The University of Maine System recently announced a five-year initiative to meet the growing need for nurses across the state. The plan would expand nursing programs in rural areas, help students pay for their education, and take other steps to fill the 3,000 nursing vacancies projected in the state by 2025.

According to PressHerald.com, Maine’s overall workforce is aging and retiring, leading to a projected 3,000 nursing vacancies by 2025. Maine’s population also leads the nation in median age, with its health needs expected to multiply. The university system is developing an initiative to double enrollment in nursing programs from 1,900 students to 3,800 in five years to counter those trends.

Chancellor James Page tells PressHerald.com, “We know there are people out there interested in a nursing career. So it’s increasing our capacity, and increasing our capacity in a way that really works with our health care partners in the industry to make sure we’re giving people the right skills in the right places.”

The university system will waive tuition for the neediest first-degree nursing students who attend its campuses in person or remotely. The system will also expand its opportunities in rural communities which have the greatest need to replace retiring nurses.

To learn more about the University of Maine System’s initiative to meet growing nurse demand in the state, visit here.

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