With an increasing emphasis on highly educated nurses, the state of Maine contains multiple schools that offer RN to MSN programs. These programs are designed specifically for current registered nurses to earn a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. With exciting career opportunities and increased salaries, more and more nurses are moving beyond an ADN or BSN to obtain a graduate degree.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Maine

RNs will find the process to apply for an RN to MSN program very similar to that of an ADN or BSN program. Applicants will need to ensure that they meet all the admissions requirements, which may include:

  • Associate's or Bachelor's degree in nursing (degree level will vary by program)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B average)
  • MAT or GRE required at some schools
  • Current resume
  • Two letters of reference reflecting professional practice and academic achievement
  • Active Maine RN license

RN to MSN Courses

For students starting the program with an ADN, "bridge" courses are usually required before graduate level courses can be taken. Beyond that, RN to MSN programs usually consist of advanced core nursing courses and specialized courses. These specialty courses typically relate to a concentration, like Nurse Anesthetist or Nurse Educator.

For example, the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Southern Maine offers the following courses:

  • NUR 604: Nursing Research
  • NUR 606: Leadership, Health Policy, and Role
  • NUR 608: Applied Theories of Advanced Interpersonal Skills
  • NUR 651: Women's Health in Primary Care
  • NUR 652: Primary Care Management of the Well Child

Online RN to MSN Programs in Maine

For sheer convenience, online RN to MSN programs cannot be beat. These programs offer the same rigorous academic standards that in-person programs offer, but students are able to take courses from the comfort of their own home and computer. This is especially ideal for busy RNs who have work or family commitments that they need to uphold while working toward a graduate degree.

Featured Online School

Saint Joseph's College in Standish offers a fully online, CCNE-accredited RN (BSN) to MSN program. This program is unique in that it also offers options for MSN/MHA and MSN/MBA dual degrees. MSN program specializations include an Administration track, an Education track, and a Family Nurse Practitioner track. The curriculum includes nursing courses in informatics, leadership, ethics, theory, public policy, research, and much more.

Admissions and Program Length

Program length can, and will, vary based on the school and the student's unique situation. ADN-educated nurses will need some additional courses to get them to the level that a BSN-educated nurse would start. Part-time or full-time attendance also makes a huge difference in the time it takes to complete the degree. Generally, 40-45 credits are needed to earn the MSN degree from a BSN. In-person programs typically start new students in the program in the Fall and Spring semesters, while online programs may offer more frequent starting points.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

Much like undergraduate programs, RN to MSN programs require payment for tuition, mandatory fees, and course materials like textbooks. Luckily, financial aid is typically available for students who qualify. For an example on expenses, the MSN program at Saint Joseph's College costs roughly $606 per credit, with supplemental program fees ranging from $200-500 per course. This does not include other special fees or course materials.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Maine

Once an RN obtains an MSN, a whole world of rewarding specialties awaits them. Careers that typically require an MSN include:

  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Nurse Educator

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

Completing a graduate-level degree in nursing can lead to exciting nursing careers that come with much higher paychecks. For instance, a Certified Nurse Anesthetist (a specialty that requires an MSN) in Augusta, Maine, earns an annual base salary of $152,078. Meanwhile, a general registered nurse in Augusta makes an average annual salary of $56,664. This type of dramatic salary difference is leading many RNs to go back to school to get an advanced nursing education.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

Maine offers RN to MSN degree programs at a few different colleges throughout the state. Offered in a multitude of delivery modes, getting your MSN does not have to mean that you quit your job to obtain your degree; nursing candidates have the ability to do both. Career prospects for MSN nurses can be in oncology, gerontological nursing, family medicine or many other specialties which are only some of the options to a nurse with an MSN degree.

Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Department of Nursing
278 Whites Bridge Road
Standish, ME 04084
(207) 893-7957
University of Maine
School of Nursing
5724 Dunn Hall, University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5724
(207) 581-2607
University of Southern Maine
School of Nursing
96 Falmouth St
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 780-4993