2020-21 Catalogs

MS in Nursing - RN to Master of Science Degree Program for Registered Nurses

The R.N. to M.S. degree program has been created specifically for registered nurses whose career goals will be enhanced through graduate study. The program facilitates and supports educational mobility and strengthens the leadership abilities of nurses who already have a foundation of professional experience. When required undergraduate courses have been completed, students in this program proceed directly into the master's program, bypassing the baccalaureate degree.

Full time students may complete the required junior and senior undergraduate nursing courses in 12-18 months. Part-time study is also available. The R.N. completes courses in new areas of content, and credit may be given for previously attained knowledge and skills.

The R.N. to M.S. program is built upon prerequisites to the nursing major that include courses in the natural and behavioral sciences and core courses required of all undergraduate students at USM.

The following areas of specialization are offered in the graduate program for R.N. to M.S. applicants:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GACNP)
  • Education
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan; PMHNP)

The R.N. to M.S. program is built upon prerequisites to the nursing major: Microbiology with lab, Pathophysiology, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Multicultural Human Development, and Statistics. In addition, the student must complete the USM Core curriculum, unless they have completed a prior baccalaureate degree.

The graduate portion of the RN to MS program in nursing is 4-6 academic semesters for full time study with students taking an average of 9-15 credits per semester. A part-time study option is also available. Students must complete the program, including both undergraduate and graduate courses, within six years.

Required Undergraduate Nursing Courses

CON 356 Concepts in Community Health (3 cr)
NUR 308 Concepts of Professional Nursing Practice* (3 cr)
NUR 309 Health Assessment for RNs (3 cr)
NUR 310 Health Assessment Lab for RNs (1 cr)
NUR 314 RN Credit Option (30 cr)
NUR 321 Health-Related Research (3 cr)
NUR 419 Community Nursing Partnerships for RNs Clinical** (2 cr)

*Not required if RN has completed a baccalaureate degree in another field.
**NUR 419 may not be taken unless RN credit options have been completed and posted.

Credits-by-Examination

Credits-by-examination may be earned in select non-nursing courses. These include College Writing, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Multicultural Human Development, Statistics, and Microbiology. Additional information may be obtained through the Office for Prior Learning Assessment, (207) 780-4663.

Sequencing of Courses

Some courses and credits-by-examination have prerequisites that must be completed prior to enrollment. Some prerequisites may transfer into USM from another accredited institution; others may be taken at USM.

Upon completion of all undergraduate courses, the RN to MS student enrolls in graduate courses. All graduate courses are required, and concentrations total 38 to 55 credits. Please refer to the MS degree pages for each concentration.

Basic Nursing Credits

The School of Nursing recognizes 30 credits (NUR 314) for basic nursing courses transferred from an associate degree (ADN) program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing at the time the degree was awarded. These credits are applied toward fulfillment of the undergraduate requirements for RN students who have successfully completed NUR 308 Concepts of Professional Nursing Practice.

RNs graduating from a diploma program will be awarded the basic nursing credits (30) upon successful completion of NUR 308 Concepts of Professional Nursing Practice. Additional information may be obtained through the Office for Prior Learning Assessment.