Nursing — Family Nurse Practitioner

Program Type
Master’s Program
Master of Science (MS)
Mode of Study
In Person

Tuition & fees

Costs include tuition & fees. See cost details

Credit hours

49 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship, fellowship & research opportunities. Explore aid


No GRE required. Apply by April 1 for fall term, October 1 for spring term. View application process & deadlines

Program highlights

  • Earn your degree on your terms: Study full-time and finish in as few as 3 years or study part-time and finish in 4 years.
  • Prepare to be an advanced practice nurse who functions as a primary care practitioner to individuals across the lifespan, families, groups, and communities.
  • Become eligible to sit for national certification through the AANP American Academy of Nurse Practitioners) or American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) upon graduation.
  • Study with engaged faculty members who are committed to advancing excellence in nursing.
A nursing faculty member supervises a student taking a person's blood pressure.

Program requirements

Our Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program prepares an advanced practice nurse to function as a primary care practitioner. Coursework builds on the baccalaureate degree in nursing and is based on theory and research in nursing and related disciplines.

A group of nursing students sit at a table with textbooks.


Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to sit for national certification through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and/or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Our graduates routinely pass above the national average on certification exams.

A nurse in blue scrubs adjusts an IV bag.

Career advancement

Master’s students gain skills in clinical decision-making and differential diagnosis; case management and consultation; client/patient teaching; assessments and interventions; and program design, implementation, and evaluation.

Hands-on learning

Clinical placement varies by your area of academic concentration. Specialty areas include family practice, internal medicine, cardiology, endocrinology, women’s health, pulmonology, dermatology, orthopedics, and pediatrics, to name a few.

A nursing faculty member demonstrates a technique on a simulation mannequin.

Learning spaces

We offer robust learning environments. Expand upon your clinical skill set, using both traditional and state-of-the-art technology in our simulation labs.

The accreditation logo for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)


This program is approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

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Dedicated faculty

Our faculty are active in research and policy issues at the state and national level, are board members of state and national nursing associations, and frequently publish in leading nursing journals.

Graduate students attend their orientation in a lecture hall, with a staff member speaking at a podium.

Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

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Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

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Do you live in New England?

You may be eligible for a reduced tuition rate, as part of the NEBHE Tuition Break Program.

Check eligibility
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Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

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Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

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Admission information: MS in Nursing — Family Nurse Practitioner

Application deadlines

Application deadlineFall term startSpring term start
FinalApril 1October 1
Admissions Pathway: Early consideration for BS in Nursing — Traditional Program students*November 1Not available
Admissions Pathway: BS in Nursing — Traditional Program & Accelerated Program students**April 1Not available
Applications will be reviewed after the deadline.
* Must be a current student in the University of Southern Maine BS in Nursing — Traditional Program.
** Must be a current student in the University of Southern Maine BS in Nursing — Traditional Program or Nursing — Accelerated Program.

Because the MS in Nursing program includes supervised clinical experiences and the desire to maintain a high-quality program, the nursing faculty reserves the right to limit enrollments. The number of students accepted varies by program (Family Nurse, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner) and is based on clinical cohorts. Admission to the program is highly selective. The graduate program in nursing seeks candidates whose baccalaureate 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 baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing from a degree program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing.
  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or a B average.
  • An undergraduate course in Microbiology with a grade of B- or better.
  • An undergraduate course in introductory Statistics that includes descriptive and inferential statistics completed with a grade of B- or better.
  • An undergraduate course in total health assessment.
  • Proof of RN licensure in Maine before the start of the graduate program. Students that do no hold this at the time of application can be considered for conditional admission
  • Students with a GPA less than 3.0 may submit GRE or MAT scores to be considered.

A personal interview with graduate faculty of the School of Nursing may be requested following a preliminary review of all required admission materials.

Admissions pathway for current University of Southern Maine (USM) BS in Nursing students

Current USM students in the Nursing program may apply through a reduced application process to the Masters of Nursing program. The concentrations students can apply to via this pathway are: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

Students applying in this pathway will be considered for entry in the Fall semester following their graduation from the BSN. Eligible students will maintain a GPA of 3.3 or better throughout the undergraduate nursing program and be a current BSN student at USM at the time of application. Admission to the MS program is conditional upon passing the NCLEX exam. Conditionally admitted students may take 6 credits of graduate courses prior to matriculation.

Students will still follow the admissions and application process but will have the following requirements changed:

  • No letters of recommendation required.
  • No GRE or MAT required.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Essay: A 500-word essay that addresses the following topics:
    • Understanding of the nurse practitioner role and reasons for becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner.
    • Professional goals that will be supported by the Master of Science Degree.
    • The experiences, capacity, and abilities brought to a master’s program.
    • Reasons for choosing the University of Southern Maine for this program.
  • Two letters of recommendation reflecting professional practice and academic achievement. Recommendations should come from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience with the applicant’s academic or professional work, to comment on the applicant’s ability to undertake graduate study and the chosen profession.
  • Evidence (photocopy or PDF) of an unencumbered registered nurse license in Maine.

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address