The Maine Nursing workforce along with the Maine Nursing Action Coalition have specific recommendations in a strategic plan that will take place between 2012–2020. The bulk of the RNs in Maine only have an associate’s degree, and the average age of Maine's faculty is 51 years of age, which represents 64.5 percent of Nurse Educators. These are just two of the action items state nursing leaders are hoping to address, and as a result, the state launched their first nursing doctorate program in January 2012.
The Maine Campaign for Action is working to develop an undergraduate curriculum with core competencies to be included in each nursing program, and they hope to create a seamless transition from ADN to BSN in the near future. Like most states Maine's population is becoming more diverse, and the residents must have adequate healthcare, so the goal is to build a nursing workforce that assures adequate care for all patients. They hope to increase the proportion of nurses with a BSN degree to 80 percent by 2020.
The key to all of these initiatives is well trained, ample nursing faculty. If you are ready to be at the forefront of change in Maine by becoming a nursing educator, we have compiled a list of resources for you below. Contact the schools you see that offer degrees in nursing education to get started.
There are several programs in Maine for nurse educators, and many of them are online. These programs create flexibility for you if you are a working nurse or have family obligations. Many of the nursing education tracks focus on a staff development role in addition to the role of the Nurse Educator. The programs include clinical hours, simulation experience, didactic teaching and online courses.
The admission criteria for MSN in Nursing Education programs is similar between universities and typically includes:
- BSN an accredited nursing program
- Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or 3.0 depending on your university
- Official transcripts from all college courses following high school
- Unencumbered RN license in Maine or state of clinical hours training
- Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to graduate's ability to do graduate level work
- Current resume/CV
- If English is not your primary language the TOEFL exam is required
The curriculum of most graduate programs in nursing education in Maine begins with MSN core courses and concludes with approximately 18 semester hours specific to nursing education, which totals approximately 42 total credits.
Core curriculum credits:
- Nursing Informatics
- Nursing Research Methods: Utilization for EPB
- Policies, Politics & Change
- Organizational and Systems Leadership
- Population Health & Inter-professional Collaboration
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Advanced Pathophysiology
Nursing education focus/tract courses include:
- Faculty Role in Nursing & Healthcare Education
- Teaching Strategies in Nursing & Healthcare Education
- Assessment and Evaluation and Nursing & Healthcare Education
- Curriculum Design in Nursing
- Teaching in Nursing & Healthcare Education Practicum
After graduation you may take the certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam offered by the National League for Nursing. This credential is a mark of professionalism in nursing education.
There is a DNP program in Maine that offer nurses the most advanced level of nursing knowledge. A doctorate degree may allow you to position yourself in a nursing research program and even publish your findings. This degree and the PhD both cover the management of care for patient populations, administration of nursing systems and the development of new nursing policy.
The annual salary for Maine nursing instructors in 2013 was $65,940 according to O'Net Online. Nurse Educators have the benefit of job security, the ability to teach in numerous fields, such as colleges, hospitals, clinics and other businesses that are involved with healthcare. Child care is often offered as well, and if you teach in a college or university your hours may be very flexible.
One of the universities in Maine offers scholarships and tuition waiver awards for graduate studies. It is important to visit the Financial Aid Office for tuition assistance, as there are some scholarships available to Maine residents and numerous other programs. If you have low income, complete a FAFSA application, which is a federal grant program based on income.
The Health Resources and Services Administration has low interest loans, and loan repayment programs. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has information listing Funding Resources for Future Nurse Educators. For instance, the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program will pay participants 60 percent of their qualifying student loans if they work as faculty in a Critical Shortage Facility.
Nurse Educators have a challenging and satisfying career, and they have the respect of their peers. Nurse Educators also are helping nursing as a whole, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to students who need it. If you are ready to enter this field, contact the Nurse Educator programs offered in Maine and request details about how to get started.