Maine is a state that is looking ahead to avoid a serious nursing shortage as the nursing workforce is anticipated to face several factors affecting it over the next decades. According to the Maine Nurse Partners, the average age of the state’s RNs is 49.4 years, and nursing faculty represents the oldest segment of working nurses in the state. The Maine Nursing Workforce Strategic Plan addresses these issues and lists several goals to help combat them. One of those goals is to champion a minimum of 10 percent of BSNs into getting their master's or doctorate degree, thereby increasing the number of nurses qualified to teach others.
If you have been thinking of returning to nursing school to advance your career, this may be the perfect time to get your graduate nursing degree in Maine. There are a number of accredited universities and colleges that have excellent graduate programs in Maine. Contact the schools you find on our site to learn more about your options.
Maine has several different options for masters degrees for nurses. Some of the different routes you may be considering include: Adult–Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Leader, Nursing Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Manager, a Master of Science Degree for Certified or State-Approved Advanced Practice Nurses and a Dual Degree: Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration. Any of these MSN degrees in Maine can open up a large variety of rewarding professional nursing careers.
One of the most important and popular MSN degree routes is the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program. This graduate program trains you as an advanced practice nurse to function as a primary care practitioner for families from adolescents to older adults. This program generally takes four to six academic semesters, with 50-60 credit hours and a total of 600+ clinical hours spread over three semesters.
The admission criteria for most MSN degree programs in Maine typically includes an application and corresponding fee, along with the following:
- GPA of 3.0
- An official transcript from all colleges or universities attended
- Standardize tests scores of the GRE, GMAT or MAT
- Letters of recommendation from qualified individuals through direct experience with academic or professional work that comment on your ability to undertake graduate study in your chosen profession
- TOEFL scores for international's students whose first language is not English
The curriculum for a nurse practitioner degree, and many other MSN programs, may include many of the following courses:
- Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
- Advance Health Assessment
- Advance Pathophysiology
- Nursing Research
- Primary Care of the Adolescent
- Women's Health in Primary Care
- Primary Health Care of the Adult I, II, III
- Clinical Practicum and Seminar I, II, III
- Apply Theories for Advance Interpersonal Skills
- Leadership, Health Policy & Role
- Nursing Theory and Knowledge Development
- Role Seminar
- Clinical Project
- Two more courses are in the developmental stage and will be required
If you graduate from this program you will be able to function as a primary care practitioner, earning a sense of satisfaction, along with the respect and autonomy that can come from advanced nursing practice. The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers a competency based exam, which is considered a very reliable assessment of your skills and knowledge as a nurse practitioner. The certification may help advance your career more quickly, and it may increase your beginning salary. The current fee for the exam is $250. On the website you also find practice questions and test taking strategies that will help you pass this exam.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics report a mean annual income of $95,070 for Maine nurse practitioners as of 2013. Of course, you will want to consider the cost of tuition and other fees before jumping straight into an MSN program in Maine. If you are a working RN and attending school part-time, your employer may have tuition reimbursement. You will also want to be sure to complete a FAFSA application, which may result in financial aid based on your income.
The University of Southern Maine also gives millions in scholarships each year. Many of these programs are reserved for low income students, but there are also merit-based scholarships available. On this university's website there is a list of private scholarships for undergraduate and graduate degrees that list all the requirements.
If you want to continue your nursing education there are low interest loans from the federal government as well.
Earning your graduate nursing degree in Maine can provide you with several different benefits, from increased autonomy and satisfaction, to a possible salary increase. Whatever you decide to do with your Master’s degree in nursing, you can rest assured that you are benefitting the profession by earning a higher degree. We want to help you reach your goals, so if you have any questions about MSN programs in Maine, please reach out to us today.