University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth) College of Nursing

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth) College of Nursing offers the BSN, Second Degree BSN, RN-BSN, MSN (online), PhD, and DNP degree programs. Schools Scholarships Student Support

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BSN   DNP   MSN   RN-to-BSN   MSN-to-DNP   MSN to PhD   NP   PhD   BSN-to-PhD   BSN-to-DNP   Accelerated BSN  

UMass Dartmouth was founded in 1895.

The College of Nursing was established in 1969 with Sister Madeleine Clemence Vaillot as the first Dean. Two departments were established: the Department of Adult and Child Nursing and the Department of Community Nursing.

UMass Dartmouth's College of Nursing currently offers the only MSN, DNP, and PhD degree nursing programs in Southeastern Massachusetts.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Nursing courses begin the first year along with select science courses. Years two and three feature clinical placements at partner sites throughout the region. During the final year, students are paired with a registered nurse. Students utilize the nursing lab along with faculty throughout their studies. Incoming students are assigned a faculty advisor who remains with the student throughout the length of the program.

RN to BSN - Online

The focus of the program includes areas of the physical and social sciences, leadership and management, community and public health, research, and the humanities.


This degree completion program is offered to those who already hold a valid RN license in the state they reside. Students may transfer non-nursing course credits from other institutions to meet most program requirements. A total of 31 online course credits must be taken at UMass Dartmouth.

Students are responsible to fulfill all of the regulatory requirements of the clinical agency where they will be enrolled during the community health clinical course.

Second Degree Accelerated BSN

The College of Nursing offers a full-time accelerated BSN for students already holding a regionally accredited bachelor's degree in another discipline with a 3.0 GPA or better for that degree.

The program offers online classes paired with lab and clinical experiences. Clinical and lab rotations are offered in various healthcare institutions around Massachusetts.

Nursing students must complete 7 prerequisite courses and an additional 59 credits to graduate. Also, students must provide 3 letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, resume, and TEAS scores prior to acceptance.

This full-time program can be completed in 17 months and upon successful completion, students will be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).


Master of Science (MSN) - Online

This program focuses on preparing students for work in areas of nursing education and/or global public health. Two concentrations are available and the program allows for an MSN degree to be completed online.

Nursing and Healthcare Education

Prepares students for the nurse educator role in academic, clinical, or staff development settings. The curriculum combines core masters-level concepts, advanced clinical foundations, and education-focused courses concluding with an individualized practicum of at least 112 hours.

Global Public Health

Prepares students to work with diverse populations in the US or International settings. The primary focus is to improve worldwide healthcare outcomes through illness and disease prevention, health promotion and policy. This program, too, concludes with an individualized practicum of at least 112 hours. 

Application requirements (not all-inclusive)

  1. Statement of purpose
  2. Resume
  3. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  4. BSN from a program accredited by the NLNAC or CCNE
  5. Minimum undergraduate 3.0 GPA
  6. RN license in the state where the student resides
  7. 2 letters of reference that document competence, leadership, and professional nursing integrity

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

This program prepares advanced practice nurses for roles as adult-gerontology primary care or psychiatric healthcare nurse practitioners. DNP students complete 63 academic credits with over 1000 hours of clinical practice. Students complete a scholarly project that translates research into practice and measures the effectiveness of this intervention related to health outcomes and cost-effectiveness.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

This research-focused degree program prepares nurses with a current BS or MS degree to practice in nursing research, education and practice. Content of this program focuses on experiential learning including conduct of research, scholarship on chronic illness, and scholarship and leadership in nursing education.

State Regulations and Online Programs

Due to regulations resulting from state legislation pertaining to the clinical experience requirement for the online RN to BSN and the online MSN programs, UMass Dartmouth applicants with a permanent residence in the following states are not being considered:  Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.

For details about state regulations that may affect enrollment in an online program offered by another state, students may wish to consult his or her state's Department of Education and/or learn about efforts of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the BSN, MSN, and DNP nursing programs.

UMass Dartmouth is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

2019 NCLEX Pass Rates

  • BS - 95%
  • ABSN - 100%

Rankings and Recognitions

US News & World Report (2019-2020)

  • #218 (tie) in National Universities
  • #105 (tie) in Top Public Schools
  • #113 (tie) in Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #84 (tie) in Top Performers on Social Mobility
  • #117 (tie) in Best Online Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #123 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Niche (2020)

  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #422 of 1,583
  • Most Liberal Colleges in America #439 of 1,692
  • Best Value Colleges in America #597 of 1,592
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Massachusetts #26 of 55
  • Most Liberal Colleges in Massachusetts #28 of 59
  • Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts #35 of 59

The Princeton Review listed UMass Dartmouth in their "Green Colleges" listings (2019-2020).

UMass Dartmouth has been recognized as a 2019-2020 Military Friendly School.

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