I've had a very different experience at USM. If I had it all to do again, I'd go elsewhere. But there is no other affordable alternative in southern Maine.
First, I question the admission figures you've been given. I've also been told by faculty on the admissions committee that there are about 300 applicants, but for all undergraduate programs each year. That's both accelerated and traditional BSNs, not just accelerated. There are two tracks offered each year, one in Portland that starts in May, and one in Lewiston that starts in September. To the best of my knowledge, each cohort has 30 to 35 students enrolled in it. In fact, I do know of people who've been enrolled at the last minute after people declined earlier offers of admission. I don't know what percentage of people offered admission actually enroll; schools
don't like to talk about that. (BTW, accels are not required to take micro; though it's recommended, I think you can get by without it. Ditto chemistry. Is it better if you take both courses? Sure.)
Second, I have not enjoyed the same experience as the above poster. I don't know of any student who hasn't complained about poor communication on the part of administration. It's not unusual to find out at the very last minute about where your clinical will take place. (Last winter, one of my classmates was called at 8:30 p.m. by a faculty member who wanted her to know that they'd been unable to find a clinical placement for her; the clinical was supposed to start at 7 o'clock the next morning.) Disorganization seems chronic. I say "seems" because I know that finding clinical placements is tough. But faculty and staff do little to keep students up to date, and students who contact staff managers with questions often complain about being treated rudely (a problem noted by other posters on this board in the past). I will say that this situation seems to have improved over the last six months. They're trying.
Third, the quality of instruction is erratic at best; it ranges from absolutely terrible to excellent. USM is clearly plagued by the same instructor shortage as other schools; you never know whether you'll be taught by a seasoned professional or a newbie. One of my classes this summer was taught by a grad student who'd only been an RN since September. Clinicals have been especially frustrating. There are no clearcut standards for passing, such as the checkoff lists seen at other schools.
Am I well-prepared for NCLEX? Yes, I think I am -- but largely due to a lot of self-study on my part. USM's high first-time NCLEX pass rate does speak well of the overall quality of classroom instruction; unlike other nearby schools, it does not refuse to graduate students who are unlikely to pass the NCLEX, even if they've passed their courses.