How to Become a Registered Nurse in Maine

Maine map

Registered nurses are always in demand, as there are always patients in need of health care.

If you’re looking to help fill that demand in Maine, this quick guide can help.

You’ll find information on some of the best nursing programs and the steps you need to take to fulfill your dream.

5 Registered Nurse Schools in Maine

Below are some of the top schools for aspiring registered nurses in Maine.

1. Central Maine Community College

Central Maine Community College Logo

Central Maine Community College offers an Associate in Applied Science in nursing that prepares you to take NCLEX-RN.

This program includes 68 credit hours that take four semesters to complete.

The tuition is adjusted each year, so you’ll want to check updates often.

The current cost of attendance for Maine residents is approximately $3,864 for the 2022-to-2023 year.

New England residents outside of Maine pay $5,304 and out-of-state residents pay $6,744.

If you choose to stay on campus, you’ll add another $10,000 to that cost.

2. University of Southern Maine

University of Southern Maine Logo

The University of Southern Maine has a Bachelor’s program in nursing in a traditional format.

It requires 120 credit hours that can typically be completed in four years.

If you’ve met specific credit requirements from a previous degree, you can choose the accelerated program.

It requires 68 credit hours that can be completed in as little as 15 months.

Tuition varies greatly. Maine and Canadian residents pay $288 per credit hour, making the four-year degree $34,560.

New England Regional students pay $490 per credit hour or $58,800 for the traditional bachelor’s program.

Residents from other states pay $810 per credit hour or $97,200 for the full program.

And online classes are $298 per credit hour.

3. Eastern Maine Community College

Eastern Maine Community College Logo

Eastern Maine Community College also offers a nursing program that is designed to prepare students to pass the NCLEX-RN.

This program takes 70 credits to complete, and typically takes students about four semesters to complete.

Entry into this program does generally require that you have already completed BIO-127, ENG-101, and NRG-101.

If you do not yet have these credits, speak to an advisor, as they might be able to work with you to add them to your curriculum.

Tuition can change at any time, but currently, it’s $96 per credit hour for Maine residents and $192 per credit hour for out-of-state students.

This makes the cost of the program $6,720 for in-state residents and $13,440 for out-of-state residents.

Keep in mind that these costs are prior to fees, books, supplies, and other costs.

4. University of Maine – Augusta

University of Maine – Augusta Logo

The University of Maine Augusta campus offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing that prepares you for a career as a registered nurse.

It’s a four-year program that includes 121 credit hours.

Maine residents pay $245 per credit hour, while students from out of state pay $625 per credit hour.

This takes the total tuition to $29,645 for Maine students and $75,625 for students from other states.

These totals do not include books, supplies, or additional costs.

5. University of New England

University of New England Logo

The University of New England also offers a Bachelor of Nursing, which makes you eligible to take the NCLEX-RN.

This program includes 144 credits, which can be completed on your schedule.

If you wish and qualify, you can complete these credits in as little as two years.

If your agenda is full of obligations, however, you can choose to take up to six years to complete it.

And as many classes are available online, you have more flexibility with your schedule.

Tuition is largely based on the number of credits you take per semester, so you’ll not know your exact pricing until enrollment.

However, the school offers an example of the current price: approximately $6,920 per semester for a student taking 48 credit hours.

Registered Nurse Schools in Maine – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in Maine

School NameAddress
Central Maine Community College1250 Turner St, Auburn, ME 04210
University of Southern Maine96 Falmouth St, Portland, ME 04103
Eastern Maine Community College 354 Hogan Rd, Bangor, ME 04401
The University of Maine at Augusta46 University Dr, Augusta, ME 04330
University of New England - Biddeford Campus11 Hills Beach Rd, Biddeford, ME 04005


Registered nurses’ salaries tend to vary greatly in Maine, depending on education, experience, and similar factors.

Entry-level RNs tend to make between $57,260 and $72,970 per year, with $63,830 being the average.

Higher-level nurses often make as much as $84,160.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Registered Nurse (RN)s in Maine

City NameSalary
South Portland$64,900
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Maine

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bangor, ME2,060$83,100$39.95$105,730$64,330
Lewiston-Auburn, ME1,240$76,480$36.77$84,070$64,890
Portland-South Portland, ME5,150$79,320$38.13$102,730$63,660
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Registered Nurses, OCC Code 29-1141, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What steps do I need to take to be a registered nurse in Maine?

The first step is to choose a degree program that will get you ready to pass the NCLEX-RN.

After you’ve completed your program, you’ll need to apply for an RN license and pass the NCLEX-RN.

What if I fail my NCLEX-RN?

The good news is that you can take it up to eight times a year in Maine.

However, testing can only be repeated after 45 days have passed since the original exam.

Additionally, all Maine test takers must pass the exam within three years of graduating from their education program.

If you are unable to pass within three years, you’ll likely need either refresher courses or to take another complete program.

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

The exam itself costs $200, but you’ll also need to pay $75 to apply for your RN license in Maine.

What exactly is the NCLEX-RN?

The NCLEX-RN or National Council for Licensure Exam-RN is simply a test that shows the test taker is ready to practice as an entry-level nurse.

Can I become an RN in Maine with only an Associate’s Degree?

Yes, an RN needs only a program diploma or Associate’s degree to take the NCLEX-RN and become a registered nurse.

However, choosing a Bachelor’s Degree tends to open up more job opportunities and potentially better pay.

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