Maine Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide
The following guide contains essential information on the many nursing programs Maine’s colleges and universities offer to undergraduate and graduate students. Concentrations within the nursing degree are varied and include nursing education, family nurse practitioner, family psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner, and clinical nurse leader. More students are also discovering the many benefits of earning a nursing degree partially or fully online. Many universities, such as the University of Southern Maine, offer students the opportunity to take some of their coursework online.
Schools with Nursing Programs
- 6 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
- 7 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- 5 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
- 3 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Graduate Schools in 2017 for Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs: Husson University (#186, MSN; DNP not ranked), University of Maine-Orono (#115, MSN; DNP not ranked), University of Southern Maine (#219, MSN; DNP not ranked).
Institutional Facts for Schools with Nursing Programs
- Highest graduation rate: Maine College of Health Professions 100%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate: University of Southern Maine 38%.1
- Highest net price: University of New England $32,175.1
- Lowest net price: Central Maine Community College $7,724.1
- Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Maine with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $9,136 – $32,238.2
Continue reading below where you will more information about associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in nursing in Maine.
Schools in Maine with Nursing Degrees
Associate’s in Nursing Programs
Central Maine Community College
Central Maine Community College (CMCC) offers an associate degree nursing program that prepares graduates to work as entry-level professional registered nurses. Students learn the skills and knowledge needed to work in a variety of health care settings and specialties, and also build the foundation for pursuing advanced nursing education. The program can be completed on CMCC’s Auburn or Damariscotta campuses. A combination of academic, laboratory, and clinical learning provides both an experiential and theoretical background. Core courses include Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, and Nursing Across the Life Span. The Associate in Science in Nursing program at CMCC is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Maine Board of Nursing.
Southern Maine Community College
Southern Maine Community College maintains an associate degree nursing program which emphasizes clinical experience and effective nursing care. An advanced placement LPN Upgrade Option is offered for licensed practical nurses. All students complete such courses as Developmental Psychology, Dosage Calculation, and Microbiology. With full-time study (an average of 15 credits per semester), all degree requirements can be completed in four and a half semesters. Southern Maine Community College has transfer agreements with University of Southern Maine and University of Maine-Fort Kent for students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Southern Maine Community College’s associate’s degree in nursing is approved by the Maine Board of Nursing and accredited by Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs
Saint Joseph’s College
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine confers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to students who successfully complete the four-year undergraduate nursing program. The nursing curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including pharmacology, nursing research, nutrition, pediatric nursing, and human nature and ethics. Nursing majors complete clinical practicums at local medical facilities such as Southern Maine Medical Center, Maine Medical Center, MidCoast Hospital, Stephen’s Memorial Hospital, and Spring Harbor Hospital. Students may want to join Sigma Theta Tau International, the international honor society for nursing students, the American Nursing Association of Maine, and the Organization of Maine Nurse Executives. Graduates of the program have the necessary qualifications to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX).
University of New England
The University of New England’s four-year, 127-credit Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program prepares graduates to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX). The program combines both general college coursework and nursing curriculum with students completing general college classes and prerequisites at the Biddeford campus for the first two years. The second two years, during which time students complete nursing requirements, are spent on the Portland campus. Nursing coursework encompasses a diverse menu of topics, including adult health, mental health, health assessment, and evidence-based practice. A 135-hour preceptorship is also mandatory. Nursing majors are encouraged to become involved by joining such on-campus organizations as the Student Nursing Association and the Nurse Anesthesia Club.
Master’s in Nursing Programs
University of Maine
The University of Maine permits students to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) on a full-time or on a part-time basis. Full-time students generally fulfill degree requirements in two years while part-time students typically require between three and four years to complete the MSN. Graduate students can pursue the MSN with a concentration as a family nurse practitioner or an individualized concentration, which allows students to focus on a particular area of interest such as nursing administration or nursing education. Students in the family nurse practitioner track must complete between 49 and 51 credits. A scholarly project or a thesis is mandatory as are clinical practicums.
University of Southern Maine
The University of Southern Maine affords students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in one of seven areas: adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader, nursing education, family nurse practitioner, family psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner, and management. Students may also opt for a dual MSN and Master of Business Administration (MBA). The MSN program generally takes four semesters to complete on a full-time basis. Part-time study is also permitted. The Nursing Department also offers a different MSN program for students who do not possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An RN to MSN program option is available for current registered nurses.
NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in Maine
The following table allows you to easily compare not-for-profit Maine nursing schools on a variety of factors. Click on the arrows in the top row to sort the table. In addition to seeking a program that leads to licensure in your desired area of nursing, it’s advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associate’s level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a common requirement for admission to master’s degree, ADN/LVN and RN to BSN, and specialized certificate programs. You should also check to ensure that the school you are considering is approved or accepted by the Maine Board of Nursing (http://www.maine.gov/boardofnursing/).
|School||ADN or LVN Program||BSN Program||Graduate Nursing Program||ACEN/CCNE Accredited*||NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate||Number Taking||NCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate||Number Taking||Net Price**|
|Central Maine Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||100%||1||91.67%||24||$7,724|
|Eastern Maine Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||79.31%||29||$9,562|
|Kennebec Valley Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||87.18%||39||$8,736|
|Maine College of Health Professions||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||85.19%||54||$16,590|
|Northern Maine Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||84.85%||33||$10,536|
|Saint Joseph’s College of Maine||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||75%||72||$26,543|
|Southern Maine Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||92.59%||54||$10,860|
|University of Maine-Augusta||No||Yes||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||81.82%||44||$8,837|
|University of Maine-Fort Kent||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||83.67%||49||$13,037|
|University of Maine-Orono||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||74.71%||87||$15,958|
|University of New England||No||Yes||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||91.76%||85||$32,175|
|University of Southern Maine||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||87.50%||128||$16,238|
*The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits ADN/ASN/BSN programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits BSN/MSN/DNP programs.4,5
**NCLEX-PN pass rates are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
***NCLEX-RN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
****The National Center for Education Statistics calculates net price from the total estimated cost of attendance, including includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses, for in-state students minus the average financial aid award (such as grants and scholarships).
University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth St
Portland, ME 04103
Student Review: “The University of Southern Maine’s nursing program has generally been a good experience, with many solid instructors. Occasionally the administration seems disorganized. For example, our paperwork process for clinicals was not well-communicated and thus left a lot of students frustrated and confused. I have been pleased with my clinical placements and clinical instructors. Professors have been generally high quality with a few exceptions. There are options for doing some coursework online which is helpful for accommodating busy schedules. Clinical sites are spread across the southern Maine area, and sometimes students have to commute up to an hour for clinical placements. Overall, with some improvement of the administrative organization, USMâ€™s nursing program could go from very good to excellent.” – Student at University of Southern Maine
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report Best Nursing Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?program=top-nursing-schools
3. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=ME&major=nursing&sort=best
4. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
5. American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation/accredited-programs
6. Maine Board of Nursing: http://www.maine.gov/boardofnursing/docs/2016-NCLEX-Pass-Rates.pdf