School of Nursing

Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Undergraduate nursing students in a simulation lab

At the University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Nursing, we are educating the next generation of highly-skilled, compassionate nurses. Our Bachelor of Science program prepares students to begin their nursing practice in a variety of health care settings and in specialty areas.

Our programs are designed to meet you where you are — and take you where you want to go. We offer a bachelor’s degree as well as a certificate and a minor focusing on holistic health.

Along with studying nursing science, our students explore the liberal arts, physical sciences, and social sciences. With a broad educational foundation, students develop an understanding of how systems affect the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities across lifespans. 

Our bachelor’s program offers three curricular pathways, each of which is designed for a select student type. You can explore each of our programs below.

This traditional bachelor’s program is designed for students who don’t yet have a degree in higher education.

You can complete the program on either the Portland campus or the Lewiston campus. 

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If you have a bachelor’s or higher degree in another field, this fast-track program allows you to earn your BS in Nursing in just 15 months of full-time study. Because this is an accelerated curricular pathway, committing to the program involves a rigorous course of study. Your course sequence will be based upon previous academic and life experiences. This program is offered on the Portland campus.

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If you are a registered nurse and have completed an associate’s degree or diploma program in nursing, this program allows you to earn your BS in Nursing on a part-time or a full-time basis. The RN-BS program is offered on the Portland campus, and many courses are available online.

You may apply a maximum of 60 transferable credits toward requirements for the BS in Nursing program. Other credits may be used to satisfy the USM core and the University’s credit requirement for graduation.

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NCLEX® Certification

Upon graduating with your BS in Nursing, you will be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®). Our graduates routinely pass above the national average on the exam. 

At the School of Nursing, you will:

  • Expand your knowledge and skill set, and develop your professional identity, guided by expert faculty.
  • Practice your skills with both traditional and state-of-the-art technology in our simulation labs.
  • Provide direct supervised care to individuals through clinicals at renowned hospitals.
  • Engage in enriching community-based clinical experiences.
  • Have access to international travel opportunities.
  • Participate in a 154-hour intensive practicum that will help you transition into professional nursing practice.
  • Be supported by dedicated academic advisors, who guide you through each semester’s course selection process.
  • Connect with fellow nursing students through cohorts. Our BS in Nursing and Accelerated BS Program combine groups of students together in cohorts. You’ll take a similar course sequence as your peers, so you’ll learn together and graduate together.

Approval and Accreditation

Our pre-licensure programs are approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing. The bachelor’s and master’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K St NW, Washington, DC, 20001 (202) 887-6791.

View Undergraduate Program Learning Outcomes

Ready for the next step? Apply Today!

Visit Us!

The best way to get to know the University is to visit one of our three beautiful campuses in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston Auburn. Register for a tour.


Contact the School of Nursing for program information.

Contact the Office of Admissions for application information.