School of Nursing

MS in Nursing - Family 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 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 Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) concentration prepares an advanced practice nurse who functions as a primary care practitioner to individuals, families, groups, and communities. Graduates who complete this concentration are eligible to sit for national certification as a family nurse practitioner.

The FNP concentration is four to six  academic semesters in length for students taking an average of nine to sixteen (9-16) credits per semester. Both full-time and part-time studies are available. A total of 53 credit hours are required for completion of the Family 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 family 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.

Graduate Nursing Policies

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

Admission to the Master of Science degree program in nursing is on a competitive basis. 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 which includes descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • An undergraduate course in total health assessment.
  • Test Scores: MAT or GRE taken with 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
  • Please develop a 500 word essay which addresses the following topics:

    1. Your understanding of the nurse practitioner role, and your reasons for becoming a nurse practitioner.
    2. Your professional goals that will be supported by the Master of Science degree.
    3. The experiences, capacity and abilities you bring to a master’s program.

      For forms and additional application information, please visit the Graduate Admissions web page

Sample: Full-Time Student - 4 Semesters (53 Credits)

FALL I

BIO 545 Advanced Pathophysiology
NUR 601 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
NUR 602 Advanced Health Assessment
NUR 604 Nursing Research
Total Credits 13

SPRING I

NUR 606 Leadership, Health Policy, & Role
NUR 608 Applied Theories for Advanced Interpersonal Skills 
NUR 650 Primary Care of the Adolescent
NUR 651 Women's Health in Primary Care
NUR 652 Primary Care Management of the Well Child
NUR 654 Prenatal Care in Primary Care
NUR 664 Primary Health Care of the Adult I
NUR 667 Clinical Practicum and Seminar I
Total Credits 16

FALL II

NUR 603 Nursing Theory and Knowledge Development
NUR 653 Primary Care of the Child with Episodic Illness
NUR 665 Primary Health Care of the Adult II
NUR 668 Clinical Practicum & Seminar II
500/600 Elective
Total Credits 14

SPRING II

NUR 658 Clinical Project
NUR 666 Primary Health Care of the Adult III
NUR 669 Clinical Practicum and Seminar III
NUR 690 Role Seminar
Total Credits 10

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Sample: Full-Time Student - 6 Semesters (56 Credits)

FALL I

     NUR 601 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
     NUR 602 Advanced Health Assessment
     BIO 545 Advanced Pathophysiology
     Total Credits 10

SPRING I

     NUR 604 Nursing Research
     NUR 606 Leadership, Health Policy, & Role
     500/600 Elective
     Total Credits  9

FALL II

     NUR 603 Nursing Theory and Knowledge Development
     NUR 608 Applied Theories for Advanced Interpersonal Skills
     NUR 658 Clinical Project
     Total Credits  9

SPRING II

     NUR 650 Primary Care of the Adolescent
     NUR 651 Women's Health in Primary Care
     NUR 652 Primary Care Management of the Well Child
     NUR 654 Prenatal Care in Primary Care
     NUR 664 Primary Health Care of the Adult I
     NUR 667 Clinical Practicum & seminar I 
     Total Credits 10

FALL III

     NUR 653 Primary Care of the Child with Episodic Illness
     NUR 665 Primary Health Care of the Adult II
     NUR 668 Clinical Practicum & Seminar II
     500/600 Elective
     Total Credits 11

SPRING III

     NUR 666 Primary Health Care of the Adult III
     NUR 669 Clinical Practicum & Seminar III
     NUR 690 Role Seminar
     Total Credits 7

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 Graduate Admissions