How Can I Become a Nurse Practitioner in Maine?
The contributions you make as a nurse are countless. The patients you work with every day rely on you for evidence-based care, accurate information, and timely intervention. If you work well independently and as part of a team, you may be ready to take your career to the next level with a Master’s degree or doctoral degree in nursing practice.
Average Master’s Degree Requirements
- Credit hours required: 40 to 55 credits
- Average cost: $780 per credit hour
- Clinical hours required: At least 500 clinical hours
- Timeframe: Two to three years
Average Requirements for a Doctoral Nurse Practitioner Degree
- Credit hours required: 90 to 100 credits
- Clinical hours required: At least 1000 clinical hours
- Timeframe: Five to six years
The healthcare industry grows through the efforts of dedicated nurses like you. Find out if independent practice is a good option for you by reaching out to nurse practitioner programs in Maine.
What Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Available in Maine?
Depending on how long you’ve been a nurse, you may have experience with many different patient populations, diagnoses, and medical specialties. This practical experience can help you choose a specialized area of care in advanced nursing practice. Maine programs have a variety of options, including adult primary care, adult acute care, gerontological care, and pediatrics. If there are multiple options that appeal to you, look into each program’s curricular requirements to find out which one best fits your goals. Some courses are required of all advanced nursing students, while others are unique to specific patient populations.
Courses Offered in Nurse Practitioner Programs
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Nursing Research
- Primary Care of the Adolescent
- Women’s Health in Primary Care
- Prenatal Care in Primary Care
- Primary Health Care of the Adult
- Leadership and Health Policy
- Nursing Theory and Knowledge Development
Your curriculum addresses the learning goals and outcomes laid out by your program. Not only must you become a competent primary and acute healthcare practitioner, you may be expected to develop a strong understanding of nursing research, leadership skills, and healthcare administration.
Clinical experience is an essential part of becoming an advanced practice nurse. To earn a doctorate, you may need at least 1,000 hours of clinical experience. A Master’s degree typically requires at least 500 hours, although many Maine schools have more stringent expectations. Many of your hours should be directly relevant to your patient population, but you should also gain some experience with other populations.
How Can I Pay for Nurse Practitioner School in Maine?
If you’re currently employed as a registered nurse, consider looking into tuition reimbursement and tuition assistance programs. Many healthcare employers have financial aid programs for nurses returning to school. This funding source may require you to stay with your existing employer for a set period of time after graduation. On top of employer-based and school-based financial aid, you can apply for federal and state grants.
Scholarships and Grants for Nurse Practitioner Schooling
- NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: If you’re willing to spend two years working in a Health Professional Shortage Area, look into this scholarship program.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: Students who have to take out loans to cover educational expenses may qualify for interest-free loan repayment assistance. Up to $50,000 of qualified loans can be repaid with a two-year commitment to serve at an NHSC-approved site.
- BestNursingDegree.com Scholarship: Four times per year, BestNursingDegree.com awards $2,500 scholarship to selected students.
- Finance Authority of Maine: FAME awards scholarships to students in various fields of study, including several scholarships that are specific to nursing.
Licensing and Practice Requirements for NPs in Maine
After graduating from one of Maine’s nurse practitioner or FNP programs, you have to become certified and licensed before you can work independently. The Maine State Board of Nursing requires a registered nursing license, a Master’s degree or doctoral degree, and a national advanced nursing certification. Maine is one of several states that offers full practice rights to nurse practitioners, so you may work within your full scope of practice once licensed (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2016).
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Maine
When it’s time to start your career, Maine has plenty of options for you to consider. Traditional employment settings include clinics, urgent care centers, walk-in clinics, and emergency rooms. Since Maine extends full practice rights to NPs, you may consider opening your own clinic and serving as the clinic owner and primary care provider. This typically requires you to hire staff, secure insurance, and take on business management tasks.
Maine’s healthcare practitioner shortage has increased the need for nurse practitioners. From 2014 through 2024, O*Net expects a 25% increase in job openings for nurse practitioners (2016). Currently, Maine nurse practitioners claim an average salary of $96,590 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
Whether you’d like to further your education online or in person, you may have a variety of Maine schools to evaluate. Learn more about online nurse practitioner programs and local schools by contacting schools below.
There are several options for earning your NP degree, and we recommend requesting information from multiple schools in order to make a well informed decision. Maine nurses who wish to become nurse practitioners can study at home, via an online program (like the one offered by Georgetown University), or they can attend an in-state college or university, such as:
- University of Maine. Located in Orono, the University of Maine offers a master's-level family nurse practitioner program. The NP program was the first graduate program offered by the University of Maine's School of Nursing.
- Husson University. Husson's NP grads boast an impressive 100 percent pass rate on the national certification exams. The master's-level family nurse practitioner program is designed for the working nurse: most courses are scheduled on Friday afternoons and evenings or every other Saturday. Some classes are also offered via the Web or videoconferencing.
- University of Southern Maine. The University of Southern Maine offers master's-level NP tracks such as: adult nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, adult psych/mental health nurse practitioner and family psych/mental health nurse practitioner. Students can attend either full-time or part-time.