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RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Maine

It is the goal of the Maine Nurse Partners (which includes representative from major medical facilities in the state, the state government and the federal government) that 80 percent of Maine’s RNs hold BSNs by 2020. With a BSN in Maine, a nurse can work in more specialized positions, such as critical care, intensive care, pediatrics, neonatology and community health. It is also the perfect stepping-stone for nurses who seek graduate education, as admittance to most of Maine’s MSN programs requires a bachelor’s degree.

For Maine’s ADN-educated RNs, obtaining a BSN requires an average of 18 months of additional education.

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Maine Nurse Partners are actively recruiting nursing students statewide in five geographic areas, including Presque Isle, Bangor, Machias, Farmington and Saco. Currently, only 50 percent of Maine’s RNs hold BSNs, though it is quickly becoming the preferred educational credential for RNs in the state. In fact, some schools are phasing out ADN programs to promote the BSN as the standard pre-licensure education necessary to become an RN.

RN to BSN Programs in Maine

The Maine State Board of Nursing maintains a list of approved RN to BSN degree programs. Though it is most common for these programs to be taken online, there are five approved campus-based programs statewide located in these cities:

  • Portland
  • Fort Kent
  • Standish
  • Augusta
  • Bangor

Many of these schools also offer online study options in their RN to BSN degree programs.

Qualifying for RN to BSN Programs in Maine

Although school requirements differ, generally, certain criteria must be fulfilled before one can enroll in a Maine RN to BSN program. The main requirement, of course, is to hold an unencumbered Maine Registered Nurse (RN) license. Some schools will accept RNs who possess a diploma or certificate in nursing into a RN to BSN program. Most, however, will require that a RN hold an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) prior to enrollment. Either way, prerequisite classes usually amount to about 50 credits and must include:

  • Introduction to psychology
  • College composition
  • College algebra
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology

Most schools require that students have at least a 2.5 GPA in their ADN program. Usually, a Maine RN to BSN program amounts to between 90 and 120 credits, including transfer credits for courses completed during ADN programs. Maine Nurse Partners are working to ensure that all nursing programs in Main have the same standardized prerequisites for RN to BSN programs in the near future.

RN to BSN Course Outline and Program Structure

Most schools will divide classes into Core and Major groups. Core classes that a student is expected to take carry titles such as:

  • Statistics
  • Bioethics
  • Professionalism and ethics
  • Genetics
  • Fundamentals of Microbiology

Major classes that a student in an RN to BSN degree program will take usually have titles like:

  • Nursing research
  • Professional leadership
  • Public health nursing
  • Leadership and management in health care
  • Nursing care of older adults
  • Physical assessment
  • Practicum

The practicum that all students must take usually occurs in the final semester of an RN to BSN program, which may be held at a health care facility that collaborates with the school. Among these are:

  • Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center-Bangor
  • Southern Maine Medical Center-Biddeford
  • Joseph’s Hospital-Bangor
  • Spring Harbor Hospital-Westbrook
  • Eastern Maine Medical Center- Bangor
  • Maine Medical Center- Portland
  • Acadia Hospital-Bangor
  • Central Maine Medical Center- Lewiston
  • Mary’s Regional Medical Center- Lewiston
  • Mercy Hospital-Portland

After Graduating from an RN to BSN Program

The Maine Nurse Partner’s Nursing Workforce Strategic Plan 2012-20 has the stated goal of seeing at least 10 percent of BSNs matriculate into a graduate program in nursing within five years of graduating with their bachelor’s degree. There are many options for graduate-level education for nurses in Maine that possess BSN degrees. Some approved programs are listed at the Maine State Board of Nursing website, and include:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)- Administration and Education
  • MSN- Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN- Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN- Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nursing
  • Post-master’s certificate of advanced study
  • Graduate certificate, health care education
  • DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)

Maine’s healthcare employers are increasingly supporting their RNs who are seeking BSNs. Many of them will offer students flexible hours to accommodate class schedules, and some will even financially support their efforts. Examples of job titles available to BSN-educated RNs include:

  • Critical Care Registered Nurse
  • Resource Nurse
  • Cardiothoracic Clinical Nurse
  • Hospice Nurse
  • Director of Nursing
  • MedSurg Registered Nurse
  • Special Procedures Registered Nurse
  • Walk-In Care Clinic Registered Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Manager
  • Nurse Case Manager

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