prior to attending clinical in their agency. Students assigned to these agencies will be required to complete all items required by that particular agency.

The costs incurred by a USM SON student for health requirements and background check may provide for additional loan eligibility and/or can be built into the financial aid costs of attendance/education. Students are required to request consideration by the Financial Aid Office, including providing documentation of the actual costs incurred.

Nursing courses carry additional fees to cover laboratory and clinical costs. A fee is assessed each semester to cover the cost of standardized tests. This fee includes the cost of a review course at the end of the program. Nursing majors must purchase uniforms and lab coats. Because clinical experiences occur in a variety of settings in southern and central Maine, students must provide their own transportation to rural as well as urban areas. Professional liability insurance is highly recommended for students in the nursing major and is required by some of our clinical agencies.

Retention Policies

All policies applicable to students in the baccalaureate program (refer to Retention and Progression policies for the baccalaureate program) also apply to students in the Accelerated BS program unless otherwise noted.

Students in the Accelerated BS program are required to maintain GPA of 2.75. A student who is unable to maintain a grade point average of 2.75 but whose average remains above 2.5 is on probation within the School of Nursing.  The status of such a student will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Admissions and Advancement Committee. A student who is unable to maintain a grade point average of 2.5 will not be allowed to maintain matriculation in the School of Nursing and will be required to either change majors, be suspended, or be dismissed from the University according to its policies.

Progression Policies

The lowest acceptable grade in required prerequisite courses is a grade of C.  The lowest acceptable grade in required CON and NUR courses is a grade of C+.

Nursing lecture and clinical course combinations must be taken concurrently the first time a student is enrolled in each course. A grade of C or below in a nursing lecture course or an F in a nursing clinical course (see low pass policy) will stop the student from registering for any other NUR clinical, NUR lecture or partnership course. In addition, students who receive a failing grade in a required lecture or clinical course which finishes partway through the semester (or students who withdraw from a required lecture or clinical course partway through the semester) will be withdrawn from all other concurrent lecture or clinical courses (required or elective). The student must achieve a grade of C+ or better, or a passing clinical grade in the course which is repeated before entering the next nursing lecture/clinical course combination or partnership. A course may be repeated only once.

A student may repeat a maximum of two CON or NUR required courses, clinical or didactic, in which the student receives a grade of C or less. An unsatisfactory grade in a third CON or NUR required course will result in dismissal from the nursing program. If a student receives an F in an elective NUR clinical course, they may not register to repeat that clinical elective or enroll in any other NUR clinical elective without permission of the Director of the School of Nursing.

The Undergraduate Admissions and Advancement Committee will review the academic record of any student who receives unsatisfactory grades in a given semester as follows:

1. An unsatisfactory grade in a prerequisite, nursing, and/or support course;

2. A C-, D, F or L in one or more prerequisite or support courses when repeating the course due to an unsatisfactory grade;

3. A C, D, F or L in required NUR or CON courses when repeating the course due to an unsatisfactory grade;

4. An F in a nursing clinical or partnership course.

Academic actions may include probation, suspension or dismissal from nursing and/or the University. Matters of personal concern to the student will be considered. The Committee will recommend to the Director a decision regarding progression or dismissal. Appeals may be made to the Undergraduate Admissions and Advancement Committee. A request for exception to the policy must be initiated by the student.

The School of Nursing reserves the right to accept and retain only those students who satisfy the requirements of scholarship and health necessary for nursing. A student who admits to or is found guilty of a violation of the American Nurses' Association guidelines for ethical practice (see School of Nursing Student Handbook) is subject to suspension or dismissal from the University. The Maine State Board of Nursing may refuse to grant a license on the basis of violation of academic or professional integrity or on the basis of criminal history record information relating to convictions denominated in Title 5, Chapter 341, Subsection 5301 of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated.

Low Pass Grades

Low pass (LP) grades are used in clinical and partnership courses to inform students whose performance is near failing. Students are held accountable to address the weaknesses identified in their performance appraisal with subsequent clinical and partnership faculty. A second low pass grade constitutes an F and stops progression in clinical, didactic and partnership coursework (see above progression policies).

Incomplete Grades

A grade of Incomplete may be assigned by a faculty member when a student, because of extraordinary circumstances, has failed to complete course requirements in a required NUR or CON course. Incomplete grades must be resolved satisfactorily to progress.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation with a bachelor of science degree with a major in nursing, the student must have successfully completed all requirements, and a minimum of 120 credit hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.75.

Commitment to Civility

The concepts of community and social justice are central to the mission and philosophy of the University of Southern Maine School of Nursing. Faculty, students, and staff are committed to promoting a healthy and just environment that supports transformative learning, academic integrity, open communication, and personal and professional growth among the diverse members of our academic community. We believe that these commitments are grounded in intellectual openness, in personal and professional accountability, and in the democratic values of inclusivity and mutual respect which are guided by rational discourse and by a relational ethic of care.

We are grateful for the opportunities to learn and work with peoples of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, cultural, political, social and economic backgrounds as well as with people who are disabled and people of different gender, sexual orientation, and age. Acknowledging the ethics and values that underlie the health professions, it is our belief that these ethics and values should be recognized, practiced, and cultivated in our learning and work environments. Our goal is to increase the awareness of students, staff, and faculty to the importance of civility, its implications, and the behaviors that are acceptable and not acceptable in our learning community.

Civility is the art of treating others, as well as ourselves, with respect, dignity, and care. Civility is apparent when we are sensitive to the impact that our communications, practices, and behaviors have on others, and when we acknowledge each person's self-worth and unique contributions to the community as a whole.

As members of the School, we are committed to learning and practicing in ways that support a caring and socially just community. The following are examples of how we create and sustain civility.

  • Support the autonomy and just treatment of self and others by facilitating an open, respectful, and caring environment.
  • Accept responsibility and accountability for one's own behavior when interacting with students, faculty, and staff.
  • Respect and protect the rights and property of others.
  • Speak or behave in a manner that does not disrupt or interfere with the learning or work of others.
  • Practice personal and academic integrity and expect it from others.
  • Demonstrate respect for others by actively discouraging discriminatory conduct, bigotry, violence, coercion or intimidation against any member of the academic community.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to listen and be open to hearing the perspectives of others. This includes actively seeking to hear from and making a safe space for voices of dissent.
  • Explore controversial issues through open dialogue and respectful deliberation.
  • Respect freedom of expression while recognizing that such tolerance does not require agreement with expressed ideas.
  • Engage institutional resources and persons to resolve conflict when necessary.

We will not tolerate harassing or discriminatory conduct of any form. Everyone has the responsibility to foster a safe and supportive learning and work environment. This committment can include any individual asking others to stop disrespectful or abusive speech and/or disruptive behavior. Collectively, faculty, staff, and students in the School of Nursing are responsible for ensuring a safe and supportive learning and work environment.

This program admits students, through a competitive admissions process, who have attained a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale in their prior degree. Students must complete statistics and anatomy and physiology prior to beginning the program. Please see the Learn More tab for more information.

Please see the "Learn More" tab for the specific program plan.

Required Courses:

CoursesCredits
     BIO 345 Pathophysiology3
     CON 252 Human Nutrition3
     CON 302 Pharmacology3
     CON 321 Health Related Research3
     CON 356 Concepts in Community Health3
     NUR 211 Nursing Role1
     NUR 300 Health Assessment3
     NUR 301 Health Assessment Lab2
     NUR 306 Nursing Arts and Science3
     NUR 305 Fundamentals of Nursing Lab2
     NUR 323 Adult/Older Adult Health Nursing3
     NUR 325 Adult/Older Adult Health Nursing Lab4
     NUR 330 Mental Health Nursing3
     NUR  331 Mental Health Nursing Lab2
     NUR 332 Nursing Care of the Older Adult in the Community3
     NUR 413 Advanced Nursing Skills Lab1
     NUR 421 Reproductive and Sexual Health Nursing3
     NUR 422 Reproductive and Sexual Health Nursing Lab2
     NUR  423 Management of Critically Ill Adult/Older Adult3
     NUR  425 Management of Critically Ill Adult/Older Adult Lab2
     NUR 424 Clinically-Applied Genetics3
     NUR 427Child Health Nursing3
     NUR 428 Child Health Nursing Lab2
     NUR 436 Community Nursing Partnership I2
     NUR 437 Community Nursing Partnership II2
     NUR 470 Leadership and Management and Ethics3
     NUR 480 Practicum/Care Management3

Plan of Study for the Accelerated BS in Nursing Program

 Admission Requirements

 The applicant must

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university or college
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or better from the previous degree on 4.0 scale

  • Successfully complete a college/university course in Anatomy & Physiology I & II (all body systems) and a college/university course in statistics by the time the program begins in May.

 Prior course work that could strengthen an application

  • Microbiology & Lab
  • Chemistry - particularly organic or biochemistry
  • Growth & Development - life-span preferred

Deadline: October 1 for a May start

How to Apply (USM Undergraduate Admissions)

In addition to completing an Undergraduate USM Application at the above link, you must also complete the:Supplemental Application for the Accelerated Nursing Program and submit it with a resume and essay. No other essay is required.

Currently matriculated USM students do not reapply to USM.  They need to submit only the Supplemental Application for the Accelerated Nursing Program, essay, and resume to the School of Nursing.

Please note that prior to starting lab and clinical courses, students must have completed the nursing health requirements, including Hepatitis B immunization series.

FAQ for the Accelerated program

Information Sessions are scheduled on a regular basis.