The Division of Nursing provides a rigorous education founded upon the liberal arts, which prepares professional nurse graduates who holistically serve individuals, families, and communities, in a caring capacity in a complex global society.
As an integral part of our parent institutions, the UMFK/UMPI nursing faculty members deliver a transformative nursing education to prepare graduates who serve as nurse clinicians, scholars, and educators to meet the health needs of the people of Maine and beyond.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent offers an accredited professional baccalaureate nursing program founded upon the liberal arts and sciences. The program is offered at both the University of Maine at Fort Kent and Presque Isle campuses. Over their 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 and enhances 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 on 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). As part of the licensure application process, arrest and court records of final adjudication for any offense other than a minor traffic violation must be submitted for review to the Maine State Board of Nursing. The Maine State Board of Nursing may refuse to grant a license on the basis of a criminal record for convictions denominated in Title V Chapter 341 Section 5301 Subsection II of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated. Applications of those who have been convicted of a felony and whose civil rights have been removed are considered to be incomplete until documentation that civil rights have been regained is presented to the Maine State Board of Nursing. Prospective and current students with a criminal history are responsible for contacting the Maine State Board of Nursing to ensure their licensing eligibility.
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.
The nursing program at UMFK is approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing, 161 Capitol St., Augusta, Maine, 04333-0158. The nursing program at UMFK is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.
In fulfillment of its mission, the Division of Nursing will:
1) 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;
2) develop and utilize creative and innovative educational methodologies that serve the learning needs of a diverse student population;
3) prepare registered nurses as generalists who will become leaders in promoting, maintaining, and optimizing healthy communities;
4) provide a community-based liberal arts educational program using a holistic approach focused on health promotion and optimal wellness;
5) seek and utilize opportunities for faculty and students to pursue scholarly endeavors, such as teaching, practice, service, and research; and,
6) 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
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 (RN to BSN); 125 credits (traditional).
- 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.
- Complete the nursing core courses (NUR/HLT) for the selected track with a grade of C+ or better.
A Testing Fee will be charged for each traditional and accelerated student upon entrance to the nursing program. This fee includes ATI books, online study materials, online quizzes, exams, and remediation materials. 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. Students purchase an online resource in the final semester. Students complete comprehensive exams, and must achieve a satisfactory score as outlined in the course syllabus, prior to applying to take 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.
Traditional BSN Track
The traditional BSN track is for students who transition from high school to college, or who wish to transfer with some credit earned from other academic institutions, or as non-traditional students who wish to be considered for previously-earned academic credit and/or life experience. Ordinarily, this option takes 4 years to complete. Although courses may be taken in the summer, summer classes are not required to complete the program requirements.
The applicant to the nursing major should have completed the college preparatory curriculum during high school. Applicants who have not completed this track may be evaluated on an individual basis. Additionally, the applicant is expected to have:
- Graduated from an approved high school or GED equivalent;
- Completed each of the following courses with a minimum grade of C, preferably in the college preparation track:
- Sciences: Two years
- Biology (with lab)
- Chemistry (with lab)
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Mathematics: Two years
- Algebra I
- Algebra II and/or Geometry
- English: Four years
- Social Sciences: Two years
- Foreign Language;
- Submitted one letter of recommendation from a math teacher, science teacher, or a support letter demonstrating community service.
Students who do not meet the criteria listed in the catalog are considered on an individual basis and an interview with an academic advisor may be required.
Students wishing to transfer to the nursing program from other colleges must meet general university admission requirements. A “C” grade or better must be demonstrated for any transfer credit to be acceptable for transfer to the nursing major, but a C+ for any nursing (NUR/HLT) core course. In addition, achievement of a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA also is required for admission to the nursing major. Clinical nursing courses from other nursing programs are non-transferable; however, transcripts and/or course syllabi can be reviewed upon individual requests. Once students are matriculated into the UMFK nursing program, they must complete all core nursing (NUR/HLT) courses through the UMFK nursing program
Application to UMFK must be accompanied by a letter from a previous faculty member, preferably a nursing faculty, and addressed to the Division of Nursing. The letter must indicate the student left the institution(s) in good academic standing, and in that faculty member’s best estimation, the student is capable of completing the nursing major within a four-year period.
Acceptance into the nursing program as a transfer student is contingent upon the student meeting all entrance requirements, as well as availability of class and clinical space. Depending on the course credits being transferred, prospective transfer students may be required to demonstrate satisfactory validation of nursing knowledge and skills, which may require registration for directed study credits, or through successful completion of a standardized exam. Transfer credit for 3 credit pharmacology course is accepted for traditional or accelerated students if the course was taken within the last 2 years within the University of Maine system and the student earned 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. (This 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).
In addition, students in the nursing program may transfer in a chemistry course without a lab to meet the nursing degree requirements. The chemistry course must be a minimum of three credits and be completed with a grade of C or higher.
A course may satisfy requirements in both the general education requirements and prerequisite areas. All courses with grades of “C-” and below must be repeated, or a grade of C or below for any nursing course. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 must be maintained to be enrolled in the nursing program of study.
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”.
General Education Requirements
Required Support Courses
Please note some support courses may also satisfy general education requirements.
**CLEP option for all students
Nursing Core Courses
+ Castle Branch immunization compliance required prior to enrollment
Traditional Nursing Major - Course Sequencing
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, and long-term care settings.
*Satisfies General Education Requirement
See Academic and Clinical Progression Policies for Traditional and Accelerated BSN Tracks.
Fall Semester Freshman Year - Total 16 credits
^Must successfully complete ASP classes (if required) prior to enrollment
Spring Semester Freshman Year - Total 16 credits
^Must successfully complete ASP classes (if required) prior to enrollment
Fall Semester Sophomore Year - Total 15 credits
Spring Semester Sophomore Year - Total 15 credits
Fall Semester Junior Year - 15.5 credits
Spring Semester Junior Year - Total 15.5 credits
Fall Semester Senior Year - Total 16 credits
Spring Semester Senior Year - Total 16 credits
General Information: Academic and Clinical Progression Policies for Traditional 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 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 is 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);
- Maintenance of a cumulative 2.5 grade point average in all coursework completed at UMFK.
- Provide evidence of 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 NUR 425 , Internship, Externship, and Preceptorship experiences. Nursing students must comply with immunization requirements as set forth by our clinical partners;
- 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 nursing 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 .
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. (This 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 101, NUR 102 and NUR 202 labs or NUR 212 lab, NUR 201L, NUR 205L, NUR 245, 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 Dean 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 Dean 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 ATI TEAS entrance exam with a grade of 78% or better, on all components, on their first attempt. Furthermore, students must apply, in writing, for re-admission to the nursing major to the Admissions, Advisement, and Advancement (AAA) Committee. All previously completed or attempted nursing coursework must be repeated. A failing grade in a nursing course, a grade of C or less, after re-admission results in dismissal from the nursing program. Students may only be re-admitted to the nursing major once.
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 NUR 425 , 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, bloodborne pathogens, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Students must have health insurance to enroll in clinical nursing courses.