School of Nursing

Certificate of Advanced Study in Nursing - Post-Masters

The post-master's certificate is designed to meet the educational needs of the master's prepared registered nurse interested in obtaining preparation for practice in an additional specialty. Students enrolled in this program join the master's students enrolled in the respective concentrations.

Post-Master's Certificates of Advanced Study (CAS) are available in the following specialties:

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan)

Required courses and clinical hours may vary depending on previous course work and clinical practice.

Program Requirements for Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Clinical core courses – will be waived if completed previously:
BIO 545 Advanced Pathophysiology       
NUR 601 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
NUR 602 Advanced Health Assessment

Clinical concentration courses:
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 650 Primary Care of the Adolescent – wiil be waived if completed previously
NUR 651 Women's Health in Advanced Practice – wiil be waived if completed previously

Total credits: 18–30


Program Requirements for Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner 

Clinical core courses – will be waived if completed previously:
BIO 545 Advanced Pathophysiology 
NUR 601 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics 
NUR 602 Advanced Health Assessment

Clinical concentration courses:
NUR 641 Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Theory I
NUR 642 Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Practicum and Seminar I
NUR 643 Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Theory II
NUR 644 Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Practicum and Seminar II
NUR 645 Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Theory III
NUR 646 Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Practicum and Seminar III
NUR 651 Women's Health in Advanced Practice – wiil be waived if completed previously

Total credits: 18–28


Program Requirements for Family Nurse Practitioner

Clinical core courses – will be waived if completed previously:
BIO 545 Advanced Pathophysiology 
NUR 601 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics 
NUR 602 Advanced Health Assessment

Clinical concentration courses:
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 650 Primary Care of the Adolescent – wiil be waived if completed previously
NUR 651 Women's Health in Advanced Practice – wiil be waived if completed previously
NUR 652 Primary Care Management of the Well Child
NUR 653 Primary Care of the Child with Episodic Illness
NUR 654 Prenatal Care in Primary Care 

Total Credits: 22–34


Program Requirements for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Clinical core courses – will be waived if completed previously:
BIO 545 Advanced Pathophysiology
NUR 601 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
NUR 602 Advanced Health Assessment

Clinical concentration core courses:
NUR 671 Foundations of Advanced Practice Mental Health Nursing  
NUR 672 Biological and Behavioral Components of Mental Health and Illness
NUR 680 Advanced Psychopharmacology

Clinical concentration courses: 
NUR 660 Continuing Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Supervision
NUR 673 Clinical Practicum and Seminar I
NUR 674 Advanced Practice Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing I
NUR 685 Advanced Practice Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing III
NUR 686 Clinical Practicum and Seminar III
NUR 687 Advanced Practice Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing II
NUR 688 Clinical Practicum and Seminar II

Total Credits: 30–40

Applicants must adhere to the same admission criteria and process of all other graduate applicants.

In addition to the application materials, applicants to the post-master's CAS are required to submit copies of all syllabi from initial master's program in nursing, documentation of total clinical hours, and identification of individual courses to which clinical practicum are embedded.

Admission Information

Admission to the Certificate of Advanced Study in nursing is competitive. The graduate program in nursing seeks candidates whose previous academic 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 master's degree in nursing from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing
  • A minimum graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or a B average
  • Current resumé or CV
  • Two years of acute care RN experience required for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate of Advanced Study program

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

Application Procedures and Required Materials 

Application Deadline: April 1 for fall admission

Applicants are required to provide the following materials: 

  • Application: Online Application
  • 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.
    • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
  • A resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • A 500-word essay that addresses the following topics:
    • Understanding of how the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) can enhance one's clinical practice and benefit the patient population
    • Professional goals that will be supported by the CAS
    • Experiences, capacity, and abilities brought to the CAS program
    • Reasons for choosing USM 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) of an unencumbered registered nurse license in Maine
  • Evidence (photocopy) of current state and national certification in specialty (if appropriate)
  • Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.

International Applicants

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • Official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Applicants whose first language is not English

Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.

We offer monthly Graduate Programs Information Sessions. Prospective students can meet with an Admissions counselor to discuss their questions. Register today.

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