According to the State of Maine Nursing Workforce Strategic Plan (2012), one of the chief goals in the state is to ensure that at least 10% of all BSN graduates enter into a Master's or Doctoral level program within five years of earning a BSN. A key strategy for achieving this goal is to increase the number of graduate level programs available to prospective students. What this means for you, is that Maine is working to ensure that you have ample options for earning your Master's in Nursing in Maine. Two of the main focus areas are Education and Advanced Practice, as these have been designated as important graduate level programs to build up and sustain the nursing workforce in the state.
For graduate students in the state of Maine, a Master's degree in Nursing can be a gateway to a variety of promising professions in the medical field. As one of the state's registered nurses (RNs) you must earn an advanced nursing degree before you can launch a career as a nurse practitioners, nurse midwife, or as an APRN several other nursing specialties.
To find nursing schools in Maine that offer Master's of Science in Nursing programs, simply take a look at the schools listed below. We have featured both campus based and online MSN nursing programs in Maine to help you find the degree program that can best fit your needs. You can request program information directly from our site by contacting the schools and submitting a request for information.
Master's of Science in Nursing Programs in Maine
Several nursing schools in Maine offer state-approved Master's degree programs in nursing. Every candidate for initial approval as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) in Maine must hold a Master's degree preparing them for their area of concentration. The Maine State Board of Nursing also requires that nurses be licensed to perform these specialized jobs, including the roles of nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist and nurse midwife.
Among Maine's educational choices are Master's degrees leading to careers as family nurse practitioners or as adult nurse practitioners. Students in these fields can also choose to specialize in women's health, early childhood development, psychiatric and mental health. Successful graduates are likely to work in private practice, hospitals, out-patient care centers, home health care agencies, and similar settings.
Nurse practitioner students can expect to take courses focusing on patient care that cover topics such as:
- Advanced nursing practice
- Family health
- Nursing research
- Public health policy
- Advanced health assessment
Online and campus-based educational options are available within the state, but degree requirements typically will include extensive clinical hours. You can expect your full-time degree program to last two years and a part-time program to last three years. Maine's licensing requirements mandate that nurse practitioners work for at least two years under the supervision of a licensed nurse practitioner or physician.
Master's candidates who prefer to use their expertise to teach others about the profession will find several educational choices within the state. Several Maine colleges offer Master's degrees in Nursing Education which prepare you to teach entry-level nursing students both in clinical settings and in the classroom. These programs typically last two years, but may last longer if you choose to follow a part-time schedule.
Nursing education programs combine classroom work with internships and clinical hours. Courses may include topics such as principles of health care finance, integrated health assessment, adult learning, informatics and technology, nursing research, and curriculum development in nursing education. Most programs focus on preparing students for the National League for Nursing's Nurse Educator Certification Examination.
If your goal is to become a nursing manager, several graduate nursing programs in Maine are designed with that end in mind. These nursing programs in Maine go under a variety of names, such as administration and leadership, clinical nurse leader, nursing management, and are designed to prepare you for the National Nurse Administration Certification Examination.
You will prepare for administrative roles in health care organizations by taking classes such as applied financial management and budgeting, planning and management, and nursing leadership. The University of Southern Maine offers a joint Master's of Science in Nursing and a Master's in Business Administration for students who seek administrative careers in the medical field.
Financing your Master's degree in nursing education may be a concern for some nurses in Maine, and thankfully, several national scholarship resources are available. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing highlights some programs to ease student financial woes at its website. The federal Health Resources and Services Administration also offers funding suggestions at its site.
Working with your Master's Degree in Nursing in Maine
Shortages have been noted in almost all MSN practice areas in the state. More demand for NPs is likely to continue because of healthcare reform initiatives and a greater shift toward a primary care focus. If you are ready to help bridge the gap between the need for Primary Care Providers and the increasing number of residents seeking care, earning your MSN is a great way to get started.
After graduation, a nurse practitioner in Maine earns an average annual wage of $92,480 or about $44.46 an hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although these salaries rank slightly lower than national averages, jobs for nurse practitioners are expected to grow by more than 30 percent nationally through 2022, offering a positive career forecast, the BLS reports.
Additionally, a study from the University of Southern Maine found that mental health NPs in particular are moving into rural practice. The ratio of these providers per 100,000 people is about 10 percent, compared to a national average of about three percent. In fact, almost 20 percent of the state's total mental health NPs practice in rural areas, compared to about 13 percent nationally. If you have an interest in this specialty, you may be looking toward a solid job market as a Psychiatric NP.
Like the rest of the country, Maine also has a shortage of nurse educators, with a vacancy rate of 11 percent noted in 2011, well above the national faculty vacancy rate of 7.7 percent reported by the AACN in 2011. More MSN programs throughout the state are tailoring their programs to meet this need for more nurses who are Master's prepared. Once you have completed your graduate studies, you will be prepared to join the work force at universities, junior colleges, technical and vocational schools, as well as at medical and surgical hospital training centers.
In Maine, the average annual salary for a nursing educator was $71,400 in 2013 – slightly higher than the national average. Maine is the state with the fifth highest concentration of nursing educators in the nation, employing 370 instructors in 2013, according to the BLS.
Regardless of the specialty you choose for your Master's in Nursing in Maine, you will likely be positioned to take a role in leadership and management as a result. About 1700 medical and health service managers are employed in Maine, earning an average yearly salary of $95,100 in 2013, according to the BLS. Federal projections suggest that jobs in this field will grow at a much faster rate than other professions through the year 2022.
For more information about education, networking and advanced nursing careers in Maine, check out the Maine Board of Nursing, Maine Nurse Practitioner Association, and the Maine State Nurses Association. Be sure to request information about the nursing programs in Maine that you are interested in to get started today.
Programs to consider:
Husson University (Bangor, ME). HU's MSN programs include nurse practitioner specialties (including mental health) and education.
University of Maine (Orono, ME). Along with a nurse practitioner track, UM offers an individualized MSN that can be tailored to your career goals and expertise.