School of Nursing

MS in Nursing - Master of Science Degree for Certified or State-Approved Advanced Practice Nurses

The Master of Science degree program for certified or state-approved Advanced Practice Nurses is designed to meet the educational needs of certified nurse practitioners who do not hold either a baccalaureate and/or master's degree in nursing. Program length varies according to the academic credentials of the individual entering the program.

Those practitioners without a baccalaureate degree must complete additional undergraduate coursework required in the RN to MS program. Certified and state approved Advanced Practice RN to MS students are not required to take undergraduate health assessment, microbiology, pathophysiology, or NUR 419 (Community Nursing Partnership for RNs).

For women's health nurse practitioners, an articulation agreement regarding course credit review has been established with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., of  Philadelphia, PA. Graduates of other programs will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Graduate Nursing Policies

Application Deadlines

Spring semester admission–October 1

Fall semester admission–April 1

Admission Information

Admission to the Master of Science degree program in nursing is on a competitive basis. The graduate program in nursing seeks candidates whose preparation, scholastic achievement, professional experience, interest, motivation, and references are predictive of successful graduate study.

Each student's application for admission will be evaluated based on a composite of the following recommended standards.

  • A degree with a major in nursing from a degree program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing.
  • A minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or a B average.
  • An undergraduate course in introductory statistics which includes descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • A undergraduate course in total health assessment.
  • Test Scores: MAT or GRE taken with five years of application submission
    • Miller Analogy Test (MAT): A score that ranks in the 45th percentile or higher for intended major.
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE):
    • Taken prior to August 1, 2011 - combined aptitude scores of 1,000 (V.Q.) or higher.
    • Taken after August 1, 2011 - a verbal reasoning score of 153 or higher; a quantitative reasoning score of 147 or higher; and, a minimum of 4.0 on the analytic writing sample.
  • Submission of official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS scores in addition to GRE scores (if English is not first language).
    • Applicants whose native language is not English must have earned a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper-based test, 79 or higher on the Internet-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test, or an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher.
  • Current resume.
  • A personal interview with graduate faculty of the School of Nursing may be requested following a preliminary review of all required admission materials.
Application material

In addition to the materials described on the USM Graduate Admissions General  Application Instructions page, applicants for this program must submit:

  • Completed program selection form
  • Two letters of recommendation reflecting professional practice and academic achievement
  • Evidence (photocopy) of unencumbered current licensure as a registered professional nurse in Maine
  • Please develop a 500 word essay which addresses the following topics:

    1. Your professional goals that will be supported by the Master of Science degree.
    2. The experiences, capacity and abilities you bring to a master’s program.

      For forms and additional application information, please visit the Graduate Admissions web page

Sample: Full-Time Program Sequence (27 Credits)

FALL I Credits
     NUR 601 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics 3
     NUR 603 Nursing Theory and Knowledge Development 3
     Graduate Elective I 3
     Total credits 9
SPRING I  
     NUR 604 Nursing Research 3
     NUR 608 Applied Theories of Advanced Interpersonal Skills 3
     Graduate Elective II 3
     Total credits 9
FALL II  
     NUR 606 Leadership, Health Policy, and Role 3
     NUR 658 Graduate Clinical Project 3
     Graduate Elective III 3
     Total credits 9

Note: RN to MS students (not having a baccalaureate degree in nursing) must complete additional undergraduate coursework.

Deadline: April 1 for fall admission, October 1 for spring admission

Admission Information and Links:

Information Sessions about this program are held on a regular basis

USM Office of Graduate Admissions