University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Nursing School Review

The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth has a long and complex history dating back into the late 1890’s. The first institution where the current university stands today was a textile school in New Bedford. Numerous development of that school, with change of names, numerous merges with other colleges eventually led to the now UMASS Dartmouth in 1991.

It started offering additional undergraduate degrees to those that had been offered by the former mother colleges and an induction to offer the first PhD in 1994. It forms part of the larger family of the University of Massachusetts (UMass).

College of Nursing-UMASS Dartmouth

The college of nursing is one of eight approved colleges and schools under the umbrella of UMASS Dartmouth.  The school with accreditation from the National League for Accrediting commission offers six programs in the nursing field; three in the undergraduate category and three as graduate level.

Undergraduate Nursing programs- UMASS Dartmouth

i)        Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

Planning to move from a student to a registered nurse, UMASS College of nursing at Dartmouth offers you this option through their BS program. It takes form of a traditional nursing program with students taking classes for four years. A total of 122 credits constitute the curriculum for this program whereby, upon completion, students are able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and earn a BSN degree. During the first year at Dartmouth, students will take general science and introductory nursing courses. During the second and third years, a clinical experience component will be incorporated into the curriculum. At the final year, each student nurse will be assigned to a RN who will evaluate and guide students through an internship program.

ii)      RN-BS (online)

For RNs who are already in practice, this online baccalaureate program is designed for you.  The curriculum is delivered in an online format and builds on prior nursing experience, hence the strict need for RNs only. It is one of the few degrees in Massachusetts where the teaching dynamics are individualized to meet the needs of program progression for each semester for each student. On a normal basis, the program is designed to go for up-to four semesters.

iii)    RN Refresher Course

This is an independent course designed for RNs who wish to re-enter nursing after long breaks or those who want to be trending nursing profession. The course only focuses on acute and critical care nursing.

Graduate Nursing at UMASS Dartmouth

i)        Master of Science in Nursing

The degree options for this degree are for students to choose from two clinical areas in either of the functional areas are outline bellow:

  • Community Health Nurse Educator
  • Community health nurse manager
  • Adult health nurse educator
  • Adult health nurse manager


ii)      Doctor of Nursing Practice

The doctor of nursing practice at UMASS Dartmouth has one of the following tracks from which students can choose from:

  • Adult nurse practitioner
  • Community health clinical specialist and
  • Adult clinical specialist

It is possible for BSN students to take some graduate courses right after graduation with a BSN. The nine courses help the BSN student to become enrolled into the program without having to take the MSN; otherwise, it is designed for advanced practice nurses.

iii)    PhD in Nursing

At UMASS-Dartmouth College of nursing, the terminal degree in nursing; doctor of philosophy in nursing is available. It takes a research focus and experiential learning in the following tracks:

  • Scholarship on chronic illness
  • Scholarship on leadership in nursing education
  • Conduct of research

The curriculum is designed to be taught a period of 4 years on a full time basis. Entrants must have a minimum of a MSN degree to be eligible for admission.

University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road,
North Dartmouth,
MA 02747