How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Maine

Maine is one of the northernmost states in the United States, and it attracts a specific set of people: those who can appreciate beauty along with a sometimes-challenging climate. Cycling through all four seasons, Maine has some of the most interesting industries, including fisheries, shipbuilding, mining and healthcare.

Career Outlook Nurse Administrator

Maine is also one of the least populous states, with just over 1,300,000 people calling this state home. An analysis done by officials from Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Maine System in 2017 revealed that by 2025, there would be a shortage of registered nurses within the state.

State law requires nurse administrators to have a valid and active nursing license in their state of employment. Therefore, nurses who decide to continue their careers in Maine – a state that sorely needs employees in the healthcare industry – will have opportunities for growth if they choose to pursue a position as a nurse administrator.

With a minimum of one year of clinical experience under their belts, nurse administrators approach healthcare facilities and practices in a leadership role. It is their job to guide a team of healthcare workers – often ranging anywhere from 75 to 100 employees – while also overseeing facility operation in their area and quality patient care.

Nurse administrators are communicative, natural or trained leaders, responsible, well-versed in their field and willing and able to take on problem-solving. They work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, physician and specialists’ offices and more. Depending on where a nurse administrator is employed and how much foundational experience they have, they can receive anywhere from $30 – 200K a year.

In Maine, the average salary for nurse administrators is $118,000 as of 2022.

Certification or Licensing Requirements in Maine

Like other states, Maine requires nurse administrators to hold a valid and current license to practice in their state. Registered nurses interested in becoming nurse administrators will need to have a BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing – from an accredited college or university.

Maine’s State Board of Nursing keeps track of licensing and related topics. Registered nurses interested in furthering their careers can find a list of RN Nursing Programs that include graduate degrees on their website. The site also allows new nurse administrators to apply for licensure, renew a license, reactive or reinstate a license and get a criminal background check. For colleges, universities and future employers, the site can also verify a license or track complaints.

Additionally, nurse administrators must have a minimum of one year of work experience in a clinical setting to be able to lead a team of nurses.

Nurse Administrator Programs in Maine

1. The University of Southern Maine – MSN

Despite Maine’s small population, the University of Southern Maine has spread throughout the state. It has campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston. This university is part of the University of Maine system, one of eight institutions with very different characters and missions.

USM has an 88% acceptance rate and an enrollment of roughly 10,000 students in both undergrad and graduate courses. Class sizes have an average of 22 students with a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Graduate students pursuing a master’s degree or higher have access to housing in USM’s residence halls, and there is a future plan for graduate housing on the Portland campus.

Among the graduate programs are several nursing master’s programs, a necessity for registered nurses looking to move into the nurse administrator role. These include the following:

Prospective students who do not yet have a degree in nursing can pursue an RN to master program. Each program is different in their specialist field, but of the programs offered, the Nurse Administration and Leadership MS is the most appropriate for future nurse administrators.

This program will equip RNs with the appropriate leadership skills while still providing the hands-on clinical experience required by the position. Students will build on their nursing experience and knowledge and focus on information technology, quality improvement, nursing theory, organizational behavior, financial management and more.

The MS in Nurse Administration and Leadership at the University of Southern Maine can be completed in as little as 18 months. Admission to this program requires a 3.0 minimum GPA, a statement of purpose and an unencumbered nursing license. RNs transferring to the University of Southern Maine will also need to complete the university’s requirements for admissions, including a transcript of previous education.

2. Husson University – MSN

Husson University is touted as the private university with the lowest price accredited by the NE Commission of Higher Education in the state of Maine. Located in Bangor, students attending this university will have access to a thriving community. Husson has an 85% acceptance rate and enrollment of just shy of 4,000 students.

Class sizes average 19 students, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. The university has several residence halls, including traditional and townhouse-style living arrangements.

The College of Health & Pharmacy has several MSN options under the following specialties: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health. While these programs focus more on areas of specialty, courses include Advanced Evidence-Based Practice, Public Health Policy Issues and Challenges and Strategy & Analysis of Organizational Process.

All three programs are available online. To be admitted, interested RNs will need to provide previous college or university transcripts, a completed admission application, a resume, three letters of recommendation, proof of RN licensure and have over one year of experience as an RN.

3. Saint Joseph’s College – MSN

Saint Joseph’s College is a private Catholic college in Standish, Maine, located west of Portland. Saint Joseph’s was initially founded as an institution for women but serves both male and female students today. Currently, 62% of the college’s students now take courses entirely online, allowing them the freedom to pursue a career, gain real-life work experience and make room for a social life.

Saint Joseph’s has an 87% acceptance rate and an enrollment of about 2,500 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1, with class sizes averaging 20-25 students. Despite being a Catholic college, Saint Joseph’s welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds. The campus is in the process of building and modeling sustainability practices on its 474 acres of shoreline on Sebago Lake.

The college’s Master of Science in Nursing program is available online. The program is centered on developing skills for nurse leadership in healthcare of educational settings. Students are able to continue their RN work while pursuing this degree and the online format helps fit higher education into a busy career.

The MS in Nursing degree can be completed in as few as two years when attended full time but must be completed within five. Students also have the option to pursue an area of specialty in this program, such as Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Nursing Education, Nursing Administration or Family Nurse Practitioner.

Admission into the program requires a BSN, an online application to Saint Joseph’s, transcripts, career statements, references and other documentation required by the admissions office. Individuals interested in applying must hold an active RN license in Maine and a BSN from an accredited institution.

4. University of Maine – MSN

The University of Maine is the state’s only public research university and was established in 1865 as the flagship university of the University of Maine System. UMaine is located in Orono, just north of Bangor.

The number of students enrolled annually is just under 12,000, roughly the same size as the non-student population of Orono. Interestingly, the University of Maine is also known for having a high black bear population in the area. The acceptance rate of this institution is 92%, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. Almost half of the classes at UMaine have fewer than 20 students.

The School of Nursing, housed in UMaine’s Graduate School, offers a few MSN programs, including the Individualized Online MSN. This curriculum provides both theoretical courses and field experience, and students can decide to concentrate on admin and clinical leadership roles. Both full and part-time study paths are possible.

Full-time students can complete any of the MSN degrees in 2 years, but all programs must be completed within six years. The MSN program at the University of Maine requires a BSN from an accredited program, a GPA of 3.0, experience as an RN, licensure to practice as an RN in the United States and the completion of specific college-level courses with a B grade or higher. The program is available on campus for nurses who have already completed an MSN program and would like to attend this program for a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS).