NMRC Advisement Guide

for Foreign-Trained Health Professionals

The New Mainers Resource Center offers workforce and academic advisement and support for healthcare professionals trained and credentialed prior to coming to the US.

Want to Join the Healthcare Profession?

Foreign-Trained Heath Professionals Checklist

Resources for Health Professionals

Select the healthcare field you were involved with in your home country:

Registered Nurses

There are two kinds of nursing degrees:

  • a 4-year BSN
  • a 2-year ADN

The jobs and pay are the same and you can earn your BSN through online programs while working.

Required Exams for RNs

  • NCLEX Exam — The National Council of State Boards of Nursing Exam is required to become a licensed RN in Maine.
    • NCLEX EXAM COST: $200
    • Only those who have successfully completed the academic requirements set by the Maine State Board of Nursing may take this exam. You must apply to take this test. See more details in the RN Nursing Guide.
    • The NCLEX is required in order to practice as a registered nurse in Maine. You will have 5 hours to complete the exam with breaks.
    • NCLEX Study Materials:
    • Online NCLEX Preparation Courses:
      • NCLEX-RN® QBank — The Princeton Review purchased 1,920 NCLEX Practice questions from the National Council on State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to help you pass the NCLEX exam. Princeton Review cost: $199.00 (with NCSBN discount)
    • TOEFL — This will be required unless there is an exemption.

    MD to RN

    • Many foreign-trained physicians might choose an RN path. If this is the case, they would need to earn a US nursing degree. What is important is making sure they receive as much credit as possible from medical school.

    Nurse Practitioner

    • Many RNs continue their education to become Nurse Practitioners. This is also an option for foreign-trained physicians because an NP is an independent provider. However, most programs available require a BSN to enter.

    NCLX Study Materials

    • NCLEX Exam — The National Council of State Boards of Nursing Exam is required to become a licensed RN in Maine.


We work with many health care professionals who were practicing physicians before coming to the US. To become relicensed as a physician is costly, lengthy, and a lot of times near impossible based on individual situations. Although we assist many of these physicians with training and education for other health-related jobs more often, it is still important to be able to understand the process.

Required Exams for Physicians

USMLE: The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the U.S. The exams are taken at specific times before, during, and after residency.


Those wishing to relicense as a pharmacist have some key issues to consider. They need to have a specific certification, pass an exam, and figure out an internship before they are able to be eligible to take the two required pharmacy licensing exams required in Maine. Also, the degree they hold may not give them as many job opportunities. These details and more can be found in the licensing guide posted in this section.

Required Exams for Pharmacists

  • TOEFL (with some exceptions)
  • FBGEE (Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination)
  • NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination)
  • MPJE (Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination)
  • PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test – sometimes required for PharmD programs)

Physical Therapists

The guide contains detailed steps for foreign-trained physical therapists to relicense in Maine. The Maine Board of Physical Therapists is able to exercise discretion regarding requirements to be approved for the licensing exam. It is worth making sure the candidate is in contact with them throughout the process.

Required Exams for Physical Therapists

  • An English proficiency exam will be required if coursework was not taught in English. As of now, the TOEFL, TSE-P, and the TWE are acceptable.
  • NPTE: The National Physical Therapy Exam is required in order to practice.

Maine Colleges and Universities

Below you will find a list of colleges and universities in Maine that offer programs to help foreign-trained health professionals qualify for positions in the U.S.:

Sign Up for Advisement Services

Are you ready to take advantage of the services and support that NMRC offers? Sign up to work with an advisor to get your credentials to work in the US!

Sign Up to Meet with a Healthcare Advisor