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During a student's initial visit to the College of Nursing as part of summer New Student Orientation, group advising will be conducted. Thereafter all students are assigned to a faculty advisor who is listed in the SPIRE system.

The University sets two Academic Counseling Periods listed on the UMass Amherst Academic Calendar website. The counseling period occurs immediately before the Pre-Registration period. Students are notified via email to attend a mandatory PreAdvising Session that will review all advising procedures and answer general questions.

The goal of an advising session is to be informative and ensure that the student is meeting the requirements of the nursing program and the University. After each semester's followup faculty advising session, the "Advising Hold" on SPIRE is released and the student can register for classes according to the University schedule.

Students may set up additional appointments during the academic year directly with the faculty advisor via phone or email. It is important that students print out an Academic Requirements Report (formerly called Degree Progress Report) from the SPIRE system and jot down questions to ask the faculty advisor. The instructions for the degree progress are listed on the OIT Spire for Students website.