2022-2023 Catalog 
    May 28, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Nursing

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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/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.

Program Description

The UMFK graduate program offers a flexible program leading to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Graduate nursing students pursue their educational and career goals with faculty and clinicians vested in student success. In the MSN program tracks, students are able to pursue education full time or part time. All MSN courses are offered online to serve our students at a distance.

Nurse Practitioner Majors

Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (A/GACNP)

Accreditation & Credentialing

The master’s degree program in nursing program at UMFK is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org). Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers board certification upon successful completion of the certification examination. As stated by ANCC (2022), “The ANCC Certification Program enables nurses and NPs to demonstrate their specialty expertise and validate their knowledge to employers and patients. ANCC offers a range of certifications across many specialty areas and practice areas, most of which are accredited by the ABSNC or the NCCA” (aanp.org). 

Program Goals

In fulfillment of its mission, the Division of Nursing will:
1. Prepare nursing leaders who will shape the future of healthcare;
2. Promote the development of nursing science through research and evidence-based practice;
3. Develop clinical partnerships that foster student and program growth;
4. Increase diversity and inclusiveness within our community
5. Be the destination for outstanding, talented faculty and students.

Program Outcomes

1. Scientific Foundation Competencies

  • Critically analyzes data and evidence for improving advanced nursing practice.
  • Integrates knowledge from the humanities and sciences within the context of nursing science.
  • Translates research and other forms of knowledge to improve practice processes and outcomes.
  • Develops new practice approaches based on the integration of research, theory, and practice knowledge

2. Leadership Competencies

  • Assumes complex and advanced leadership roles to initiate and guide change.
  • Provides leadership to foster collaboration with multiple stakeholders (e.g. patients, community, integrated health care teams, and policy makers) to improve health care.
  • Demonstrates leadership that uses critical and reflective thinking.
  • Advocates for improved access, quality and cost effective health care.
  • Advances practice through the development and implementation of innovations incorporating principles of change.
  • Communicates practice knowledge effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Participates in professional organizations and activities that influence advanced practice nursing and/or health outcomes of a population focus.

3. Quality Competencies

  • Uses best available evidence to continuously improve quality of clinical practice.
  • Evaluates the relationships among access, cost, quality, and safety and their influence on health care.
  • Evaluates how organizational structure, care processes, financing, marketing and policy decisions impact the quality of health care.
  • Applies skills in peer review to promote a culture of excellence.
  • Anticipates variations in practice and is proactive in implementing interventions to ensure quality.

4.Practice Inquiry Competencies

  • Provides leadership in the translation of new knowledge into practice.
  • Generates knowledge from clinical practice to improve practice and patient outcomes.
  • Applies clinical investigative skills to improve health outcomes.
  • Leads practice inquiry, individually or in partnership with others.
  • Disseminates evidence from inquiry to diverse audiences using multiple modalities.
  • Analyzes clinical guidelines for individualized application into practice

5. Technology and Information Literacy Competencies

  • Integrates appropriate technologies for knowledge management to improve health care.
  • Translates technical and scientific health information appropriate for various users’ needs.
    • Assesses the patient’s and caregiver’s educational needs to provide effective, personalized health care.
    • Coaches the patient and caregiver for positive behavioral change.
  • Demonstrates information literacy skills in complex decision making.
  • Contributes to the design of clinical information systems that promote safe, quality and cost effective care.
  • Uses technology systems that capture data on variables for the evaluation of nursing care.

6. Policy Competencies

  •  Demonstrates an understanding of the interdependence of policy and practice.
  • Advocates for ethical policies that promote access, equity, quality, and cost.
  • Analyzes ethical, legal, and social factors influencing policy development.
  • Contributes in the development of health policy.
  • Analyzes the implications of health policy across disciplines.
  • Evaluates the impact of globalization on health care policy development.

7. Health Delivery System Competencies

  • Applies knowledge of organizational practices and complex systems to improve health care delivery.
  • Effects health care change using broad based skills including negotiating, consensus-building, and partnering.
  • Minimizes risk to patients and providers at the individual and systems level.
  • Facilitates the development of health care systems that address the needs of culturally diverse populations, providers, and other stakeholders.
  • Evaluates the impact of health care delivery on patients, providers, other stakeholders, and the environment.
  • Analyzes organizational structure, functions and resources to improve the delivery of care.
  • Collaborates in planning for transitions across the continuum of care.

8. Ethics Competencies

  • Integrates ethical principles in decision making.
  • Evaluates the ethical consequences of decisions.
  • Applies ethically sound solutions to complex issues related to individuals, populations and systems of care.

9. Independent Practice Competencies

  • Functions as a licensed independent practitioner.
  • Demonstrates the highest level of accountability for professional practice.
  • Practices independently managing previously diagnosed and undiagnosed patients.
    • Provides the full spectrum of health care services to include health promotion, disease prevention, health protection, anticipatory guidance, counseling, disease management, palliative, and end of life care.
    • Uses advanced health assessment skills to differentiate between normal, variations of normal and abnormal findings.
    • Employs screening and diagnostic strategies in the development of diagnoses.
    • Prescribes medications within scope of practice.
    • Manages the health/illness status of patients and families over time.
  • Provides patient-centered care recognizing cultural diversity and the patient or designee as a full partner in decision-making.
    • i. Works to establish a relationship with the patient characterized by mutual respect, empathy, and collaboration.
    • ii. Creates a climate of patient-centered care to include confidentiality, privacy, comfort, emotional support, mutual trust, and respect.
    • iii. Incorporates the patient’s cultural and spiritual preferences, values, and beliefs into health care.
    • iv. Preserves the patient’s control over decision making by negotiating a mutually acceptable plan of care.

*Program outcomes adopted from National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF, 2017)

Program Options

The Master of Science in Nursing program offers a track in adult/gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners manage complex patient situations in faced- paced settings. As an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, you will provide care to patients over age 18, including older adults, both in hospitals and clinics. As you care for acutely ill patients, you will use evidence-based practice to assess patients, provide complex monitoring, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and develop complex treatment plans. You will focus on managing ongoing problems and preventing complications to support the best patient care outcomes.

Graduation Requirements

1. Complete a minimum of 43 credits in the MSN program;
2. Maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher;
3. Complete all courses with a grade of B- or higher.

Assessment Techniques

Assessment of student progress toward achieving program outcomes is completed in a variety of ways. Students written work, course examinations, hands-on experiences, and student, preceptor, and employer surveys are all utilized for formative and summative evaluation. A cumulative, professional portfolio is also submitted for evaluation.

Grading Scale

A grade of “B-” or higher is required for all courses.

Grade Percent GPA
A 93-100% 4.0
A 90-92% 3.67
B+ 87-89% 3.33
B 83-86% 3.0
B- 80-82% 2.67
C+ 78-79% (unsatisfactory for progression) 2.33
C 73-77% (unsatisfactory for progression) 2.0
C- 70-72% (unsatisfactory for progression) 1.67
D+ 67-69% (unsatisfactory for progression) 1.33
D 63-66% (unsatisfactory for progression) 1.00
D- 60-62% (unsatisfactory for progression) 0.67
F <59% (unsatisfactory for progression) 0.00














Admission Criteria

1. Bachelor’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university;
2. College-level statistics course with a grade of C or higher;
3. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
4. Current unencumbered RN license in a U.S. state;
5. One year of acute care experience;
6. Resume.

Total Credits

43 credits

Time to Completion

In as little as 15 months (12 credits per semester; 6 credits every 7 weeks).

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits from other colleges and universities are reviewed upon request. A grade of B-
or higher must be earned to request a credit transfer.

Transfer Students

Acceptance into the MSN program as a transfer student is contingent upon the student meeting all entrance requirements, as well as the availability of class and clinical space. Depending on the course credits being transferred, prospective transfer students may be required to demonstrate satisfactory validation of knowledge and skills, which may require registration for direct study credits, through successful completion of standardized examinations, evaluation of clinical skills, or through completion of the prior learning assessment (PLA) process, such as the creation of a portfolio. If the student completed a graduate-level pharmacology course at another institution, the course must have been completed within 2 years, with a grade of B- or higher and the student must successfully complete a challenge examination.

MSN Program Requirements

Total: 43 credits

Academic and Clinical Progression Policies

  1. Withdrawing or Dropping a course: note that the 7-week course format shortens the timeframe for dropping and withdrawing from courses. Students are encouraged to   work with their faculty advisor when considering a course drop or withdrawal;
  2. Academic Probation: graduate students who have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of less than a 3.0 will have one semester to increase their GPA to the required 3.0 or higher or face program dismissal.
  3. Separation from the MSN program:
    1. Students may opt to discontinue studies at UMFK through a formal leave of absence as defined by:
      • Leave of absence: a leave of absence request is initiated by the student. An extenuating circumstance, such as a medical illness, may necessitate a request for a leave of absence. Students should submit the request for a leave of absence to their faculty advisor. Students may request an absence for a semester or for one calendar year. If the leave of absence extends beyond one calendar year, the student may have to repeat clinical coursework.
    2. Students may be dismissed from the MSN program for academic or conduct issues.
      • Students may earn a grade of B- or below in only one course. The course must be repeated the next time it is offered. If the student earns less than a B- in the same course or in another graduate course, the student is dismissed from the graduate nursing program.
      • Students who engage in violations of academic integrity, pose a threat to any member of the UMFK community, or pose a threat to patient safety are dismissed from the graduate nursing program.

Clinical Experiences

Graduate nursing students must adhere to all clinical guidelines as outlined in the MSN Student Handbook. Students must complete a criminal background check and upload all immunization requirements to their Verified Credentials account. Students must have up-to-date vaccinations and titers as required. Students also may be required to submit to drug screening as required by our clinical practice partners. Attendance at clinical sites is not permitted until all requirements are met.

Students identify preceptors and clinical sites in consultation with the Clinical Coordinator. All clinical paperwork must be completed prior to beginning clinical experiences. Students are responsible for ensuring all immunization, criminal background, clinical site agreement, and preceptor agreement documents are in place prior to beginning any clinical experience.

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