2018-2019 Catalog 
    Jun 23, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing RN to BSN Track (BSN)

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Vision Statement

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.

Mission Statement

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.

Program Description

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.

Program Goals

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.

Program Outcomes

To successfully complete the nursing major, each graduate will demonstrate achievement of essential nursing student learning outcomes, which includes:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded a BSN degree, graduates must:

  1. Complete a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit;
  2. Maintain a minimum, cumulative grade point average of 2.5;
  3. Complete General Education Requirements with a grade of C or better;
  4. Complete the support courses for the Nursing Major with a grade of C or better; and
  5. Complete the nursing core courses (NUR/HLT) for the selected track with a grade of C+ or better.

Assessment Techniques

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 option is for those who already are licensed Registered Nurses. Graduates of state-approved diploma and associate degree programs in nursing are eligible to apply for admission to the baccalaureate program in the online RN to BSN track. This program is designed to be as flexible and responsive to individual student needs as possible within the constraints of curriculum, university and accreditation requirements, and quality educational theory. The length of the program is dependent upon the amount of acceptable transfer credit; success in completion of CLEP, proficiency, and nursing examinations; and part-time or full-time status. In most instances a minimum of two years should be anticipated for completion.

Students may be eligible to be granted credit for prior learning, for example, credit for experiential learning, certificates, or through a process of challenge examinations. A total of up to 6 credits will be awarded for prior learning and/or certifications. Successful completion of the challenge exam, for a course that traditionally has a laboratory component, for example, microbiology, will equate to a waiver of the laboratory requirement. (4 credits total for didactic and laboratory).

Admission Requirements

Admission to the online RN-to-BSN option requires:

  1. Completion of application to nursing major, including official transcripts from all post-secondary programs submitted to admissions office;
  2. A cumulative GPA of 2.5; and,
  3. An active RN license.

Transfer Credits

Any courses identified as “nursing” on post-secondary school transcripts that apply to the degree plan for the RN-to-BSN major, will be assessed on an individual basis. Upon determination of eligibility, a block of 29 credits will be awarded in lieu of previous core nursing courses. Eligibility is determined on the basis of the student providing an official transcript giving evidence of graduation from an accredited school of nursing. Graduates of nursing programs whereby the biology or chemistry courses integrated the laboratory components within the didactic portion of the course will be accepted as equivalent to a course with a separate didactic and laboratory component. This allows a 3 or 4 credit course to meet this requirement.

Articulation Agreements

Students who graduated from Central Maine Community College (CMCC), Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC), Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC), Northern Maine Community College (NMCC), Southern Maine Community College (SMCC), and University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) are awarded 39 credits, inclusive of nutrition, pharmacology, and health assessment, and in some cases, pathophysiology. For transferability, such credits must be approved by the Registrar’s Office and be completed with at least a grade of “C” or better. Please refer to the transfer credit policies in this catalog for complete information, or contact the Registrar’ Office. Further information about any of these options may be obtained from the RN-to-BSN advisor or Administrative Assistant of the Division of Nursing.

General Education Requirements

In accordance with University policy, all baccalaureate candidates must complete the general education requirements. Transfer credits are considered on an individual basis. All general education courses must be completed with a minimum grade of “C”.

Required Support Courses

*Satisfies General Education Requirements
**Graduates from CMCC, EMCC, KVCC, NMCC, SMMC and UMA are granted credits
~ Nursing Challenge exam available to RN’s.
***DANTES exam available.

The required support courses may be completed by several approved examination procedures. The nursing core and elective courses are offered online by UMFK.

General Information: Academic Progression Policies in the RN to BSN Track

To progress in the RN-to-BSN option, students must:

  1. Attainment of a “C” grade or better in all courses, including transfer courses; students must earn a grade of C+ or higher in any NUR/HLT course. Any general education or support course in which a student earns a “C-” grade or less is unacceptable, or a grade of C or less in any NUR/HLT course is unacceptable;
  2. Any general education or support course can be repeated, but only once, to achieve the necessary “C” grade, or C+ (NUR/HLT) core in nursing courses or 2.5 GPA;
  3. A student who receives less than a “C+” grade in two nursing (NUR/HLT) core courses, or receives less than a “C+” after repeating the same course, will be required to withdraw from the nursing program.
  4. 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;
  5. Maintenance of a cumulative 2.5 grade point average in all coursework completed while matriculated at UMFK;
  6. To successfully complete any nursing course, students must achieve a minimum grade of 78% in the course. In addition, a minimum grade of 78% averaged over all written examinations must be achieved to pass each course.
  7. Elective NUR courses are offered by UMFK online. RN to BSN students are encouraged to speak to the academic advisor to determine which elective courses best meet individual interest and learning needs (NUR 342  or NUR 435R ). RN to BSN students may work with the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator to ascertain if previous work experience or certification may be used to fulfill elective credit, for up to 6 credits maximum awarded. Students should be aware that prior learning credits do not count toward residency requirements.

Examinations. Program requirements are met through the examination process of College Level Examination Program (CLEP), nursing mobility and achievement examinations, or their equivalents, proficiency examinations, or by enrolling in courses at UMFK. Students are encouraged to use the CLEP (for general education courses) and Nursing Challenge (for nursing support courses) examinations option whenever possible to meet program requirements. Additional information is available through Student Support Services or the Division of Nursing.

Academic Policies Related to Nursing (all options - Traditional BSN, Accelerated BSN, and RN-BSN Tracks for Current and Returning Students)

Transfer coursework. Please also refer to transfer student language. All nursing coursework, for students in the traditional or accelerated track, must have been completed within the last 5 years to apply towards the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. If a student is not enrolled in clinical coursework for a period of 12 months or more, all clinical coursework must be repeated including didactic, laboratory, and clinical components. Once students are matriculated into the UMFK nursing program, they must complete all core nursing (NUR/HLT) courses through the UMFK nursing program. Once matriculated at UMFK, any transfer BIO coursework completed with a grade of C- or less, counts as a course attempt.

Transfer of a 3-credit pharmacology course is accepted for traditional or accelerated students only if the course was taken within the last 2 years and within the University of Maine system, and if the student achieved a grade of C+ or higher. Otherwise, successful completion of a comprehensive examination is required if the student completed a pharmacology course at another school within the past two years, earning a grade of C+ or higher. (tThis policy applies to students in the traditional or accelerated program tracks only; this does not apply to students in the RN to BSN program track).

Course waiver/substitution requests. Consistent with the UMFK Prior Learning Assessment (PLA policy (i.e. challenge exams, certifications, block credit, military credit), nursing students must submit their requests for PLA credit during their first semester of matriculation at UMFK. Otherwise, students requesting HLT/NUR course waiver or substitution must submit their completed application and have it approved prior to the semester in which the course is scheduled to be taken. Applications submitted by students during the semester in which they are enrolled in the course will not be considered.

Required prerequisite coursework for clinical preparation. All coursework must be completed and on the UMFK transcript with a grade of C or better, C+ or better for nursing (NUR) courses by the week before clinical classes start. Only final grades, posted on the transcript by the deadline, are acceptable. Nursing faculty and advisors will not attempt to locate missing grades. It is the student’s responsibility to assure all grade information is current. Prior to beginning any clinical courses, students must have completed, with a grade of C or better, C+ or better in nursing (NUR/HLT), in the following courses: NUR 200 , NUR 201 and NUR 202 labs or NUR 212 lab, NUR 230 , NUR 302 , NUR 309  with lab, BIO 220  with lab, BIO 221  with lab, BIO 353  with lab, BIO 363 , CHY 100  with lab, PSY 100 , and PSY 308 . Additionally, faculty and advisors recommend that all general education courses from the freshman and sophomore years are completed. Students may submit a letter to the Admissions, Advisement, and Advancement Committee to appeal any general education course not completed prior to beginning any clinical courses.

Leave of absence. A leave of absence from upper division nursing courses may be granted to a student who is experiencing a health or personal problem. To request a leave, the student must submit a letter to the Admissions, Advising, and Advancement (AAA) Committee. If granted, the leave will be for a period of no longer than one year. To return, the student must submit a written request for reinstatement to the program within one year.

Changing to the nursing major. Students already enrolled at UMFK who wish to change their major to nursing should obtain a “Request for Change of Degree” form from the Registrar’s Office, which must then be signed by the Director of the Division of Nursing. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 is required prior to program change. Grades below “C” do not satisfy nursing prerequisites or degree requirements; grades of C+ or higher are required for all nursing (NUR) courses.

Procedures for students in academic difficulty. A student in academic difficulty is one who is in jeopardy of earning a grade below C+. All students demonstrating difficulty in completing course requirements for the didactic, clinical, and/or laboratory sections are notified of their status at mid-semester or mid-clinical rotation. Written notification is also sent to the student’s academic advisor, and a copy is retained in the student’s record. A mutually acceptable plan, or learning contract, may be developed to help the student at-risk of failing a clinical rotation. The contract will assist the student to identify goals, strategies, and dates by which these goals need to be achieved. A copy of the learning contract that is signed by both the faculty and student will be maintained for the student’s record. Should learning contract requirements not be achieved, further meetings will be held first with the student, faculty member, and course coordinator. Continued difficulty will result in a meeting with the student, faculty member, course coordinator, and the Director of the Division of Nursing to discuss a plan of action. Individual action will be taken based on each student situation. A student has the right to appeal all grades according to the Academic Student Appeals Policy. The student must initiate the appeal procedure by the end of the ADD/DROP period by the semester following the class in question. Students who fail an HLT/NUR course are required to retake the course through UMFK to achieve the necessary grade of 78% or better, which must occur within the allowed number of course attempts as outlined in Division of Nursing policies.

Suspension. Students will be suspended from the nursing program if their cumulative GPA is less than 2.5. While a student’s GPA is less than 2.5, that student may not register for any nursing courses. Students who have been formally suspended from the nursing program will be referred to the Assistant Dean of Student Success.

Probation. Probation occurs when a student receives a letter grade of “C-” or below in any nursing (NUR/HLT) core or a letter grade of “C-” or below in any biology (BIO) course but maintains a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above. To progress in the program, the student is required to repeat the course the next time it is offered, but cannot repeat it more than once. While students are on probation, they may not register for more than 14 credits in a semester, and may not enroll in an online or ITV course without specific approval from the academic advisor. Students will be notified in writing by the AAA Committee of their probationary status.

Withdrawal. Students must inform the AAA Committee in writing of their intent to withdraw from upper division nursing courses. Withdrawal from the upper division nursing core courses interrupts progression in the nursing program. The student must initiate reinstatement into the nursing program within 12 months. Students must inform the AAA Committee in writing of their intent to be reinstated. The Committee determines the reinstatement status within the nursing program.

Re-entering division of nursing. Traditional and accelerated students who are absent from the nursing program for non-academic reasons for a period of 12 months or more, must re-apply to the AAA Committee for entry to the upper division nursing courses. Any clinical nursing courses previously completed must be repeated including didactic, laboratory, and clinical components.

Students seeking re-admission to the nursing major. Students who are dismissed from the nursing program for academic reasons and who would like to be re-admitted to the major must ensure their campus admission status is current. In addition, a minimum separation from the nursing program for one year is required. Students must write and pass the HESI Admission Assessment Exam with a grade of 78% or better, on all components, on their first attemp. Furthermore, before acceptance to the nursing major, students must apply, in writing, for re-admission to the nursing major to the Admissions, Advisement, and Advancement Committee. Students may not be re-admitted based upon previous student misconduct or academic history. All previously completed or attempted nursing (NUR/HLT) coursework must be repeated. A failing grade in a nursing course (NUR/HLT), a grade of C or less, after re-admission results in dismissal from the nursing program. Students may only apply for re-admission to the nursing major once.

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