Nurse practitioners (NPs) rely on their graduate-level education and extensive clinical training to provide many of the same services as physicians. These specialized advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) evaluate patients, interpret diagnostic tests, implement treatment plans, and prescribe medications, independent of doctor supervision. NPs play an increasingly important role in the nation's healthcare system, in response to physician shortages and growing demands for primary and preventive care. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for NPs in Maine to grow by 26% from 2016-2026.
Nurse practitioner programs in Maine provide a stepping stone to higher salaries and expanding career prospects for nurses beginning their careers or registered nurses (RNs) who seek professional advancement. Maine's NPs work in many settings, including hospitals, physician's offices, and community health clinics, taking home annual mean wages of $100,100.
The path to becoming an NP requires a graduate degree, specialized certification, and clinical experience. An applicant to an NP program in ME must hold an undergraduate degree in nursing, a valid RN license, and at least one year of nursing experience, preferably in their NP specialization area.
Because each NP program establishes specific admission and program requirements, aspiring NPs should investigate the schools that interest them, comparing degree requirements and availability of specializations. Students applying to online NP programs in Maine should find out about course delivery formats and any required on-campus residencies.
Because each NP program establishes specific admission and program requirements, aspiring NPs should investigate the schools that interest them, comparing degree requirements and availability of specializations.
Earning an MSN typically takes two years, while a DNP can take three or more.
Earning an MSN typically takes two years, while a DNP can take three or more. Because NPs must obtain national certification in a specialization, NP programs typically require students to focus on a specialty in one of six population foci: adult-gerontology, pediatrics, family care, neonatal care, women's health, and psychiatric-mental health.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Maine
Maine Nurse Practitioner Career Information
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Maine and Nearby States
From 2014-2018, the number of NPs working in Maine per 100,000 residents surged by 123%. Opportunities for these specialized health providers will continue to expand as a sizable percentage of NPs working in the state near retirement age. The average age of NPs in Maine is 49, with over 39% between the ages of 55-74.
Compensation for NPs in the New England states ranks among the highest in the United States. The mean annual wage of $103,220 for NPs in Maine, while below other nearby states, runs considerably higher than the mean salary of $45,300 for all occupations in the state. The highest-paid NPs in the state earn over $130,000 a year.
Maine requires that a licensed physician or NP within the practice specialty must provide direct supervision of new NPs for the first 24 months of their practice.
Following certification, license-seekers may apply for their APRN licenses. Applicants must submit proof of certification, a criminal background check, and official transcripts. The NP license requires a minimum of 1500 clinical hours in an expanded specialty nursing role within five years preceding the date of application. Alternatively, applicants can provide proof of completion of an NP degree within five years prior to the application. Candidates must also provide evidence of 45 contact hours in pharmacology.
Maine requires that a licensed physician or NP within the practice specialty must provide direct supervision of new NPs for the first 24 months of their practice. NPs must submit a letter of agreement with the healthcare provider as part of their application. Once they receive official licensure, all APRNs in Maine must renew their license every two years by completing a minimum of 75 continuing education hours.
Other Requirements for Maine Nurse Practitioners
Maine grants licensed APRNs full practice authority, which allows them to practice independently with no physician oversight, after completing 24 months of supervised practice. State law explicitly recognizes NPs as primary care providers. NPs who provide primary care under contract with a managed care plan may supervise, coordinate, and provide initial care to patients; maintain continuity of patient care; and initiate patient referrals for specialist care.
NPs in Maine receive automatic prescriptive authority when approved for their APRN licenses. In addition to prescription drugs, NPs with prescriptive authority may administer schedule II-V controlled substances once registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Maine's prescriptive authority regulations require that NPs who have not prescribed drugs during the past two years provide documentation of 15 contact hours in pharmacology.
Maine's prescriptive authority regulations require that NPs who have not prescribed drugs during the past two years provide documentation of 15 contact hours in pharmacology. Applicants who have not prescribed drugs for the previous five years must complete 45 hours in pharmacology within the past two years.
NPs in Maine may hold national certifications in more than one of the six practice areas, but they must submit a separate license application for each specialization to the state board. NPs must maintain their certifications with the appropriate national credentialing organization to retain valid APRN state licenses.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
As one of the 29 members of the nurse licensing compact (NLC), Maine allows NPs licensed in other compact states to practice in the state. The NLC agreement makes it easier to relocate to another state without having to apply for an additional license. NPs licensed in non-NLC states may apply for Maine licenses by examination or endorsement, as specified by the board of nursing.
An out-of-state NP who seeks prescriptive authority in Maine must submit evidence of 200 hours of practice in an expanded specialty role within the past two years and 45 contact hours in pharmacology. While all APRNs must complete 75 hours of continuing education every two years for license renewal, license holders with prescriptive authority must take a three-hour course on the prescribing of opioids.
Before moving forward in the licensing process, prospective NPs should thoroughly research the regulations governing prescriptive authority and scope of practice in their intended state of employment.
Resources for Maine Nurse Practitioners
Maine Nurse Practitioner Association MNPA advocates on behalf of the state's NPs in the professional, political, and policy arenas. The association provides continuing education opportunities, updates on issues that affect the profession, and employment listings.
American Nurses AssociationMaine This chapter of ANA advances the nursing profession in Maine by improving healthcare access and quality. Benefits include discounts on continuing opportunities modules, free webinars, and a career center.
Maine State Board of Nursing This government agency, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulations, establishes standards and requirements for nurses, scope of practice, and nursing education, along with administering state licenses and renewals.
Maine State Nurses Association The Maine affiliate of National Nurses United promotes the professional interests of direct care RNs. The MSNA advocates on behalf of nurses public policy issues, including patient advocacy rights and minimum RN-to-patient ratios.
OMNE Nursing Leaders of Maine OMNE promotes innovative and expert nursing leadership for Maine nurses who hold or aspire to leadership positions as managers, directors, executives, and educators. The organization advances healthcare policy and quality practice standards.