2022-2023 Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing RN to BSN Track (BSN, Online)

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Vision Statement

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.

Mission Statement

As an integral part of our parent institutions, the UMFK 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.

Program Description

The University of Maine at Fort Kent offers an accredited professional baccalaureate nursing program founded upon the liberal arts and sciences.  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

Program Goals

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.


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 their 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

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 (RN to BSN); 126 credits (traditional).
  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.
  5. Complete the nursing core courses (NUR/HLT) for the selected track with a grade of C+ or better.

RN to BSN Track

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 the nursing major, including official transcripts from all post-secondary programs submitted to the admissions office;
  2. 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 69 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 eligible for additional general education transfer credits when those courses are completed successfully at the above colleges. 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”.

General Education Requirements and Block Credits (69 credits)

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”.

Block Credits

General Education Credit General Education Area Credits
English Composition I Communication 3 credits
Speech Communication 3 credits
Math Quantitative Reasoning 3 credits
Anatomy and Physiology I and II Natural Sciences Included in support courses below
Psychology Behavioral-Social Sciences 3 credits
Sociology Behavioral-Social Sciences 3 credits
Total General Education Block Credits 18 credits


Support Courses



Anatomy and Physiology I and II (also listed above) 8 credits
Microbiology 4 credits
Growth and Development 3 credits
Nutrition Awarded in block listed below
Total Support Course Block Credits 15 (+ 6) credits


Nursing Courses



Includes nursing courses, nutrition, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. 36 credits
Total Credits Awarded 69 credits awarded as a Block Credit Transfer credits

Required General Education Courses

Nursing Core Courses

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 3 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. (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.  Students can be awarded up to two credits towards the nursing elective credit requirement for nationally accredited certifications they currently hold.

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 201, 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 readmission to the nursing major. All previously failed nursing coursework must be repeated. A failing grade in a nursing course is a minimum grade of C.  Students may only be readmitted to the nursing major once.Students who are dismissed from the nursing program for academic reasons and seeking readmission to the major must:

  • Ensure their campus admission status is current
  • Sit out a minimum of one semester from the nursing program
  • Write and pass the ATI TEAS entrance exam with a minimum grade of 78% on all components, on the first attempt
  • Apply, in writing, for readmission to the nursing major to the Admissions, Advisement, and Advancement (AAA) Committee

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