BANGOR – Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and the University of Maine announced a new facility for nursing students and their additional plans to address Maine’s nursing shortage.
Plus, Northern Light Health, The Maine Hospital Association, and the Maine Rural Health Collaboration are all backing question four.
That’s the bond issue that would send $49 million to the University of Maine system. The money would be used to expand workforce development, attract and retain students to strengthen Maine’s economy.
“By 2025 Maine will be short 2,700 nurses if we don’t change anything,” said RN Deborah Sanford.
She said Maine’s educational program must double its’ graduates from its’ current level of 800.
One nursing student said she’s noticed the shortage as she learns her profession.
“So it’s definitely a good time to be getting into it in order to help out with the shortage that we do have,” said nursing student Erin Cianchette.
In addition to announcing plans addressing this shortage the conference also included a tour of the center’s nursing simulation laboratory.
The sim lab provides staff and future healthcare providers the opportunity to simulate not only emergencies but everyday health care.
“The most important thing around question four is our work with the university on a dedication education unit model and that essentially increases the number of clinical rotations by doubling that of nursing students,” said Sanford.
She said this will help in the end, graduate more students and have the nurses that Maine needs to care.