Last Updated/Verified: July 12, 2021
Maine provides high-school graduates with multiple opportunities to become a nurse. However, studying for a Registered Nurse (RN) degree takes at least four years, so many graduates seek alternative routes. Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) can take as little as nine months, and the best Maine LPN programs prepare students for an exciting career in the healthcare sector. Those who earn an LPN certification can work in hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes, and other facilities in Portland, Augusta, Bar Harbor, or elsewhere in Maine.
LPNs in Maine: Quick Facts
- It takes students in Maine just 9-12 months to get an LPN certification, which is significantly quicker than studying for a four-year RN degree.
- The average base salary for a Maine LPN is $29,67 per hour or $53,270 a year, according to research from Indeed.com. The average overtime salary for an LPN in Maine is $7,750 a year.
- The most popular benefits in Maine are 401(k)s, paid-time-off, referral programs, tuition reimbursement, and license reimbursement.
- Portsmouth is the metropolitan area in Maine with the highest average base salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS0. Here, LPNs earn an average of $59,680 per year.
- There will be an extremely small decrease (0.8 percent) in employment opportunities for LPNs in Maine from 2018 to 2028, according to research from Projections Central.
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Overview of LPN Schools in Maine
The Maine State Board of Nursing regulates nursing schools in the state. The not-for-profit organization has approved three LPN nursing schools. There are currently five LPN courses in Maine.
High-school graduates who enroll in an LPN program will learn disciplines and skills such as
- Human health
- Human growth and development
- Anatomy and physiology
- Nutrition management
- Documentation collection/record keeping
- Home health management
- Patient care and wound care
- Vital signs collection
- Mental health
- General nursing skills
Students start by learning the foundations of nursing before moving onto more specific skills. These might include maternity care, long-term care, and pediatric care.
Besides the Maine State Board of Nursing, two organizations recognize LPN schools in the state:
- The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) provides educational accreditation to all post-secondary learning institutions in the New England region, including colleges, community colleges, and universities in Maine. It is one of seven regional accreditation agencies in the United States.
- The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) regulates and maintains the educational quality of all nursing schools in the U.S. at the associate, diploma, baccalaureate, and graduate levels.
LPN Admissions Requirements
LPN programs in Maine require applicants to have:
- A high-school diploma. GED, or educational equivalent with a GPA of 2.75+.
- The required courses to study for that LPN program. Applicants typically need a C+ average.
- A good score on the ATI TEAS exam.
High-school grads applying to an LPN school in Maine also need to pass a background check and drug test. Individual schools have specific admissions requirements, and applicants should check any conditions before applying for a program.
Tuition & Costs
Like elsewhere in the U.S., nursing students in Maine pay for tuition and program supplies, such as books and educational materials. Students also need to pay for accommodation and general living expenses when staying on campus.
Eligible high-school graduates can reduce these costs by applying for grants and other types of financial aid before or during their LPN program. Some healthcare providers in the state reimburse tuition and other expenses when a graduate works for their organization.
Tuition fees vary considerably throughout Maine. For example, Maine College of Health Professionals, one of the learning institutions recommended by the Maine State Board of Nursing, charges students $16,650 for its Licensed Practical Nursing program. Southern Maine Community College, however, charges an estimated $2,880. (Fees for the 2020-2021 academic year.)
LPN Licensing Requirements in Maine
Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse is the quickest way to get a job in the nursing sector. High-school graduates could become nurses in as little as nine months, with most programs taking around 9-12 months to complete. RN degrees last four years.
A part-time or full-time LPN course provides high-school graduates with an opportunity to graduate from a nursing school, receive an LPN certification, and then apply for work at a local healthcare organization.
Checklist to become a Maine LPN
- Get an LPN certification from a reputable school recognized by NECHE, ACEN, or the Maine State Board of Nursing,
- Get a CPR card.
- Pass the NCLEX-PN exam and apply to the Maine State Board of Nursing for a license.
- Find a job at a hospital, doctor’s office, nursing home, medical center, or another healthcare organization in Maine.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) manages the National Council Licensure Examination for Practice Nurses, or NCLEX-PN, via the Maine State Board of Nursing. This exam ensures students have the skills required to work as a nurse in the state. Students must pass this exam before applying for a job at a local healthcare organization.
- An LPN from another state can work as a nurse in Maine through ‘endorsement.’ However, they must have a valid nursing license.
- An LPN from another country can work as a nurse in Maine after passing the NCLEX-PN exam and receiving an evaluation from the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).
LPN Salaries in Maine
LPNs, on average, earn $29,67 per hour or $53,270 a year, according to Indeed. Entry-level LPNs earn an average of $50,141, while LPNs with over ten years of experience earn $57, 270.
These are the most populous metro areas in Maine with the highest average LPN salaries, according to BLS:
- Portsmouth, NH-ME ($59,680 per year)
- Dover-Durham, NH-ME ($57,000)
- Portland-South Portland, ME ($52,720)
- Lewiston-Auburn, ME ($49,330)
- Bangor, ME ($40,920)
The above salaries are just averages. LPNs who work night or weekend shifts typically earn more, while LPNs with certifications like a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) degree receive high salaries.
Job Outlook for LPNs in Maine
There has recently been a shortage of nurses in Maine, with 1.2 million nursing vacancies expected to emerge between 2014 to 2022. Because of the increasing demand for nurses in the state, local employers entice graduates from LPN programs with sign-on bonuses, flexible hours, student loan reimbursement, and other benefits.
Projections Central predicts a tiny decrease of 0.8 percent in employment opportunities for LPNs from 2018 to 2028.
Top LPN Schools in Maine
As of 2021, five schools in Maine offer practical nursing education:
Maine College of Health Professions
70 Middle Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
(207) 795-7166/(207) 795-2141
One of three schools recommended by the Maine State Board of Nursing, Maine College of Health Professions operates an intensive LPN program that prepares students for the healthcare sector. Students on this course become a nurse faster than those studying for a four-year degree. Combining classroom learning with practical clinical experience, students develop both nursing and soft skills.
Northern Maine Community College
33 Edgemont Drive
Presque Isle, ME 04768
Northern Maine Community College’s LPN program covers disciplines such as patient care, vital signs collection, human health development, and document management, as well as soft skills like communication and time-keeping. The Maine State Board of Nursing recommends this program, which prepares students for the state licensure.
Intercoast Career Institute
207 Gannett Dr. Ste. 1
So. Portland, ME 04106
The Intercoast Career Institute’s program combines classroom teaching with hands-on experience in a clinical environment, preparing students for work at a hospital, nursing home, or another local healthcare organization. The Maine State Board of Nursing recommends this course.
Southern Maine Community College
2 Fort Rd
So. Portland, ME 04106
An intensive LPN program for high-school grads wanting to become nurses. This course provides applicants with an alternative to a four-year nursing degree and promotes successful learning outcomes.
Central Maine Community College
1250 Turner St
Auburn, ME 04210
With its high pass rate, this LPN program remains a popular choice for those wanting to become a nurse in Maine. The course combines classroom training with clinical training and nurtures students for the NCLEX-PN exam. Students on Central Maine Community College’s practical nursing program develop skills like medical terminology, safe medication administration, vital signs collection, physiology, and much more.
Learn more about becoming an LPN in Maine:
Maine State Board of Nursing: The organization that administers the state licensure exam and regulates nursing schools with LPN programs.
158 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333
New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) provides educational accreditation to schools in New England, including the learning institutions listed in the previous section. One of seven accreditation agencies in the U.S., NECHE has accredited educational programs in this region for over 100 years.
3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100. Burlington, MA 01803-4514
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN): This nationwide not-for-profit organization administers the NCLEX-PN exam through the Maine State Board of Nursing.
111 East Wacker Drive, Suite 2900
Chicago, IL 60601-4277
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): The organization responsible for maintaining educational quality in all learning institutions at the associate, diploma, baccalaureate, and graduate levels, including those listed in the previous section.