2020-21 Catalogs

Nursing Overview

Associate Dean, School of Nursing: Brenda Petersen

Coordinator of Graduate Nursing Programs: Jeffrey Hutchins
Coordinators of Undergraduate Nursing Programs: Leslie Larsen and Netty Provost

Faculty in Nursing:
Associate Professors: Fackler, Randall (Carla), Samia, Sepples; Assistant Professors: Casimir, Faux, Fuller, Gillespie, Hutchins, Lachance, Lyden, Nersesian, Randall (Cynthia), Schroeder; Instructor: Caton-Lemos; Lecturers: Darus, Goldenberg, Guerdan, Harris, Larsen, Thayer; Adjunct: Bacon, Botler, Burke, Moore-Littlefield; Professors Emeritae: Childs, Hart, Spross; Associate Professors Emeritae: Burson, Fournier, Healy, Johnson, Keith, Lawson, Normandeau, Peake-Godin, Tiffany, Tukey, Vines, Woods Smith; Assistant Professor Emerita: Nealand; Instructor Emerita: Elliott

The School of Nursing offers programs leading to a bachelor of science with a major in nursing, a master of science with a major in nursing, and a doctor of nursing practice. In addition, it offers a minor in holistic and integrative health and a certificate in holistic health. Study options are available for registered nurses seeking to attain a baccalaureate or master's degree in nursing and for students who hold a baccalaureate degree in another field who are interested in a baccalaureate or master's degree in nursing. The pre-licensure programs are approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate and master's programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001 (202) 887-6791.


The University of Southern Maine School of Nursing is dedicated to advancing the health and well-being of its community through the education of caring and competent nurses prepared for the challenges of 21st-century nursing practice.


We, the faculty, believe that professional and safe nursing practice is at the intersection of clinical excellence and effective relational practice. Relational practice is an outcome-oriented approach to nursing that includes reflective practice, strong communication, and respectful disciplinary and interprofessional collaboration with a focus on patient and family-centered care.

Baccalaureate nursing education is guided by theory and knowledge from nursing science, the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the biological sciences. It builds on this background to advance the art and science of nursing using informatics, technology, and evidence to address issues of quality and safety. In an effort to deliver compassionate and ethical care, students develop a broad understanding of social structures as they gain awareness and respect for individuals. Nursing students develop an understanding of how systems affect the health and well-being of diverse communities, families, and individuals across the lifespan. In an ever-changing, complex, and global world, our graduates will have generalist nursing knowledge, orientation to leadership, and a focus on the growing needs of an aging population.

The philosophy of teaching nursing is based on the principles outlined in the Carnegie Foundation sponsored research on Educating Nurses (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard and Day, 2010), which advances four essential shifts for effective integration of the three apprenticeships of nursing (knowledge, know-how, and formation). The shifts are defined in an appendix available at https://usm.maine.edu/nursing/philosophy-school-nursing.

Graduate nursing education builds on baccalaureate education and is guided by advanced theory and knowledge from nursing and other sciences. A primary aim of graduate nursing education is to ensure that every student acquires the ability to analyze, synthesize, and utilize knowledge to advance the practice of nursing. Graduate education prepares the nurse to engage in scholarly enquiry using research and quality improvement methods, contemporary technology, and interprofessional collaboration.

At the University of Southern Maine School of Nursing, students, faculty members, practicing nurses, and clients work as partners in learning. Students begin from a place of self-awareness with an expectation that deep learning will challenge long-held beliefs, attitudes, and responses. Learning begins when students acknowledge, respect, and reflect upon past and present experiences. Learning is enhanced by critical engagement in the educational process, by the perception that the task of education is relevant and meaningful, and by an expectation of success. Repetition and meaningful feedback allow students to develop insight, new habits, and practice patterns. Varied strategies and sequential mastery of content enable learners to develop approaches, establish connections, and verify patterns to make generalizations and discriminations. The shared responsibility for identifying learning needs and evaluating learning experiences enhances self-confidence and the ability to become increasingly self-directed. Successful learning takes place in an environment where learners feel both challenged and supported.

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 that 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 commitment 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.

Programs of the School of Nursing are subject to change at any time without notice.
For more information about Nursing programs at USM, please visit our website: http://usm.maine.edu/nursing