MSN Programs Maine

The need for nurses to continue learning to the graduate degree and beyond is a direct response to their increasing responsibilities in the complex health care system. A decade ago, nurses received more mileage from their pre-licensure education. The training provided by the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) was sufficient for many nursing roles, but today is barely recognized as the ticket for entry into nursing. The shift in health care calls for nurses to build on their education to meet challenges in patient care delivery.

The shortage of physicians creates opportunities for nurses skilled in the area of primary care. A substantial percentage of MSN programs across the United States are dedicated to training nurses for nurse practitioner roles to fill the gap in primary care to various populations in rural areas. Increased life expectancy among the baby boomer population also creates new roles for nurses in various healthcare systems. MSN graduates have the expertise to step into these diverse roles. Apart from clinical roles, there’s a growing need for nurses with advanced degrees to replace retiring faculty and fill new roles within the education sector. Nurses who take a step towards an advanced degree could influence the future of the profession by educating the next generation of nurses.

The wealth of knowledge and skills covered in the master’s degree offers numerous personal and professional benefits for registered nurses. As they build on the fundamentals covered in the ADN or BSN education, they will have opportunities to expand their practice. The MSN supports specialized learning to practice in areas where there’s tremendous demand, such as primary care, mental health, nurse leadership, informatics, and patient safety. Graduates will have a wider scope of the issues involved in patient care delivery and will have the expertise to collaborate with other professionals in the best interest of the patient.

Nurses prepared at the level of the MSN will be eligible for a range of opportunities that will also boost their earning power. Employers understand the value of the degree backed with national certification in a specialized area. The compensation package will match the perceived value of the degree and expertise that the graduate will bring to the healthcare team. A comparison of the salaries for MSN and BSN nurses on Payscale.com reveals that nurses with the advanced degree earn an average of $92,062 whereas BSN nurses earn approximately $61,826 – a difference of $30,236. Experienced nurses and those prepared for some advanced practice roles have annual salaries that extend into six figures.

Nurses will have a sense of personal accomplishment from the onset of the program, especially as they acquire knowledge that they could immediately apply in their daily practice. In the long term, they can choose to advance their study by enrolling in the doctor of nursing practice (DNP), the terminal degree for nurses.

Specialized Learning

The MSN curriculum is based on the competencies identified in the Future of Nursing report published by the Institute of Medicine, including communication, professional development, ethics, nursing technology, critical thinking, and resource management. There is also an emphasis on leadership, evidence-based practice, quality of care, and accountability in practice.

Enrolling in the program to prepare for specialized practice, leadership, or educator roles demonstrates a commitment to the profession. Nurses also learn the principles that will enable them to keep pace with the magnitude of changes in healthcare to provide quality care to individuals, families, communities, and populations. Nurses who complete this advanced course of study are prepared to offer expert care in a specific area of care.

Through online delivery of the content, the MSN program gives students the flexibility to pursue their educational goals while balancing heavy workloads and personal commitments. They can secure future rewards in practice without compromising their present circumstances. Online programs require the same commitment and accountability as traditional programs but remove the barriers of location and structure that will keep some nurses from continuing their studies. Graduates will be prepared to lead and influence health care in the areas of nursing education, patient care, administration, informatics, health care policy, clinical leadership, and quality improvement.

The robust job outlook for healthcare and the field of nursing is attracting a lot of new interest as other industries experience slow growth in response to the economy. By 2026, the profession will need an additional 438,000 new nurses to meet demands. As new and existing nurses seek out the BSN to meet industry standards, the graduate degree will place nurses in a favorable position to snag leadership opportunities when they are available.

To obtain an MSN degree, you’ll have to choose from one of the following options:

RN to MSN: The RN to MSN program lets nurses transition seamlessly from an associate degree to a BSN and finally to the MSN degree. Depending on the program, students may begin graduate courses from the onset. The accelerated program is structured in such as way as to save students lots of time and money.

Direct Entry MSN: The direct entry MSN is the most popular program as the BSN is a typical requirement for entry. Nurses enroll in the program to improve their career prospects and prepare for advanced practice, leadership, administrative, or nurse educator role. Depending on the area of study, graduates will need to take a national certification exam for licensure in a specific role. Professionals with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree may also qualify for admission to the program, but will need to take the NCLEX for licensure as a registered nurse at some point in the program.

Post-Master’s Certificate: The post-master’s certificate is designed for nurses with a master’s degree to another specialty related to or different from their current specialty. Students will complete one to five additional classes to add another specialty and prepare for national certification. In addition to theory, students will complete relevant specialty clinical experiences to develop their expertise. Post-master’s programs are designed to meet the personal needs of each student based on their previous education and experience.

Summary of Enrollment Criteria

  • A completed application for graduate study
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all college or university education. The transcript must be sent directly to the institution
  • A complete resume or CV outlining professional or voluntary experience
  • An essay outlining professional goals supported by the MSN degree and the competencies brought to the master’s program
  • At least two letters of recommendation indicating professional practice and achievement
  • MAT or GRE scores
  • Proof of RN licensure in Maine
  • TOEFL or IELTS – for students whose first language is not English.

How Much Do MSN Programs Cost?

Graduate nursing programs will cost a fortune, but you can save on expenses with careful planning and comparison of programs. Since most programs are delivered online, you can also save on the cost of transport or relocating to attend the program. Financial, employer incentives, grants, and scholarships can help to lighten the load. At the University of Southern Maine, the cost of tuition is $407 per credit for resident students enrolled in the graduate nursing program.

Requirements For Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Maine

The State of Maine requires nurses to obtain licensure from the Board before practicing as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. The Board will issue a temporary letter or full licensure that will permit practice. It is possible to participate in an orientation, but there should be no practice in the role without prior approval from the Board.

The license issued will be for a specific specialty. Nurses must apply to add another specialty to practice in another advanced practice specialty. While practicing under the temporary authority to practice letter, you may not use the title “certified.” During the application for initial licensure, the candidate must submit both the verification of eligibility of testing from the national certifying body and confirmation of a scheduled exam.

The temporary authority to practice that is used is based on the practice category.

  • Temporary authority for clinical nurse specialist is valid for one year or until the candidate passes or fails the national certification exam. The candidate may continue practice as a registered nurse.
  • Temporary authority for nurse practitioners is valid for two years or until the candidate is unsuccessful in two attempts to pass the certification exam within the two-year period.
  • Temporary authority for nurse midwife is valid for one year or until the candidate passes or fails the national certification exam. The candidate may continue practice as a registered nurse.
  • Temporary authority for a nurse anesthetist is valid for one year. The NA may still practice under the supervision of a CRNA and use the title graduate nurse anesthetist.

Guidelines for Initial Licensure As a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Submit the following to the Maine State Board of Nursing:

  • An application form for licensure as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist completed in ink or typewritten. Include your signature in the appropriate space
  • The non-refundable application fee of $100. Make check or money order payable to Treasurer of the State of Maine. Provide details on the payment form to pay via Visa/MasterCard/Discover Card
  • A recent passport type photo – not older than two years. The size of the photo should not exceed 2 x 2.
  • Documents indicating authority to test sent directly from the certifying body – if you’re not already certified
  • Receipt verifying scheduled exam date – if not already certified
  • Verification of certification as a nurse anesthetist sent directly from the certifying body
  • Final transcript from the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse program indicating degree conferred and sent directly from the program to the Board of Nursing

Applicants who legally reside in another compact state and hold a compact license in that state, must submit the following items:

  • Complete verification of basic nursing licensure from the original state of licensure. If unable to obtain verification through NURSYS, use the paper verification form.
  • A completed basic nursing information form enclosed in the application.

Guidelines for Initial Licensure As a Clinical Nurse Specialist

Submit the following to the Maine State Board of Nursing:

  • An application form for licensure as a Clinical Nurse Specialist completed in ink or typewritten. Include your signature in the appropriate space
  • The non-refundable application fee of $100. Make check or money order payable to Treasurer of the State of Maine. Provide details on the payment form to pay via Visa/MasterCard/Discover Card
  • A recent passport type photo – not older than two years. The size of the photo should not exceed 2 x 2.
  • Documents indicating authority to test sent directly from the certifying body – if you’re not already certified
  • Receipt verifying scheduled exam date – if not already certified
  • Verification of certification as a clinical nurse specialist sent directly from the certifying body
  • Final transcript from the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse program indicating degree conferred and sent directly from the program to the Board of Nursing

Guidelines for Initial Licensure As a Certified Nurse Midwife 

Submit the following to the Maine State Board of Nursing:

  • An application form for licensure as a Certified Nurse Midwife completed in ink or typewritten. Include your signature in the appropriate space
  • The non-refundable application fee of $100. Make check or money order payable to Treasurer of the State of Maine. Provide details on the payment form to pay via Visa/MasterCard/Discover Card
  • A recent passport type photo – not older than two years. The size of the photo should not exceed 2 x 2.
  • Documents indicating authority to test sent directly from the certifying body – if you’re not already certified
  • Receipt verifying scheduled exam date – if not already certified
  • Verification of certification as a nurse midwife sent directly from the certifying body
  • Final transcript from the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse program indicating degree conferred and sent directly from the program to the Board of Nursing

Guidelines for Initial Licensure As a Certified Nurse Practitioner

Submit the following to the Maine State Board of Nursing:

  • An application form for licensure as a Certified Nurse Practitioner completed in ink or typewritten. Include your signature in the appropriate space
  • The non-refundable application fee of $100. Make check or money order payable to Treasurer of the State of Maine. Provide details on the payment form to pay via Visa/MasterCard/Discover Card
  • A recent passport type photo – not older than two years. The size of the photo should not exceed 2 x 2.
  • Documents indicating authority to test sent directly from the certifying body – if you’re not already certified
  • Receipt verifying scheduled exam date – if not already certified
  • Verification of certification as a nurse practitioner sent directly from the certifying body
  • Registration of supervision with a licensed physician or nurse practitioner in the same practice category. Candidates for licensure must practice with supervision for 24 months based on a full-time work-week. Submit a signed letter from the supervisor if you completed this requirement in another jurisdiction.
  • Final transcript from the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse program indicating degree conferred and sent directly from the program to the Board of Nursing

Approval of a Supervising Relationship

Newly licensed nurse practitioners must practice under the supervision of a physician or nurse practitioner in the same practice category during the first 24 months of practice. The 24 months are must be based on a full work week.

You must complete and submit the Application for Approval of a Supervising Relationship with a Licensed Physician or Nurse Practitioner. Sign the application and get the signature of the supervising NP or physician.

If the supervisory relationship changes, you must register the change within 15 days of beginning employment. If you do not file the change within 15 days of beginning employment, a late registration fee of $50 will be assessed.

Add a Secondary Supervising Physician or Nurse Practitioner if the Primary Supervisor will not be available at all times.

If the supervisory relationship is terminated, you must notify the Board using the same application for approval form. At the conclusion of the 24 months of required supervision, you must submit documentation of completing the required clinical experience.

When designating a Nurse Practitioner as a supervisor, the candidate must have completed 24 months of supervised practice, practiced as an APRN for at least 5 years in the same specialty, and worked in a clinical health care field for at least 10 years.

The registration fee for designating a supervisor is $50.

DEA Number

Nurse practitioners and nurse midwives may prescribe drugs from schedules II through V. To prescribe controlled substances, you must apply for a DEA number after obtaining licensure as a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Midwife.

Continuing Education Requirements for APRNs Maine

To renew an APRN license, you must complete a minimum of 75 CEUs in nursing, medicine, or allied health in your area of practice during the two-year practice period before the license expires. You must complete 75 CEUs per specialty if you are licensed in more than one specialty – if the content of the continuing education programs is not applicable to each.

Failure to complete the CEU requirement will affect your ability to renew your licensure. The Board applies a fine of $20 per missing contact hour up to $200. Apart from the fine, you’ll need to enter into a Consent Agreement to complete the continuing education requirements within a six-month period. You may practice while fulfilling the terms of the Agreement.

All continuing education exercises must be targeted for your level of practice and clinical specialty. During the online APRN license renewal, you may be selected for an audit. At that time, you’ll have the option to upload your CE certificates or send via email or FAX to the Board’s office. List the Category I and II continuing education topics and provide certificates for Category I. Be specific with Category II activities and include the date and time spent for each activity.

APRN Renewal Requirements Maine

To renew an APRN license, you can submit an application online or complete and mail a paper application with the renewal fee of $100 before your birthdate. If the renewal request is not submitted before your birthdate, your license will become lapsed. It is possible to place your license in inactive status by checking the appropriate box on the renewal application.

It is important to renew your registered nursing license and national certification to continue practicing as an APRN.

Contact the 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

MSN Programs Maine

Augusta, ME MSN programs:
Purdue University
14 Marketplace Drive, Augusta, ME 04330
800-987-7734

University of Maine at Augusta
46 University Drive, Augusta, ME 04330
207-621-3000

Bangor, ME MSN programs:</b
Husson University
1 College Circle, Bangor, ME 04401
866-567-5990

Biddeford, ME MSN programs:
University of New England
11 Hills Beach Road, Biddeford, ME 04005
207-283-0171

Orono, ME MSN programs:
University of Maine
5724 Dunn Hall, Orono, ME 04469
207-581-2592

Portland, ME MSN programs:
University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth St, Portland, ME 04104
1-800-800-4USM

Standish, ME MSN programs:
Saint Joseph’s College
278 Whites Bridge Road, Standish, ME 04084
207-892-6766

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