8 Best ADN Programs in Maine – (2-Year RN Programs)

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

ADN programs in Maine can provide you with the hands-on clinical training and foundational grounding in patient care to excel as an RN in the Pine Tree State. And the great thing about them? Most associate degrees in nursing take two years or less to complete. With an ADN degree, you’ll be fully qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. Once you pass it, you’ll find many employment opportunities in clinics, physician practices, and hospitals throughout the state. ADN-prepared RNS make $77,410 a year in Maine, and demand for their services will continue to grow by 3 percent in the next decade. Interested in learning more? This guide to the 8 best ADN programs in Maine is an excellent place to start.


Based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the 8 best nursing schools for ADN programs in Maine. You can complete most of these programs in 2 years.

1. Central Maine Community College - Auburn

Program Details: Central Maine Community College’s 68-credit ADN program in Maine provides aspiring registered nurses with a thorough grounding in nursing theory and clinical experience. The curriculum comprises general education courses, prerequisites, and core nursing coursework, including classes like “Nursing Across the Lifespan I, II, & III.”

To accommodate the needs of working students, lectures are delivered in classrooms or via virtual networks that use Polycom technology, while skills labs and clinical rotations offer evening and weekend slots. You can choose to attend one six-hour lab session on Tuesdays or Thursdays or two three-hour lab sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

CMCC’s nursing simulation lab in Jalbert Hall is equipped with virtual hospital suites, medical equipment, and lifelike manikins, making it an ideal setting for teaching hands-on nursing techniques safely. Clinical rotations will be scheduled for hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities throughout the Greater Auburn-Lewiston Metropolitan Area.

Why Choose This Program

• Central Maine Community College has agreements in place with Southern New Hampshire University, the August and Fort Kent campuses of the University of Maine, and the University of Southern Maine that facilitate the entry of its ADN graduates into these schools’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree programs.
• LPNs who apply to this 2-year RN program in Maine may be given advanced standing based on their active license and work experience.
• Graduates of CMCC’s ADN program have an NCLEX-RN pass rate above 90 percent.

2. Kennebec Valley Community College – Fairfield

Program Details: Kennebec Valley Community College’s 69-credit ADN program in Maine teaches a holistic approach to nursing care delivery. The main part of your core nursing coursework includes a three-semester “Nursing Across the Lifespan” course, but you’ll also take classes like “Developmental Psychology” and “Introduction to Sociology.” The 21-month program also includes selected simulation exercises, skills labs, and clinical experience providing direct patient care in a variety of healthcare settings.

Plan on spending between 18 and 24 hours a week on your studies. Clinical rotations may be scheduled on either day or weekend shifts at a variety of sites across the state of Maine. You’ll perfect your nursing skills in Kennebec Valley Community College’s nursing simulation lab, which replicates a hospital floor with a nursing station and an ICU suite.

Why Choose This Program

• LPNs who meet KVCC’s admission requirements can enter this program in the second semester after completing an “LPN Transition to the ADN Role” course.
• NCLEX-RN pass rates for KVCC ADN graduates consistently top 97 percent, making this one of the best ADN programs in Maine.
• Interested in continuing on to earn a BSN? Kennebec Valley Community College’s partnership with the University of Maine-Fort Kent will make that transition easy!

3. Maine College of Health Professions - Lewiston

Program Details: Maine College of Health Professions is the oldest nursing school in the Pine Tree State. (It was founded as a diploma-granting institution called the Central Maine General Hospital Training School in 1891.) The college’s 67-credit associate nursing degree program includes classes like “Medical Surgical Nursing I, II, & III,” “Maternal/Child Nursing,” and “Transition to Professional Nursing.” Like several other 2-year RN programs in Maine, lecture classes are paired with clinical sections, so you’ll take “Maternal/Child Nursing” and “Maternal/Child Nursing Clinical” at the same time. The college requires all students to participate in at least one assigned community service experience while they’re pursuing this ADN program.

Maine College of Health Professionals is affiliated with Central Maine Medical Center, so you’ll take many of your clinical rotations there. Before you begin working with patients directly, however, you’ll learn hands-on nursing skills at the college’s immersive simulation lab.

Why Choose This Program

Forbes Magazine has dubbed Maine College of Health Professionals one of the top 30 professional schools in the United States.
• Every semester, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an interprofessional educational experience, during which you’ll learn about the roles of other healthcare team members and develop collaborative skills.
• Want to continue your nursing education? Maine College of Health Professionals offers an RN-to-BSN program.

4. Southern Maine Community College - South Portland

Program Details: Southern Maine Community College’s 69-credit ADN program in Maine will take you five semesters to complete. This ADN track is offered at SMCC’s campuses in South Portland and Brunswick Landing, and many of the courses required to complete an ADN degree are offered online. In addition to courses needed to complete the general education requirement, you’ll take a four-semester “Nursing” course. You’ll also take a special course on calculating medication dosages.

Clinical experiences are scheduled at a number of different hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and community agencies throughout the Greater Portland Metropolitan Area. Both campuses boast their own nursing simulation labs where you’ll learn hands-on nursing skills through the use of cutting-edge technology.

Why Choose This Program

• LPNs who meet the requirements for admission into this program qualify for advanced placement into the second semester of ADN studies.
• With this ADN program under your belt, you can easily transfer to online BSN programs at the University of Southern Maine, the University of Maine-Fort Kent, Purdue Global University, and Saint Joseph’s College.
• One hundred percent of SMCC’s ADN graduates are employed as registered nurses within six months of completing this program.

5. Northern Maine Community College - Presque Isle

Program Details: Northern Maine Community College offers a traditional two-year ADN program and an accelerated 18-month ADN program. The two 70-credit programs mirror each other, except that the 18-month program incorporates the summer semester into its class schedule. Your core nursing course, "Nursing Across the Lifespan,” extends over three semesters. You’ll also take classes like “Foundations of Nursing” and “Pharmacology for Nurses,” as well as four clinical practicums. LPNs who enter this program will receive advanced standing and join the ADN cohort in its second semester.

The college’s million-dollar simulation lab contains a virtual ambulance as well as replicas of hospital rooms and is used to train student paramedics and healthcare professionals as well as student RNs. Clinical rotations are scheduled at Houlton Regional Hospital and other healthcare facilities throughout Aroostook County.

Why Choose This Program

• This 2-year nursing program in Maine is focused on helping alleviate nursing shortages in the more rural portions of the Pine Tree State. Hence, its nursing curriculum focuses on special issues in providing nursing care to a rural population.
• Northern Maine Community College has a transfer agreement with Husson University that will allow you to complete the first two years of your BSN at NMCC (at a far lower tuition rate) and then transfer to Husson for the final two years of the program.
• 90 percent of this program’s ADN graduates find employment in the nursing field within six months of graduation.

6. Eastern Maine Community College - Bangor

Program Details: Eastern Maine Community College has a reputation as one of the most outstanding ADN programs in Maine because of its small class sizes, consistently high NCLEX-RN pass rates, and healthcare employers’ eagerness to hire its graduates. This 2-year RN program in Maine accepts students into its program in the summer and the fall.

To graduate from this program, you’ll need to complete 70 credits. The curriculum includes prerequisites and core nursing courses like “Nursing Across the Lifespan I-IV” and “Professional Issues in Nursing I, II, & III.” You’ll strengthen your hands-on skills in the safe environment provided by a nursing simulation lab, where you’ll practice care using high-fidelity manikins programmed to replicate natural human body functions and responses. You’ll participate in clinical rotations and practicums at the Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and other healthcare facilities in Bangor and the surrounding communities.

Why Choose This Program

• Eastern Maine Community College has concurrent enrollment agreements in place with several local high schools that allow high school students to take up to 12 credits of prerequisite courses before they enroll in this ADN program. Home-schooled students can also take advantage of this offer.
• Eastern Maine Community College is that rare community college with its own foundation, and the EMCC Foundation awards more than $100,000 in student scholarships each year.
• Eastern Maine Community College has agreements with Husson University, the University of Maine Augusta, and other baccalaureate-granting institutions that allow ADN graduates to transfer into their BSN students as juniors.

7. Beal University - Bangor & Wilton

Program Details: Beal University’s ADN program in Maine is all about choice! You can take the program either on-campus or online, and if you go for the campus option, you can attend class in either Bangor or Wilton. The university’s associate nursing degree curriculum emphasizes holistic nursing; you’ll take core nursing classes like “Foundational Nursing I & II,” and “Nursing Concepts Across the Lifespan I-IV.”

You’ll master basic hands-on skills in Beals’ state-of-the-art lab, which is outfitted with hospital fixtures and sophisticated virtual reality simulators. Beal University partners with hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities throughout Bangor, Wilton, and adjacent communities to provide you with experience in supervised patient care, where you’ll learn to be a valuable member of the healthcare team.

Why Choose This Program

• Beal University focuses on professional training, so your nursing education here will be streamlined and efficient.
• Beal University accepts transfer credits from other schools, so it’s possible to earn this ADN degree in as few as 10 months.
• Beal University also has a BSN program, which you can transfer into once your ADN degree is complete.

8. Purdue University Global - Waterville

Program Details: Purdue University Global’s 116-quarter-credit associate nursing degree program has start dates in July, September, and December. This program is specifically designed for people wanting to embark on a new career path. All didactic courses are offered online, and the university uses the quarter system, which means classes continue through the summer. This is one of the rare nursing programs that will give you transfer credit for relevant work experience as well as coursework you’ve already completed.

Nursing core classes include “Nursing Fundamentals,” “Pathophysiology for Nurses,” and “Professional Leadership Transitions.” Your time at Purdue Global will culminate with a clinical capstone, which will allow you to integrate the nursing theory you’ve learned in class with real-world patient care. Purdue Global partners with Northern Light Inland Hospital and other healthcare facilities in Waterville and nearby communities to provide you with clinical experiences. The University has also partnered with Northern Light on a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab.

Why Choose This Program

• Graduates of Purdue University Global’s 2-year nursing program in Maine qualify for a 20 percent tuition reduction should they subsequently decide to pursue the university’s online RN-to-BSN course.
• In addition to associate nursing degree and RN-to-BSN programs, Purdue Global University also offers online Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.
• Purdue University Global’s associate nursing program is open to paramedics and emergency medical technicians who complete a “Paramedic to RN Transition Course;” paramedics receive advanced standing (22 quarter credits) toward the associate degree.


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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