Some information is finally coming in about Maura's time studying to be a nurse at UMass. I've spoken to a couple of her classmates who did clinical rotations with her and here's what they say:
Their class was large, about 70 students. But the class was then divided into groups of 6-8, for clinicals. Clinicals are a way for students to get first-hand knowledge of nursing. Students travel to area hospitals and are given a patient or two. It's a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift. They work for seven hours then meet together and kind of debrief before traveling back to campus. Most everyone car-pooled.
In the Spring of 2004, Maura had clinicals twice a week. One day was spent at the Providence mental hospital in Holyoke. The other was done at Norwood Hospital's labor and deliver unit, in Norwood (an hour and a half drive, it's nearer Quincy/Weymouth).
Her class list: Pharmacology; Mental Health; Maternity; Research in Nursing.
Classmates describe her as quiet, reserved. She didn't really have friends in the program.
Given that she was actively studying labor and delivery and mental health I'm not sure how much importance we can put on those internet searches related to pregnancy before she disappeared. More to come.