Sep 24, 2023  
2009-2010 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2009-2010 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

College of Nursing

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Professional nurses provide health care services across the life span and in varied environments. Nursing is concerned with promoting, maintaining and restoring health. Nursing is committed to the goal of promoting an optimal level of functioning for all individuals, families and groups, thereby contributing to the health of the nation.

Professional nurses determine the health status of individuals, families and populations, and make clinical decisions regarding the appropriate action to be taken. They collaborate and cooperate with other members of the health team such as the physician, social worker, physical therapist, pharmacist and occupational therapist. Nursing plays an essential role in advocating high-quality affordable health care for all members of society and in shaping health policy.

Professional nursing requires a broad background of knowledge in arts, sciences and nursing, including clinical and cognitive skills of analysis, critical thinking, therapeutic intervention and communication.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing is to provide visionary leadership that advances the practice of nursing in a dynamic environment. The college is committed to generating collaborative and consultative relationships with professional colleagues and consumers to enhance the health of individuals, families and communities. The College actualizes this mission by providing exemplary nursing education, meaningful service and scholarship that advances nursing knowledge and improves the health of the Commonwealth and beyond.

The College fulfills its mission by pursuit of the following goals:

  1. To provide exemplary nursing education that offers learners opportunities to expand their knowledge base and pursue advanced study.
  2. To foster creative and critical thinking that advances the discipline of nursing.
  3. To prepare nurses who demonstrate behaviors consistent with professional nursing practice.
  4. To create and sustain an environment for nursing scholarship and research within the University and beyond.
  5. To prepare leaders in the delivery of cost-effective health care which promotes positive consumer outcomes
  6. To integrate concepts of health within the fabric of the University and the region.
  7. To create and expand partnerships that improve the health status of the population.
  8. To facilitate the exploration of political, legal, social, cultural, ethical and economic factors which influence the present and future of health care.

The College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing, and the baccalaureate and graduate programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), 61 Broadway, New York, NY 10006; phone 212 363-5555.

Programs of the College

The College of Nursing offers the only baccalaureate and graduate degree programs in nursing in southeastern Massachusetts. Students are admitted to one of two baccalaureate options. Students with no prior nursing education, and Licensed Practical Nurses, are admitted to the basic option. The second option, a flexible-access track for RNs, provides the opportunity for registered nurses who are graduates of associate degree and/or diploma schools to complete the  requirements for the bachelor’s degree in nursing (RN-BS) or continue on to the master’s degree (RN-MS).

The College of Nursing offers the Masters of Science Degree (MS) for Advanced Practice Nursing, with options in

  • Adult Advanced Practice
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Community Nursing Advanced Practice.

The College of Nursing also offers Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs in

  • Nursing Education
  • Leadership/Management in Nursing.

The College of Nursing also offers a Post-Masters certificate for the

  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

Other post-masters courses are also offered. Please consult with the graduate program director for further information.

For details of graduate program admission requirements and curriculum, please refer to the graduate catalog.

Freshman Admission

Students are admitted to the basic baccalaureate nursing program through the University Office of Admissions. Applicants to the Nursing Program, in addition to fulfilling the requirements for all University students, must have had a secondary school program including at least three units of mathematics and two laboratory courses of natural sciences. The three units of mathematics must include two units of algebra.

Placement Exam—Math

Freshman students admitted to the College of Nursing must take the math placement examination before they commence studies. The results of that examination may require students to receive tutoring or additional instruction. Failure to place in MTH 101 excludes a student from CHM 101.

Admission by Transfer

All students admitted to UMass Dartmouth by transfer after having completed some course work at other colleges must meet the same entrance requirements as those who apply as freshmen.

Credits earned in another college, for which grades meet the academic policy in effect for the class to which the student is admitted, may be accepted as transfer credits after evaluation of official transcripts.

The College has a special transfer program for students who already possess the RN license, described later in this section.

Academic Advisement

All nursing students are assigned a nursing faculty advisor. Students are expected to contact their advisor early each semester for program planning.

Nursing Programs for RNs — Baccalaureate and Combined BS-MS

The College of Nursing offers registered nurses the opportunity to advance their professional knowledge in two degree programs.

The RN-BSN Program offers nursing courses with an online learning component. The Internet serves as the primary means to deliver course content, while all nursing courses may include face-to face class sessions, thus adding value to the student learning experience.

The RN-BSN-MS option allows a registered nurse to earn both the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science nursing degrees in one continuous program. Students who select this option will earn undergraduate credits, as well as up to 9 graduate credits, as part of their undergraduate study; and then proceed to complete the master of science in nursing program. RN students who do not select the RN-BSN-MS option, but meet progression criteria, may take graduate nursing credits as electives to complete the RN-BSN Program.


The programs are offered to registered nurses who hold current RN licensure in Massachusetts and meet admission requirements. Applicants to the RN-BS program apply for admission as transfer students through the Admissions Office.

Transfer of Nursing Credits

A registered nurse with an associate degree from Bristol, Cape Cod, Massasoit or Mass Bay Community College is eligible to transfer 30 nursing credits based on articulation agreements. All others may receive 38 transfer nursing credits based on submission and approval of a professional portfolio to document formal education, continuing education, RN and other licenses, professional goals and a sample of scholarly writing. The portfolio, which is developed in the course NUR 301, Professional Nursing, is submitted to the RN Program Director for assessment and a recommendation to the Dean of the College.

Academic Requirements for the RN Baccalaureate Student

University academic regulations and requirements described for all nursing students also apply to the RN Baccalaureate Program. A current Massachusetts RN license is required for admission to the RN program and must be on file at the beginning of any semester in which the student is enrolled in a clinical nursing course. CPR certification, immunization status report and the CORI check are also required.

Academic Advisement

Registered nurses have unique educational and experiential backgrounds. Academic advisement considers the needs of each student. The RN Program Director develops individualized program plans in consultation with each student. We recommend that students considering the RN options meet with the RN Program Director for an informal transcript evaluation before applying for admission. Students are encouraged to meet periodically with the RN Program Director to plan their progression in the program.

Summary of Requirements

  • Non-nursing credits - 59 credits
  • Nursing transfer credits - 30 credits
  • Nursing credits earned at UMD - 33 credits
  • Total credits for graduation - 122 credits

RN students must meet the University residency requirement of at least 45 credits earned at UMass Dartmouth. This represents 33 required nursing credits plus 12 additional non-nursing credits.

Non-Nursing Requirements

  • English - 6 credits
  • Math (104 or higher) - 3 credits
  • Anatomy and Physiology - 6-8 credits
  • Microbiology - 4 credits
  • Social Sciences - 12 credits
  • Humanities - 9 credits (PHL 215) suggested
  • Free electives - 17 credits

Social Sciences must include 3 credits of psychology and 3 of sociology. Humanities must include 3 credits of philosophy. Among the electives, 3 mathematics credits are recommended. Note, students must complete 3 credits of statistics to be eligible for the combined BS-MS program.

Combined BS-MS Program Requirements

This accelerated program allows qualified BS degree students in the RN program track to complete both the BS and MS degrees with an overall saving of time and credits.


The RN student must be matriculated in the baccalaureate program and have:

  • transferred 30 nursing credits from a prior RN program;
  • completed 300-level RN-BSN nursing courses;
  • earned at least a 3.2 GPA in 300-level BS nursing courses;
  • completed the required 3-credit statistics course;
  • have satisfactory performance in writing proficiency;
  • have provided a reference from one UMass Dartmouth faculty member; and
  • have provided a reference from one employer

Progression to MS Program

Senior students will take three graduate courses as senior year electives. They then will receive a baccalaureate degree with a total of 122 credits and be eligible to progress into the graduate program if a GPA of 3.0 is achieved upon graduation. During the senior year, the student will file a modified Nursing MS application in the Office of Graduate Studies and meet with the Nursing Graduate Program director to select a graduate program option.

Tuition and Fees

Students pay tuition and fee rates as published by the university. Students selecting the BS-MS option will pay undergraduate rates until they are awarded the baccalaureate degree. They will pay graduate tuition and fee rates while studying at the MS program level.

Professor Debbie Hawkins
RN Program Director
Office: Dion, 308 B
508 999-8891

During the summer months and vacation periods, information can be obtained from the office of the Dean, 508 999-8591.

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