Return to: Degree and Certificate Programs
The University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK), Division of Nursing envisions an environment that promotes excellence, innovation, and creativity in the educational preparation of baccalaureate nursing graduates.
As an integral part of its parent institution, the Division of Nursing is committed to quality liberal arts education of nurse leaders serving rural northern Maine and beyond. Our mission is to educate caring, competent, professional nurses who participate in maintaining, promoting, and optimizing the ever-changing health and well-being of clients and communities.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent offers an accredited baccalaureate nursing program founded upon the liberal arts and sciences. Over the course of study, students gain knowledge and skill in the social, behavioral, biological, and nursing sciences. Graduates are employed in a variety of practice settings to assist individuals, families, and communities to maintain, promote, and optimize their health and well-being. This program of study fosters the personal and professional growth of students, enhancing the creative and intellectual abilities of those who wish to pursue advanced clinical and academic studies.
Each nursing major must complete a minimum of 120 hours of credit, including the general education core, nursing prerequisites, and nursing core courses as outlined in the individual program plan. Upon successful completion of the program, the student is awarded a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing and is eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Many health care agencies require criminal background checks for licensed health care providers, students, and volunteers serving in health care agencies. In response to these requirements, the UMFK Division of Nursing has established a policy requiring criminal background checks of all nursing students. Students are responsible for contacting the Director of Student Services or the Maine State Board of Nursing if they have a question about their criminal history.
In keeping with the institutional mission and divisional goals, the Division of Nursing promotes an environment of respect and support for all persons regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, creed, or abilities. Students with special needs are advised to refer to the “Students with Disabilities” section of this catalog. Additionally, students are encouraged to review the Essential Qualifications Policy available online, under the nursing major.
In fulfillment of its mission, the Division of Nursing will:
- Provide baccalaureate nursing education that responds to, and fosters the development of, professional nurses prepared to meet the health care needs of an ever-changing, multicultural society;
- Develop and utilize creative and innovative educational methodologies that serve the learning needs of a diverse student population;
- Prepare registered nurses as generalists who will become leaders in promoting, maintaining, and optimizing healthy communities;
- Provide a community-based liberal arts educational program using a holistic approach focused on health promotion and optimal wellness;
- Prepare registered nurses who are capable of using technology to meet the complex health care needs of the population;
- Promote the development of the skills, values, and responsiveness required by registered nurses to meet the healthcare needs of the greater community;
- Seek and utilize opportunities for faculty and students to pursue scholarly endeavors, such as teaching, practice, service, and research; and,
- Develop, foster, and maintain collaborative partnerships with the community and other institutions.
To successfully complete the nursing major, each graduate will demonstrate achievement of essential nursing student learning outcomes, which includes:
- Professionalism: (demonstrates accountability as a life-long learner for the delivery of evidence-based nursing care. Evaluates own practice that is consistent with ethical, moral, altruistic, humanistic, legal, and regulatory principles, and utilizes self-care to practice in a mindful manner)
- Understanding the professional standards of practice, the evaluation of that practice, and the responsibility and accountability for the outcome of practice
- Showing commitment to provision of high quality, safe, and effective patient care
- Implementing a plan of care within legal, ethical, and regulatory framework of nursing practice
- Participating in life-long learning
- Enlisting system resources and participating in efforts to resolve ethical issues in daily practice
- Leadership: (demonstrates leadership in the professional practice setting through accountability, influence, change management, and collaboration with others in a way that will facilitate the establishment and achievement of shared goals)
- Explaining the importance, necessity, and process of change
- Understanding the principles of accountability and delegation
- Implementing change to improve patient care
- Demonstrating purposeful, informed, outcome-oriented thinking
- Modeling effective communication and promoting cooperative behaviors
- Patient-Centered Care: (enters into a holistic, compassionate, respectful partnership with the patient and family that facilitates shared decision-making, recognizing consumer preferences, values, and needs in providing age and culturally appropriate, coordinated, safe, and effective care)
- Understanding that care and services are delivered in a variety of settings along a continuum of care that can be accessed at any point
- Respecting and encouraging individual expression of patient values, preferences, and needs
- Understanding how health and illness are affected by socioeconomics, culture, race, spiritual beliefs, gender, lifestyle, and age
- Valuing the inherent worth and uniqueness of individuals and populations
- Supporting patient-centered care for individuals and groups whose values differ from their own
- Evidence-Based Practice (EBP): (identifies, integrates, and evaluates current evidence and research findings coupled with clinical expertise and consideration of consumers’ preferences, experience, and values to make practice decisions for quality outcomes)
- Describing the concept of evidence-based practice (EBP), including the components of research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient/family values
- Participating in data collection and other research activities
- Basing individualized care on best current evidence, patient values, and clinical expertise
- Facilitating integration of new evidence into standards of practice, policies, and nursing practice guidelines
- Valuing the need for continuous improvement in clinical practice based on new knowledge
- Teamwork and Collaboration: (practices effectively with the healthcare consumer, family, and inter-professional team(s), to build relationships and foster open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making)
- Appreciating the importance of collaboration
- Functioning competently within own scope of practice as a member of the health care team
- Understanding the impact of effective team functioning on safety and quality of care
- Valuing the creation of system-solutions in achieving quality of care
- Contributing to effective team functioning
- Communication: (communicates effectively, fostering mutual respect and shared decision making to enhance knowledge, experience, and health outcomes)
- Understanding the principles of effective communication through various means, including verbal, written, and electronic methods
- Understanding the physiological, psychosocial, developmental, spiritual, and cultural influences on effective communication
- Identifying preferences for visual, auditory, or tactile communication
- Making appropriate adaptations in own communication based on patient and family assessment
- Interpreting differences in communication styles among patients and families, nurses, and other members of the health team
- Systems-Based Practice: (is knowledgeable and responsive to the changing healthcare system and demonstrates the ability to access resources in a safe, effective, and financially responsible manner to provide value based care)
- Understanding interrelationships among nursing, the nursing work unit, and organizational goals
- Planning, organizing, and delivering patient care in the context of the work unit
- Understanding the concept of patient care delivery models
- Valuing the need to remain informed of how legal, political, regulatory, and economic factors impact professional nursing practice
- Valuing effective communication and information sharing across disciplines and throughout transitions in care
- Informatics and Technology: (demonstrates proficiency in the use of technology and information systems to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and to support decision making for safe practice)
- Defining the impact of computerized information management on the role of the nurse
- Extracting selected electronic resources and integrating them into a professional knowledge base
- Evaluating information and its sources critically and incorporating selected information into his or her own professional knowledge base
- Applying technology and information management tools to support safe processes of care and evaluate impact on patient outcomes
- Using and evaluating information management technologies for patient education
- Safety: (utilizes clinical reasoning and critical thinking that drives a culture of safety to prevent risk of harm to healthcare consumers, families, colleagues, and the environment)
- Describing factors that create a culture of safety
- Recognizing that both individuals and systems are accountable for a culture of safety
- Demonstrating effective use of strategies at the individual and systems levels to reduce risk of harm to self and others
- Valuing system benchmarks that arise from established safety initiatives
- Participating in analyzing errors and designing systems-improvements
- Quality Improvement: (contributes to evidence-based nursing practice by participating in improvement strategies/processes including the use of data to design, implement and evaluate outcomes to improve the quality and safety of healthcare systems)
- Recognizing that quality improvement is an essential part of nursing and health care delivery
- Actively seeking information about quality improvement in the care setting from relevant institutional, regulatory and local/national sources
- Describing approaches for improving processes and outcomes of care
- Participating in the use of quality improvement tools to assess performance and identify gaps between local and best practices
- Participating in the use of quality indicators and core measures to evaluate the effect of changes in the delivery of care
- Geriatrics: (values the unique psychosocial, physical, and cultural attributes of the older adult in order to promote healthy aging and provide safe and effective care)
- Acknowledges the older adult’s independence and ability to self-direct
- Identifies nursing role in advocating for older adults
- Identifies barriers to communication with older adults
- Assesses symptoms related to geriatric syndromes and common illnesses of older adults
- Recognizes the importance of the interdisciplinary team in helping an older adult and/or their caregiver(s) make healthcare decisions
Adopted from Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Nursing Initiative (2010), Nurse of the Future: Nursing Core Competencies and Maine Partners in Nursing (2013): Maine Nursing Core Competencies
The nursing program at UMFK is approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing, 161 Capitol Street, 158 Statehouse Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333-0158, and accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC, 20036-1120.
Accreditation is an external process affirming established standards of excellence for baccalaureate nursing education. Accreditation also assures students of transferability of state licensure and of eligibility for admission to graduate school. Further information about the accreditation of the program can be obtained from any of the aforementioned accrediting bodies.
BSN Program Options
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is available to students in one of three options: a traditional BSN entry-level track, an accelerated BSN track, and an RN-to-BSN track. This latter option is available through distance education for students who already possess an active license to practice as Registered Nurses.
To be awarded a BSN degree, graduates must:
- Complete a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit;
- Maintain a minimum, cumulative grade point average of 2.5;
- Complete General Education Requirements with a grade of C or better;
- Complete the support courses for the Nursing Major with a grade of C or better; and
- Complete the nursing core courses (NUR/HLT) for the selected track with a grade of C+ or better.
Students in the traditional and accelerated tracks are required to take nationally-normed specialty examinations in the subject areas of pharmacology, maternity, pediatric, psychiatric, and medical-surgical nursing. In the last semester of the curriculum, traditional and accelerated students are required to take a nationally-normed comprehensive examination and to achieve a satisfactory score as outlined in the course syllabus prior to taking the NCLEX-RN examination. Students are responsible for all costs incurred with such testing.
Curricular assessment techniques are achieved through various means, including: clinical self-evaluations, formative and summative evaluations, and exit, graduate, employer, and alumni surveys. A cumulative, professional portfolio also is submitted for evaluation.
This track is intended for students who have an earned undergraduate baccalaureate degree. Students in this track plan to spend a minimum of 14 months on the UMFK campus. The majority of courses within this program track are in nursing whereby students build upon the learning acquired in the liberal arts and sciences from their previously earned undergraduate degree. To facilitate the student’s successful completion of this program of study, a number of teaching modalities are utilized, including directed studies, traditional classroom, and distance learning. Student success is premised upon the ability to be a motivated, flexible, and self-directed learner. Enrollment as a full-time student is a requirement in this track.
Students who wish to be admitted into the ABSN degree must:
- hold an earned undergraduate Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college;
- have an earned, cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better on a 4.0 scale for all college coursework;
- have successfully completed a college/university course in anatomy and physiology (including all systems) with a minimum grade of C;
- have successfully completed a college/university statistics course.
- be enrolled as a full-time student; and,
- students must be prepared to start courses online in the summer.
- consideration of applicants to the accelerated program is based on a competitive process.
- enrollment may be limited due to availability of clinical learning facilities.
*Clinical space or enrollments may be capped on a year to year basis.
*Students may occasionally begin in the traditional program track and then wish to transfer to the accelerated program track.
This transfer of program tracks is only allowed if the student does not fail any courses once matriculated at UMFK.
To complement their learning and enhance their success, students are strongly encouraged to complete the following courses in preparation for the ABSN:
- Microbiology (with lab)
- Human Nutrition
- Chemistry (with lab) - organic or biochemistry
- Growth and development across the lifespan
- Transcultural Care in Nursing
Grades of “C-” and below are not acceptable in nursing support courses; grades of C and below are not acceptable in nursing (NUR/HLT) core courses. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 is required to maintain enrollment in nursing courses.
Suggested Course Sequencing: Accelerated Nursing Major
Courses in the nursing major are taken in a sequential manner, as outlined below, and any deviation must be individually
assessed and approved by the student’s academic advisor. The clinical component of a course may be completed in the
community, acute, or long-term care settings.
Pre-Arrival Summer Semester - Total 14 credits
(after completion of transferable anatomy and physiology and statistics courses)
Spring - Total 15.5 credits
Total Accelerated Program Credits: 60 or 63
Total Accelerated Program Credits: 60 or 63, depending on whether Capstone is required or not. See Academic and Clinical Progression Policies for Traditional and Accelerated BSN Tracks.
Some accelerated students may opt to take NUR 200 , NUR 230 , NUR 201L , and NUR 202L in lieu of NUR 304 and NUR 304L .
- Successful completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit;
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5; and,
- Successful completion of the nursing major as outlined for the accelerated program track.
General Information: Academic and Clinical Progression Policies for Traditional and Accelerated BSN Tracks
To progress in the nursing major, students are required to meet the following academic policies:
- Attainment of a “C” grade or better in all non-nursing courses (i.e. general education and nursing support classes) including those transferred in once the student matriculates. Attainment of a “C+” or better grade in all nursing core (NUR/HLT) classes.
- Any general education or prerequisite course can be repeated, but only once, to achieve the necessary “C” grade or minimum 2.5 GPA;
- Course failures in any two BIO/NUR/HLT courses or a second course failure in the same BIO/NUR/HLT course results in program dismissal. Course failure is defined as less than a C in any BIO course, including those transferred in once a student matriculates; less than a C+ in any NUR/HLT course; or a second failure in the same BIO/NUR/HLT course; students who transfer in a failing BIO course grade will have this grade count as a course attempt.
- Students who withdraw from a BIO/NUR/HLT course must enroll in the course the next time it is offered. Withdrawal from the same course twice counts as a course failure. Students experiencing extenuating circumstances may be considered for an approved course withdrawal, which does not count against them, by writing an appeal to the Admissions, Advisement, and Advancement (AAA) Committee as long as the appeal is made at the time of the occurrence and if the student is passing the course. Course withdrawal in not granted retroactively after the final course grade is recorded.
- Students must successfully complete the didactic, laboratory, and clinical components of a course to meet the requirements for the course. If students are unsuccessful in any of the course components, they must repeat the course in its entirety (class, lab, and/or clinical);
- The student who successfully completes all HESI® exams, including the HESI® Exit exam,(Exit Exam on the first attempt), by the end of the first semester in the senior year, is required to complete the preceptorship only; the capstone course is optional. If students are required to enroll in the capstone, the preceptorship start date is delayed by five weeks.
- Maintenance of a cumulative 2.5 grade point average in all coursework completed at UMFK.
- Provide evidence of a health history, physical examination, and immunization history acceptable for institutions in which clinical experiences occur, include: annual flu shots, Hepatitis B, MMR, PPD, and Varicella. Students are required to register with Certified Background and submit immunization, criminal background history, and CPR status for tracking purposes; Students must have health insurance to enroll in clinical nursing courses; Liability insurance is required for students enrolled in Internship, Externship, and Preceptorship experiences;
- Traditional students must declare Nursing as a major upon enrollment in NUR courses. Accelerated students must declare nursing as a major upon enrollment in NUR/HLT courses. Once matriculated into the nusing major, students must complete NUR/HLT courses through UMFK. Business majors must declare a concentration in Healthcare Administration to enroll in nursing (NUR/HLT) courses at level 300 or above or by instructor permission
- Upon starting clinical courses, students must be enrolled in a clinical course each semester. If a semester does not include a clinical course, students are required to register for NUR 395 . Students who have completed NUR 395 , and have another semester without a clinical course must complete NUR 390 . If a student has a third semester without a clinical course, and NUR 395 and NUR 390 were completed, then they must take NUR 397 .
Students are responsible for purchasing uniforms, name tags, stethoscopes, clinical footwear, and laboratory coats. Specific requirements for both clinical and laboratory courses are detailed in each course syllabus and in the Nursing Student Handbook. Clinical learning experiences take place in a variety of settings and geographic locations, and students are responsible for meeting their own transportation needs to attend all clinical experiences. Professional liability insurance is strongly recommended and health insurance is mandatory for traditional and accelerated nursing students. Professional liability insurance is mandatory for students enrolled in nursing internships, externships, or preceptorships. Annual clinical requirements acceptable for institutional orientation must be completed before students can commence any clinical experience, such as but not limited to education on fire and electrical safety, back care, confidentiality, HIPPA, blood borne pathogens, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Students must have health insurance to enroll in clinical nursing courses.
Return to: Degree and Certificate Programs