How to Become an RN in Maine – A Simple Guide

How to Become an RN in Maine - A Simple Guide

Do you want to become a registered nurse in Maine? That’s perfect!

There is currently an RN shortage in the state! According to the Maine Nursing Action Coalition and the Maine Hospital Association, there will be a shortage of 1,450 RNs by 2025

So if you want to become a registered nurse, now is the time to start the application!

And we’re right here to help you out!

We’ll give you three steps to make the process as simple as possible. 

Plus, we added a FAQs section to help you with your questions! 

Becoming an RN in Maine is a straightforward process… And if you tick all the boxes, you’ll be an RN in a few years!

Without further ado, let’s get right into how to become an RN in Maine. 

How to Become a Registered Nurse in Maine: 3 Simple Steps

Trust us, becoming a registered nurse in Maine is not complicated. Here are the steps to becoming an RN

  1. Apply for a Nursing Education Program
  2. Apply for a License and Pass the Criminal Background Check
  3. Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for RNs

In the sections below, we’ll go into detail about what you need to do for each step. 

How to Become an RN in Maine Step #1: Apply for a Nursing Education Program

The first step is to apply for and graduate from a nursing education program, specifically an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). 

An ADN teaches you basic healthcare procedures and record management. It also teaches you how to monitor patients. It takes about two years to complete this program.

A BSN degree teaches you all the courses under ADN, But also includes public health management, evidence-based studies, and other medical procedures. Since this degree covers more courses, it takes four years to complete. 

Although ADN is faster to complete, the downside to this is that most hospitals are looking to hire RNs who graduate with a BSN degree. So, if you want to work at a hospital with a requirement like this, we recommend getting a BSN degree. 

A BSN degree also allows you to get further studies in specialized fields. So if you’re planning to be a nurse in a specific department, then the BSN degree can help you qualify for that. 

Nonetheless, both ADN and BSN degrees are accepted as prerequisites for your RN license application. 

Just make sure that you enroll in a program accredited by the Maine State Board of Nursing! 

You can find a list of approved programs here. 

How to Become an RN in Maine Step #2: Apply for a License and Pass the Criminal Background Check

There are two main ways to apply for an RN license in Maine – by endorsement and by examination. 

Let’s talk about the two paths.

License by Endorsement

If you are already an RN in a different state, you can apply to be an RN in Maine through endorsement. This process doesn’t require you to take a nursing educational program or the NCLEX-RN unless you come from a foreign country. 

Follow these steps to apply by endorsement:

  1. Apply for an RN license by endorsement on Maine’s Board of Nursing website
  2. Upload a current picture of you and a manually-signed document
  3. Upload supporting documents to all the questions that you answer yes to
  4. Pay the application fee of $75
  5. Apply for a criminal background check 

Depending on your answers, you might be required to pass additional documents such as a Transcript of Records from your previous nursing program. 

It’s also important to know that when you apply for a license by endorsement in Maine, you must declare that you have a permanent residence in Maine. In other words, you need to be a legal resident of the state to be eligible to work as an RN. 

License by Examination 

If you’re not applying for a license by endorsement, you’re applying for a license by examination. 

Before you take the well-known NCLEX-RN, you need to pass an online application to be granted authorization to take the test. 

Here are the steps you need to take when applying online:

  1. Go to Maine’s Board of Nursing website and click ‘apply for a license’ in the menu options.
  2. If you have a Social Security Number, click the option stating that you already have one and follow the instructions that follow.
  3. Answer all the questions that follow and upload supporting documents on the questions you answer in the affirmative.
  4. Pay the non-refundable application fee of $75*.
  5. Once you’re done with the questions, go back to the main menu and choose ‘obtain a criminal background check.’
  6. Pay the fee of $52* and pass the CBC requirements.

This step will require a lot of paperwork, but if you have already graduated from your nursing program and have all the physical documents with you, there won’t be any delays to process this application. 

But once you pass your CBC, you already need to schedule an NCLEX-RN, which we will talk about in the next section. 

How to Become an RN in Maine Step #3: Pass the NCLEX for Registered Nurses

The last step you need to take is to pass the NCLEX-RN. Every registered nurse must take this exam except if they’re applying for a license by endorsement. 

If you’re the latter, you can apply to take the exam at PearsonVue

To register, all you need to do is create an account in PearsonVue online and register for the NCLEX-RN. There is an exam fee of $200, and once you pay it online, you can already schedule your exam. 

Once you pass the NCLEX-RN, you will already be a registered nurse in Maine. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Registered Nurse in Maine

How much does it cost to take the NCLEX in Maine?

An exam fee of $200 is required for every NCLEX-RN examinee. Other fees include the license fee of $75 and the criminal background check of $52.

How long is a Maine RN license good for?

A registered nurse in Maine has an active license for two years before it’s required to be renewed. 

How do I transfer my nursing license to Maine?

Apply for a license by endorsement on the Board of Nursing website and upload documents showing that your primary residence is in Maine.

Helpful Resources for Maine RNs

List of Associate Degree Programs (ADNs) in Maine

Here’s a list of ADN programs approved by the Maine BON:

Beal University
99 Farm Road
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 307-3900

Central Maine
Community College
1250 Turner Street
Auburn, ME 04210
(207) 755-5426

Eastern Maine
Community College
354 Hogan Rd, Bangor, ME 04401, United States
+1 207-974-4600

Kennebec Valley
Community College
92 Western Avenue
Fairfield, ME 04937-1367
(207) 453-5173

Maine College of Health Professions (formerly CMMC)
70 Middle Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
(207) 795-7166

Northern Maine
Community College
33 Edgemont Drive
Presque Isle, ME 04768
(207) 768-2750

Purdue University Global
14 Marketplace Drive
Augusta, ME 04330

Southern Maine
Community College
2 Fort Road
So. Portland, ME 04106
(207) 741-5776 FAX: (207) 741-5736

Southern Maine
Community College
2 Fort Road
So. Portland, ME 04106
(207) 741-5776

Visit the Maine BON website for updates.

List of Baccalaureate Degree Programs (BSNs) in Maine

Here’s a list of BSN programs approved by the Maine BON:

Husson University
1 College Circle
Bangor, ME 04401-2999
207) 941-7036

St. Joseph’s College
278 Whites Bridge Road
Standish, ME 04084
Cell: (610) 428-3037

University of Maine
Dunn Hall, 210
Orono, ME 04469-5724
(207) 581-2601

University of Maine
at Augusta
46 University Drive
Augusta, ME 04330-9410
(207) 621-3466

University of Maine
at Fort Kent
23 University Drive
Fort Kent, ME 04743-1292
(207) 834-7500

University of New England
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 221-4456

University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth Street
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300
(207) 780-4443

Visit the Maine BON website for updates.


In Summary

Maine is experiencing a shortage of registered nurses, which means that if you’re applying to become an RN, there will be many opportunities for you!

Just follow these three steps, and you can be an RN in the state in the next few years! 

We hope that this article will help you on your journey to pursue your passion. 

If you have any more comments or questions, just leave a comment below. 

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