Maine RN Requirements and Training Programs

A shortage of registered nurses in Maine affects the ability of the healthcare system to meet consumer demands. Nurses within the system face longer shifts and additional burdens, and the quality of care patients receive is less than optimal. Colleges offering the Associate of Science Degree in Nursing program are admitting more students to prepare them for employment in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare institutions. While there are a lot more graduates the gap between supply and demand is still wide due to the aging population and a mass retirement of older and more experienced nurses.

The nursing workforce shortage places additional stress on healthcare workers. Nurses are overworked and stretched so thin that frustration and fatigue threaten their love for patient care. Patients are affected as well as nurses cannot spend much time tending to individual patients as they should.

The workforce is affected from the entry-level to executive level nurses. According to Maine Healthcare Systems, the shortage of licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice nurses is expected to surge from 600 in 2015 to 3,200 by 2025. The average age of practicing RNs is 49. Close to 50% of nurses are within 10 years of retirement. The ADN program prepares those interested in a career in nursing to succeed on the National Council Licensing Exam and practice as professional nurses in just two years. The program is offered at community colleges and vocational schools in Maine.

Although programs have expanded their resources to admit more students, there may be competition and waiting lists to get in. Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant will not only give you a competitive edge but also provide some exposure to healthcare and fulfill part of the prerequisites for an associate degree in nursing. Certified nursing assistant classes are typically 4 to 6 weeks in length and provide a fast route to patient care. The profession will help you to determine if patient care is a right fit. Other prerequisite courses for the ADN degree could extend your training to slightly more than two years. A nursing advisor at the college will help you to work out a course of study to complete the program is the fastest and more efficient way possible.

Education Requirements

The ADN curriculum is short and comprehensive but prepares students for success on the NCLEX exam just as surely as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Graduates will be capable of providing entry-level nursing care in hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, home health care organization, psychiatric facilities, and other health care settings.

The curriculum blends general education courses with core nursing courses, so students receive a strong foundation for practice and continuing studies in the field. In addition to theory, students will participate in clinical exercises that run concurrently with the didactic studies. Course topics include but are not limited to microbiology, anatomy and physiology, dosage calculations, developmental psychology, maternal nursing, medical surgical nursing, pediatric nursing, and gerontology.

At the conclusion of the program, graduates will be capable of assuming ethical responsibility as a member of the nursing team, communicate effectively with the interdisciplinary team, applying the nursing process in various healthcare settings, function as a manager of care, and using clinical judgment and critical thinking in the provision of care.

When selecting an ADN program, it is important that you choose one that is approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) to be eligible for the NCLEX for Registered Nurses.

Eligibility Criteria

Efforts to train and recruit new nurses to fill workforce shortages have generated interest in nursing programs. The renewed interest in nursing coupled with the promise of grants increase competition for admission. Admission may be based on first come, first served basis or on a point-based system. It is essential that you submit your application before the stated deadlines along with all the required information. You will need to gain admission to the college before applying to the nursing department. Upon condition acceptance to the program, you’ll have the complete the prerequisite courses, background check, and the health requirements before securing final acceptance.

Here are some general guidelines for entering a nursing program in Maine.

  • Submit an application for general admission
  • Attend a nursing information session
  • Submit a completed application to the Department of Nursing
  • Provide high school transcripts and any transcripts of college courses completed
  • Complete the general education and prerequisite courses with a grade C or better
  • Complete any admissions testing with approved scores

A background check, immunization, CPR certification, and TB clearance may be required for participation in the clinical practicum. The Maine State Board of Nursing may refuse licensure to applicants with specific criminal convictions.

Duration and Cost

The average cost of tuition at community colleges in Maine is $2,820 per semester for full-time enrollment. Fees average $900 per semester. The average cost per credit for in-state students is $97. The associate degree program requires completion of 69 credits plus any prerequisite courses. The duration of the program is 4 to five semesters. Additional expenses include textbooks, uniforms, and nursing equipment.

Maine RN Licensure Requirements

Authorization from the Maine Board of Nursing is essential for practice as a registered nursing professional in the State of Maine.

As part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, Maine requires candidates for initial licensure and licensure by endorsement to submit fingerprints for obtaining criminal history information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Fingerprint Process

  • Applicants residing in Maine must complete their fingerprinting electronically through livescan, digital fingerprint image technology, at the cost of $52
  • Candidates residing outside of Maine may submit their fingerprints electronically through Livescan. They may be submitted at any IdentoGo location in the United States. IdentoGo is the exclusive vendor for the Board of Nursing.
  • It is possible to schedule a fingerprinting appointment through IdentoGo online.
  • Results will be sent to the MSBON within 48 to 72 hours. For candidates outside Maine, the processing time will be longer due to mail transit times and other factors.
  • Applications with criminal histories will take longer to process as they must be reviewed by the Board.

Licensure By Examination

The application for initial licensure as a registered nurse in Maine may be submitted online. Alternatively, you can print a paper application from the Board’s website. To use the online portal to submit an application request, you must be prepared to provide your valid social security number and pay the processing fee using a credit or debit card.

Submit the following to the Board of Nursing’s office for the initial application for licensure:

  • A completed application form filled out in ink or typewritten. Sign your name on the final page of the application.
  • Enclose a check or money order made out to Treasurer of the State of Maine. You may also provide Visa/MasterCard/Discover Card details for the Board to deduct the $75 application processing fee. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • A recent passport sized photo (no more than two years old). The size of the photo should be 2 x 2.
  • A completed Section VI Declaration of Primary Residence. Indicate your primary state of residence and the date the state became your legal residence.
  • Original transcript of your nursing education sent directly from the college or university to the Board of Nursing. The transcript should indicate the degree conferred. This step is valid only for graduates of out-of-state nursing programs.
  • A detailed letter of explanation and court documents for any “yes” answers provided in section II of the application.

Register with Pearson Vue online or by phone to sit the NCLEX. Use the same name used on your application to the Board. The registration fee is $200.

If requesting special accommodations for the NCLEX, submit the following additional documents to the Board:

  • A signed request for specific accommodation
  • A letter from the school indicating the type of accommodation receive during the nursing program
  • A letter from a licensed physician or nurse practitioner indicating the testing and DSM code for your specific learning disability

Licensure By Endorsement

If you completed an approved nursing program and obtained licensure in another state through the passage of the NCLEX or other eligible exam, you can apply to practice in Maine through endorsement. The request for an endorsement can be completed online. Alternatively, you can print a paper application from the Board’s website. To use the online portal to submit an application request, you must be prepared to provide your valid social security number and pay the processing fee using a credit or debit card.

Submit the following to the Board of Nursing’s office for licensure by endorsement:

  • A completed application form filled out in ink or typewritten. Sign your name on the final page of the application.
  • Enclose a check or money order made out to Treasurer of the State of Maine. You may also provide Visa/MasterCard/Discover Card details for the Board to deduct the $75 application processing fee. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • A recent passport sized photo (no more than two years old). The size of the photo should be 2 x 2.
  • A completed Section VI Declaration of Primary Residence. Indicate your primary state of residence and the date the state became your legal residence.
  • Verification of licensure from your original state of RN licensure. Verification can be completed through NURSYS (there’s a $30 fee). If your state of licensure does not participate in the NURSYS certification, you must use the Maine verification form to request verification from the state to be forwarded directly to the Maine Board of Nursing.
  • Original transcript of your nursing education sent directly from the college or university to the Board of Nursing. The transcript should indicate the degree conferred.
  • A detailed letter of explanation and court documents for any “yes” answers provided in section II of the application.

Licensure for Nurses Educated in Foreign Countries

If you graduated from a foreign nursing school, you could apply for licensure to practice in Maine through examination or endorsement – depending on your current status.

The application may be submitted online. Alternatively, you can print a paper application from the Board’s website. To use the online portal to submit an application request, you must be prepared to provide your valid social security number and pay the processing fee using a credit or debit card.

Submit the following to the Board of Nursing’s office for the initial application for licensure by examination:

  • A completed application form filled out in ink or typewritten. Sign your name on the final page of the application.
  • Enclose a check or money order made out to Treasurer of the State of Maine. You may also provide Visa/MasterCard/Discover Card details for the Board to deduct the $75 application processing fee. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • A recent passport sized photo (no more than two years old). The size of the photo should be 2 x 2.
  • A completed Section VI Declaration of Primary Residence. Indicate your primary state of residence and the date the state became your legal residence.
  • A completed transcript review from the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Programs (CGFNS). You must request a transcript review from the CGFNS to be sent directly to the Board of Nursing. Also submit TOEFL, IELTS. ELTS scores of your reading, writing, listening, and speaking ability if your nursing program was not taught in English.
  • A detailed letter of explanation and court documents for any “yes” answers provided in section II of the application.

Register with Pearson Vue online or by phone to sit the NCLEX. Use the same name used on your application to the Board. The registration fee is $200.

Submit the following to the Board of Nursing’s office for the initial application for licensure by endorsement:

  • A completed application form filled out in ink or typewritten. Sign your name on the final page of the application.
  • Enclose a check or money order made out to Treasurer of the State of Maine. You may also provide Visa/MasterCard/Discover Card details for the Board to deduct the $75 application processing fee. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • A recent passport sized photo (no more than two years old). The size of the photo should be 2 x 2.
  • A completed nursing transcript review from the CGFNS. The document should indicate that the nursing program completed in another country is equivalent to a nursing program conducted in the United States and must be sent directly from the CGFNS to the Maine Board of Nursing.
  • Verification of licensure from the country in which you obtained your original license.
  • Transcripts from the nursing program (or provided by the CGFNS) indicating that you completed both theory and clinical training in medical, surgical, pediatrics, psychiatrics, and obstetrics.
  • TOEFL, IELTS. ELTS scores of your reading, writing, listening, and speaking ability if your nursing program was not taught in English.
  • A valid U.S. Social Security Number.

RN Renewal Requirements Maine

Registered nurses in Maine renew their licenses every two years before their birthdate. You can renew your active nursing license online or print a paper application and mail to the Maine Board of Nursing. Answer all the questions on the form and sign the final page of the application.

If you answer “yes” to questions A-G, provide a letter of explanation that is dated and signed. Fill out the Declaration of Primary Residence. If you had previously declared another primary state of residence and plan to name Maine as your primary residence, you must complete a criminal background check (CBC) through the Maine Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the FBI based on a set of fingerprints provided to IdentoGO.

The renewal fee is $75.

Continuing Education Requirements for Maine RNs

There is currently no requirement for continuing competency for Maine’s RNs.

Maine Salary and Job Outlook

Nearly 50 percent of registered nurses in Maine are approaching retirement or will reduce their hours of practice in the next decade. The age of the workforce will affect the healthcare system and the delivery of patient care within the system. One study projected that the state would need 3,200 more registered nurses by 2025. Building on that study, the Maine Nursing Action Coalition pinpointed the counties expected to be most impacted by the crisis. These include Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Hancock, and Waldo. Outside of these counties, there are varying degrees of shortages in every healthcare facility, and state officials are responding to the challenges.

One solution proposed is to increase the workforce by 400 each year. If successful, the goal will produce a 65 percent increase in the number of practicing RNs. In addition to boosting the workforce through the supply of new nurses, the state will have to also attract 265 from outside the state to meet healthcare needs. Aging citizens facing chronic conditions like hypertension, arthritis, and diabetes raises the demand for nurses in hospitals, assisted living facilities, and home health care agencies.

Nursing schools expanded their resources to boost enrolment, produce more nurses for the state, and close the gap. Instead of graduating 650 nurses, nursing programs are today producing 800 new nursing graduates each year. Since the numbers fall below the available vacancies, graduates of both associate and bachelor’s of nursing degree programs begin practicing soon after licensure. Many of them have jobs lined up before they graduate.

In Maine, registered nurses earn an average yearly salary of $65,890.

Contact the Board of Nursing

Maine Board of Nursing
Maine State Board of Nursing
161 Capitol St.
158 State House Station
Augusta, Maine, 04333-0158

Phone: (207) 287-1133
Fax: (207) 287-1149

Maine Registered Nursing Programs and NCLEX-RN Pass Rates:

ADN Programs Maine

Augusta, ME ADN programs:
University of Maine at Augusta
46 University Drive
Augusta, ME 04330-9410
(207) 621-3236
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87.50%

Auburn, ME ADN programs:
Central Maine Community College
1250 Turner Street
Auburn, ME 04210
(207) 755-5426
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.91%

Bangor, ME ADN programs:
Eastern Maine Community College
354 Hogan Road
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 974-4651
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%

Fairfield, ME ADN programs:
Kennebec Valley Community College
92 Western Avenue
Fairfield, ME 04937-1367
(207) 453-5167
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 80.56%

Lewiston, ME ADN programs:
Maine College of Health Professions (formerly CMMC)
70 Middle Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
(207) 795-7166
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.27%

Presque Isle, ME ADN programs:
Northern Maine Community College
33 Edgemont Drive
Presque Isle, ME 04769-2099
(207) 768-2755
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 80.0%

So. Portland, ME ADN programs:
Southern Maine Community College
2 Fort Road
So. Portland, ME 04106
(207) 741-5588
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88.89%

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