The world of health care is going through many significant changes, and these changes are affecting health care professionals all over Maine. As a registered nurse, you may have noticed that patients are waiting longer to see their doctors and in some cases, patients can't even get in to see their doctors. With your nursing experience and a bit more education, you may be able to become a nurse practitioner and help patients all over Maine get the care they deserve.
In some states, nurse practitioners must work under the guidance and supervision of doctors. However, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners notes that Maine NPs can work to the full extent of their scope of practice.
The doctor shortage is a particularly significant problem in Maine, according to the Portland Press Herald. If you are willing to work as a nurse practitioner in a rural area after graduation, you may be able to claim special benefits or loan repayment assistance. Maine Voices claims that the prescription for the state's doctor shortage is an increase in the amount of working nurse practitioners.
Because nurse practitioners can work independently in Maine, this job is in high demand. The Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information lists nurse practitioner on its list of high-wage, in-demand jobs. If you're ready to explore the opportunities presented by this field, learn more about nurse practitioner degrees in Maine.
Now that you know more about what nurse practitioners do, it's clear that you have to get a thorough education before you begin a career in this field. To start a Master's degree program in nursing, you need a Bachelor's degree in nursing. You should have a 3.0 or higher if you want to be considered for acceptance to a nurse practitioner program. In addition, you need nursing experience before you can consider becoming a nurse practitioner. Some schools require as little as one year, but others require up to three years of experience.
As you begin the curriculum for your nurse practitioner program, you may take core advanced nursing courses like Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics, and Advanced Health Assessment. From there, you begin to navigate courses in primary care and advanced care. These courses may include Primary Care of Adolescents, Primary Care of Adults, and Primary Care of Children. Clinical practice is a prominent part of this degree, so get ready to get out into the workplace while earning this degree. By the time you complete your degree, you should have more than 600 hours of practical experience with different patients.
Scholarships and grants may help make your Master's degree more affordable. Nursing Leaders of Maine offers scholarships to advanced nursing students throughout Maine. The Maine Community Foundation is another popular resource for Maine nursing scholarships. Consider looking for funding through the American Nurses Association of Maine.
Before you can begin the next stage of your career by becoming a nurse practitioner, you must apply for advanced licensure through the Maine State Board of Nursing. After passing an exam and providing proof of your completed Master's degree, you can upgrade your registered nursing license to an advanced registered nursing license.
In Maine, the job outlook for nurse practitioners is quite positive. In the decade from 2012 to 2022, O*Net anticipates a 20% increase in nurse practitioner jobs in Maine. Furthermore, salaries in this state tend to be on par with the national average. O*Net reports an average salary of $91,300 per year.
Nursing is a field with many exciting career opportunities for the right candidates. Take the next step in your nursing career by contacting nurse practitioner schools in Maine today.