2013-14 Catalogs

BS in Nursing - RN to Bachelor of Science Degree

The School of Nursing faculty recognizes the need and desirability for registered nurses to attain baccalaureate and masters degrees within Maine. The nursing faculty has designed two options for RNs - the first leading to a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) and the second (described in USM's Graduate Catalog) leading to a Master of Science degree.  RNs returning to school face many complexities; every effort is made to remain attentive and flexible in adjusting the plan of study and accommodating individual needs. Advice with prerequisites, course planning, and course sequencing for RNs may be obtained by contacting Brenda Webster at (207) 780-4802.

Admission Requirements for the RN to BS Program

The RN applicant must (a) meet the general admission requirements of the University, (b) provide evidence of current licensure as a registered nurse in Maine, and (c) must have a GPA of 2.5 or better. Applications of those candidates with a GPA below 2.5 will receive consideration by the Undergraduate Admissions and Advancement Committee.

All policies applicable to students in the baccalaureate program (refer to Retention and Progression Policies below) also apply to students in the RN to BS program.

All RNs must fulfill the University's 30 credit residency requirement (6 credits earned at another UMS campus may be applied toward residency).

The SON recognizes a maximum of 30 nursing credits (RN credit options) transferred from an associate's degree nursing (ADN) program as basic nursing credits required in the baccalaureate program. These credits are applied toward fulfillment of the baccalaureate requirements for RN students who have successfully completed NUR 308, Professional Communication and Technology Utilization in Nursing. Nursing credits earned in the ADN program beyond the basic 30 credits above may be used as elective credit. RNs graduating from a diploma program will be awarded the basic nursing credits (30) for a fee, upon successful completion of NUR 308 Professional Communication and Technology Utilization in Nursing. Additional information may be obtained through the Office of Prior Learning Assessment.

The following courses must be completed, or may be available for credit by examination, prior to entry into the upper division nursing courses.

English Composition*  Anatomy and Physiology I and II**
General Psychology  Growth and Development
General Sociology*  Pathophysiology
Ethical Inquiry  Microbiology
Statistics (prior to CON 321)  Chemistry**

**Chemistry and anatomy and physiology requirements are waived with the successful completion (minimum grade of C) of pathophysiology.

University requirements in general education or the Core curriculum must meet the progression standards of those curricula, e.g., students taking the Lewiston Common Core (LCC) must complete all 100 level courses before 200 level, and 200 level courses prior to 300 level.

Students must take all required CON and NUR courses at USM.

Upper division nursing courses, in required sequence for RNs, include:

A. NUR 309/310 Health Assessment and Health Assessment Lab4
     NUR 308 Professional Communication and Technology Utilization in Nursing3
B. NUR 314 RN Credit Options30
     CON 321 Health-Related Research3
     CON 356 Concepts in Community Health3
     NUR 370 Theory for Clinical Practice3
C. NUR 419 Community Nursing Partnerships2
     NUR 474 Leadership and Management for RNs3
     NUR 476 Theory and Concepts of Nursing Practice3

Matriculation in the USM School of Nursing is required prior to enrollment in upper-level nursing courses. The only courses RN students may take prior to matriculation are NUR 308, NUR 309, and NUR 310. Clinical courses may not be taken unless RN credit options have been completed and posted. USM and the University of Maine (UM) have a collaborative RN/BS option that is available through the University Network Education System (UNET). Students may take required and equivalent courses from the other campus for residency credit.

Once a student is matriculated the student is required to notify the Coordinator of the Undergraduate Nursing Programs of any change in status of their RN license.

Retention Policies

The following are exceptions or additions to University progression policies.

Both part-time and full time students in the nursing programs must maintain class standing according to hours accomplished, with a grade point average as follows:

Credit Hours  For Good Standing  For Probationary Standing
46-120  2.75  2.5-2.74
25-45  2.75  2.5-2.74
0-24  2.5  2.0-2.49

By maintaining a 2.75 GPA or above during the upper-division years, the student maintains a standard appropriate to professional practice. The student must accomplish, as a minimum, a GPA for good standing according to the number of credits earned. 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. Such a student may take support courses until his or her grade point average has been restored to the level of 2.75 or above, at which point progress in nursing lecture and clinical courses may resume. 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 NUR/CON courses and their prerequisite courses is a grade of C. If placed on probation, a student has a maximum of two semesters to achieve a satisfactory cumulative GPA or the student will be suspended or dismissed. While on probation, the minimum semester GPA accomplished must be the GPA for good standing according to the number of credits earned (see above) or the student will be suspended. A student is suspended for one semester; the student will be dismissed at the end of the next enrolled semester if the GPA requirement is not met.

Science courses may only be repeated once.

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. Multiple unsatisfactory grades in prerequisite, nursing, and/or support courses;

2. A C-, D, F or L in one or more prerequisite, nursing and/or support course(s) when repeating the course due to an unsatisfactory grade;

3. 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 temporary grade may be assigned by a faculty member when a student, because of extraordinary circumstances, has failed to complete course requirements in a nursing course or CON required course. Incomplete grades in upper division nursing courses must be completed with a letter grade of C or better before progressing to the next course.

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 120-128 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.