School of Nursing

MS in Nursing - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

The Master of Science in Nursing presents a vibrant, challenging, future-oriented program of study that prepares graduates for practice in diverse health care settings. Coursework builds on the baccalaureate degree in nursing and is based on theory and research in nursing and related disciplines. The program provides the foundation for continued professional development and for doctoral study. Students are prepared to provide leadership and to initiate collaborative relationships with others for the purposes of improving nursing and health care and influencing health policy. Master's students in nursing gain skill and knowledge that builds on their clinical experience and generalist undergraduate preparation. Graduate students extend their clinical expertise in working with individuals, families, and high risk populations. Master's students gain skills in clinical decision making and differential diagnosis; in case management and consultation; in client/patient teaching; in assessments and interventions; and in program design, implementation, and evaluation.

The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GPCNP) concentration prepares an advanced practice nurse who functions as a primary care practitioner to adolescents, adults, and older adults in the context of families, groups, and communities. Graduates who complete this concentration are eligible to sit for national certification as an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.

The A-GPCNP concentration is 4-6 academic semesters in length for students taking 9-15 credits per semester. Both full-time and part-time studies are available. A total of 55 credit hours is required for completion of the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner concentration.

The number of required clinical hours (contact hours) is based on national certification examination requirements, not on a credit hour to contact hour basis. The adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner concentration has a total of 616 clinical hours: 168 hours in clinical semester one, 224 hours in clinical semester two, and 224 hours in clinical semester three.

Required Courses (55 credits):

BIO 545 Advanced Pathophysiology
GRN 501 Life Transitions and Health in Aging (online through UM)
GRN 502 Interprofessional Care of Older Adults in Diverse Settings (online through UM)
NUR 601 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
NUR 602 Advanced Health Assessment
NUR 603 Nursing Theory and Knowledge Development
NUR 604 Nursing Research
NUR 606 Leadership, Health Policy, and Role
NUR 608 Applied Theories of Advanced Interpersonal Skills
NUR 650 Primary Care of the Adolescent
NUR 651 Women's Health in Primary Care
NUR 658 Graduate Clinical Project
NUR 664 Primary Health Care of the Adult I
NUR 665 Primary Health Care of the Adult II
NUR 666 Primary Health Care of the Adult III
NUR 667 Clinical Practicum and Seminar I
NUR 668 Clinical Practicum and Seminar II
NUR 669 Clinical Practicum and Seminar III
NUR 690 Role Seminar
NUR 500/600 Elective

Graduate Program Policies

Application Deadlines
    • Spring semester admission–October 1
    • Fall semester admission–April 1
Admission Information

Because the master of science in nursing program includes supervised clinical experiences and our 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 Primary 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
  • 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 that includes descriptive and inferential statistics completed within the past five years
  • An undergraduate course in total health assessment
  • Test Scores: MAT or GRE taken within 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
  • A 500 word essay that addresses the following topics:
  1. Understanding of the nurse practitioner role and reasons for becoming an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  2. Professional goals that will be supported by the Master of Science degree
  3. The experiences, capacity, and abilities brought to a master’s program
  4. Reasons for choosing USM for this program

Additional application information and forms are available on the Graduate Admissions web page

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 Admissions