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RN Nursing Programs in Maine, ME

How to Become an RN Nurse in Maine

There are two common routes to becoming a Registered Nurse in Maine. The faster option is via an Associate Degree, Nursing (ADN). An ADN lasts two years once 5-10 prerequisite courses—mostly entry level arts and sciences like psychology and biology—are complete. The other option is a four to five year Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN). Around half of the nursing students in Maine choose each route and they both have their advantages. With an ADN, you can begin practicing sooner, but a BSN offers more opportunity for specialization and further education.

The first two years are fairly alike in both a BSN and an ADN: nursing courses make up the core element, while introductory and lower-level psychology, sociology, physiology, and biology courses as well as the option to take a course in topics like child care and elder care. ADNs, however, have less time and place more importance on teaching practical knowledge as opposed to theory and research. A BSN, on the other hand, steers students towards advanced studies in nursing process from both an hands-on and a management perspective, as well as studying nursing theories, practices, management and more; these are complemented with specific topics like pharmacology, nursing research, acute needs and electives from outside the department of nursing, giving BSN students a deeper breadth of knowledge and preparing them to better see the bigger picture.

The final step for both ADNs and BSNs is the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). A comprehensive test of nursing skills and knowledge, the test is administered by Pearson Vue at a cost of $200 and the Maine Board of Nursing charges an application fee of $75 as well. Close to 85 percent of candidates pass the test and are licensed to begin working as an RN in Maine.

RN Work in Maine: Salary, Hours and Duties

RNs in Maine who are working full time enjoy an average salary of roughly $57,000 per year (according to BLS.gov). Their hours can be variable, with weekends, nights, and other odd hours common—patient’s needs must be met around the clock. No day is the same as nurses are constantly adjusting to the different health needs of different patients. Working with doctors and lesser-qualified nurses, RNs are involved in an ongoing process of assessment and adjustment to their patient’s plans of care, which can mean entirely different tasks, problems and solutions every day. Around 3 out of 5 Maine RNs find employment in hospitals, and the other forty percent typically work in physician’s offices, nursing homes, and with other health care service providers.