Maine is home to 32 state parks, the most famous of which is Acadia National Park. In fact, 90% of Maine is forest making it ideal for the outdoorspeople of the country. But, like any state, there is so much more. Shop at L.L. Bean for hiking boots and flannel shirts. Visit the Kittery Trading Post just over the border from New Hampshire. And your time spent in Maine wouldn’t be complete without driving up U.S. Route 1 hunting for lighthouses (and some of the best lobster in the world!).
If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one) read on to find the information you need, from licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!
In this article, we will cover:
- Licensing information
- Steps for renewing a Maine nursing license
- Continuing education requirements
- Job & salary outlook for nurses in Maine
- Top hospitals in Maine
- Nursing organizations & associations in Maine
- Basic steps for licensing and certification
- Contact information
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in Maine whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to Maine from another state. For more information visit the Maine licensing page.
Licensing fees by examination (NCLEX exam for first-time nurses):
- NCLEX fee: $200
- Application fee: $75 (RN); $50 (LPN)
Licensing fee by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
- Application fee: $75 (RN); $50 (LPN); $100 (APRN, $50 for each specialty)
License renewal fees:
- Application fee: $75 (RN/LPN); $100 (APRN)
Maine is a nursing compact state, which allows nurses to hold multi-state licenses.
*Fees are subject to change.
**Most states require a background check, but prices are not always listed.
Steps for renewing a Maine nursing license
- Verify the status of your license
Visit the Verification page in order to confirm your license.
- Complete your Maine nursing continuing education requirements before your license expires
You can complete your nursing CEUs online, on your schedule, and 100% free with Incredible Health.
- Go to the Maine Board of Nursing site to enter your renewal application
Visit the Renewal Information page for specific requirements. Maine is a compact state. If your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state do not apply for licensure in Maine unless you are declaring Maine as your Primary State of Residency.
Continuing education requirements
RN: No requirements
LPN: No requirements
APRN: 50 contact hours every 2 years
Licensees with prescriptive authority are required 3 hours of Category I education on prescribing opioid medication.
Job & salary outlook for nurses in Maine
Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by about 9% between 2020-2030. The annual mean wage is $71,040.
We can also help you check out salary estimates to help determine if Maine is the right state for you.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in Maine ]
Top hospitals in Maine
If you’re not already picking up the phone to call movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in Maine will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:
- Maine Medical Center – Portland, ME: The values of this Magnet Recognition Program® facility are Patient Centered, Integrity, Ownership, Excellence, Respect and Innovation.” Some specialties include:
- Lung Cancer Surgery
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Knee & hip replacement
- Back Surgery (Spinal Fusion)
- Eastern Maine Medical Center – Bangor, ME: The mission of this hospital is “to provide leadership through advocacy, information and education, to support its members in fulfilling their mission to improve the health of their patients and communities they serve.” Some specialties include:
- Heart Attack
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
- Kidney Failure
- Hear failure
*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.
Nursing organizations & associations in Maine
Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in Maine:
American Nurses Association – Maine: Nurses from all work settings can benefit by becoming a member of this association. The members share a common goal of advancing excellence in nursing.
Maine State Nurses Association: The members of this association are “leading advocates of guaranteed health care, fighting for expanding and updating Medicare to cover all Americans, for negotiating many of the best collective bargaining contracts for RNs in the nation, and for sponsorship of innovative legislation and regulatory protections for patients and nurses.”
Maine Nurse Practitioner Association: The mission for this association is to be “united and advocate for Nurse Practitioners in political, professional and policy arenas; develop and coordinate educational and networking opportunities; and advocate for the health of all the people of Maine.”
Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.
Basic steps for licensing and certification
Step 1: Education
Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.
Step 2: Licensing
When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.
The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:
1. Safe and effective care environment
2. Health promotion and maintenance
3. Psychosocial integrity
4. Physiological integrity
Step 3: Experience
This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.
Step 4: Certification
The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.
[ Looking for more support? Get free, personalized career guidance from experienced RNs. ]
Maine State Board of Nursing
Phone: (207) 287-1133
Fax: (207) 287-1149
161 Capitol Street
158 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0158
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