University of Maine at Orono Nursing School Review

The University of Maine at Orono (UMaine) is the flagship school of the University of Maine System. It was established as the Maine College of Agriculture in 1862, and was renamed the University of Maine in 1897. The school has been co-ed since 1872.

UMaine currently enrolls over 11,000 students each semester in one of 88 bachelor’s, 70 master’s, and 30 doctoral programs. The campus is located on the banks of the Stillwater River in Orono. The school has a friendly and safe atmosphere, and students have access to some of the best recreation sites in the country.

Nursing Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This program is for students who are looking to enter a career in professional nursing. Students will take a minimum of 123 credit hours. Graduates will be eligible to take the state licensing exam to become Registered Nurses (RNs).

Students will take general education courses during their first two years at UMaine, and will begin nursing classes during the third year of studies.

To apply to the nursing program, students will need to have a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.0 and have an ACT score of at least 23, or an SAT combined critical reading and math score of 1050 or better. They must also have taken a college prep curriculum, and have grades of A or B in English, Math, Chemistry, and Biology.

Students that do not meet the admissions requirements may enroll in Pre-Nursing. They will take the same courses as those in the main nursing program, but in a different order. Doing this adds one semester to the length of the overall nursing program, but no additional credits.

Once in the program, students need to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a science GPA of 2.75 or they won’t be allowed to continue.

RN Studies Program

This program is for students who hold a current RN license and who want to earn their BSN degree. They must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 in their associate degree nursing program, a minimum 2.75 GPA in their science and math classes, and at least a 3.0 GPA in their nursing classes.

Students will be awarded at least 30 credit hours for prior education, based on demonstrated clinical competence.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN program originally was designed to prepare RNs to become Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs), but in recent years has been expanded to allow students to study as Nurse Educators, Nurse Administrators, and other professional roles. The program is flexible, and may be taken part-time or full-time.


Graduates of an accredited BSN program may apply to this program. Students will need to submit their GRE or MAT scores, and must have a grade of B in undergraduate-level Health Assessment and Statistics classes. They must also have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, and a current RN license.


This program is for students who have graduated from a diploma or associate degree in nursing program, and who hold a current RN license.

To apply, students must take an undergraduate-level Health Assessment and Statistics class, with a grade of at least B in both. They will also need to submit their GRE or MAT scores. Once accepted into the program, they will take nine credits of graduate courses to complete the requirements for undergraduate part of the program.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Graduates of this program will eligible to take the national FNP certification exam from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Students may take this program full or part-time. Classes are taught both online and in classrooms, and clinical hours are arranged around the student’s schedule. Students will meet with their academic advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator to plan their course of study. This program requires 49 to 51 credit hours.

Individualized MSN (I-MSN)

Students that hold a BSN may create an individualized MSN program based on their current clinical knowledge, scope of practice, and credentials. Students must meet the MSN entry requirements, and it is preferred that they have national certification in a specialty area and two years of recent experience as a nurse practitioner.

Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)

This post-master’s program is for students who already hold an MSN degree. They must have an RN license and a graduate GPA of at least 3.25 to apply. This program requires students to complete at least 33 credit hours.

University of Maine at Orono
5713 Chadbourne Hall,
Orono, ME 04469-5713

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