Maine DNP Programs

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Online DNP Programs & nursing PhD programs may be available for Maine students. Check current course listings.

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Maine DNP Programs

Maine recently began offering the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program through the University of Southern Maine. Currently, this is the only DNP program in the state, and it is offered at the Portland campus.

The goal of Maine's DNP program is to prepare graduates to provide an advanced level of transformative nursing care, and to take on leadership and policy roles in healthcare. The program, like many others, emphasizes evidence-based practice.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Currently, the University of Southern Maine DNP program offers only one entry-point for post-MSN applicants, though in the future the program plans to offer other pathways, such as BSN to DNP. The program may be completed full-time or part-time, and consists of 43 credits. 1,000 clinical hours must be completed to obtain this degree, including 500 completed during the individual's master's level education. Students are also required to complete a final capstone project.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for this DNP program are as follows:

  • Master's degree from an accredited program
  • Minimum 3.20 GPA
  • "B" or better in graduate level statistics course taken within 5 years of application
  • Scores from MAT or GRE taken within 5 years of application
  • Applicants who are not primarily English speakers: TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Completed application with essay describing motivation for DNP
  • Current resume
  • Formal interview
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Evidence of unencumbered RN license
  • Evidence of current national advanced practice certification
  • Two sets of official transcripts from all attended colleges/universities


Tuition for in-state graduate students currently costs $380 per credit. The cost for out-of-state students is higher at $1,026 per credit. New England residents and Canadian residents can enroll in courses for $570 per credit hour.

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Maine State Board of Nursing
158 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Phone: (207) 287-1133
Fax: (207) 287-1149

Maine State Nurses Association


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Maine Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs (ME)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a post-graduate level practice nursing degree. A DNP focuses on the clinical aspects of nursing as opposed to working on medical research or teaching.

Due to the fact that most Maine DNP degree seekers are working professionals, there are a number of flexible educational options available including RN-DNP (BSN-DNP) bridge programs and specialized programs for certified advanced practice nurses.

Maine DNP Degree Prerequisites

In Maine, nurses seeking DNP certification must already hold both BSN and MSN degrees. Being the final and most advanced degree offered to professionals in the nursing field, there are strict educational criteria. Since the DNP is a relatively new status in the profession, there has not been much national standardization of academic criteria. Therefore, it is essential for you to check with your Maine educational institution of choice to find out what specific prerequisites they require for program admission. You can also check with the Maine Board of Nursing to find out more about how Maine recognizes DNPs.

Although every school has differing entrance requirements, here is an example of one Maine schools current DNP program prerequisites.

Online DNP Programs for Maine Nurses

Online education is also known as distance learning. As this level of certification becomes increasingly popular in Maine, more and more Maine higher learning institutions are offering their DNP programs online. This will make it far more convenient for current RNs to take the next step without having to sacrifice time on the clock or professional responsibilities.

Benefits of DNP Certification

There are benefits in Maine to holding this advanced degree. Having a strong focus on advanced practice, leadership, and actual application of clinical research, DNPs are often depended on to fill the gap between doctors and nurses.

Also, Maine nurses holding this certification are quickly becoming favored for parity with other health professionals when and where a doctorate status is required. This includes being called upon for involvement in advanced diagnosis, legal consultation, and highly specialized clinical research. With their focus on actual clinical application, DNP nurses are typically viewed as the most experienced.

As a nurse, earning a DNP degree will also foster enhanced leadership skills and the knowledge to deliver superior healthcare service to patients, which will in turn advance you professionally.

Resources for Maine Nurses Seeking a DNP Degree

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