Nursing programs at three of Maine’s community colleges hold top rankings as “Best RN Programs in Maine”

February 11, 2021

AUGUSTA, ME — Nursing programs at Maine’s community colleges hold three of the top five rankings for Best Nursing Schools in Maine, according to

For the third year in a row, Eastern Maine Community College’s (EMCC) nursing program is ranked #1 in Maine by The ranking of the state’s 13 nursing programs is based on program completion rates, the pass rate for the national licensing exam, and job placement rates.

The nursing program at Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) is ranked #4, and the program at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) is ranked #5. Nursing programs at Central Maine Community College (CMCC) and Northern Maine Community College (NMCC) are ranked #7 and #8, respectively.

Graduates of all two-year or four-year nursing programs must pass the same national licensing exam, known as the NCLEX-RN exam, to be a registered nurse. The average salary for registered nurses in Maine ranges from $56,000 to $78,000, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At a time when there is a critical need for skilled nurses in Maine, more than 200 students from Maine community college nursing programs passed the most recent licensing exam, and each community college had a higher pass rate than the state average of 89.1 percent.

KVCC had the second highest pass rate in the state, at 97.4 percent; EMCC was 94 percent; NMCC was 92.6 percent; SMCC was 92.45 percent and CMCC was 91.7 percent.

“These are tremendous results, particularly during a pandemic,” said Maine Community College System President David Daigler. “We are very proud of our nursing students and will continue to work closely with our health care partners and the state so we can provide Mainers with the opportunity to train for a meaningful, good-paying job in just two years.”

Health care is the largest program area for Maine’s community colleges, with about 2,100 students currently studying in the allied health professions.

A link to the 2021 rankings is available at