BANGOR, Maine — Nursing students at Husson University lined up to receive their pins ahead of graduation.
Some are staying to work in Maine, while others are leaving the state.
"I grew up in Maine my whole life," new graduate, Isaish Kavka said. "I was gonna stay here after I graduated but I figured I need to go out and do my own thing a little bit and experience life."
Kavka is moving to St. Petersberg, Florida next month to start his nursing career there.
He says the nursing shortage isn't just here at home.
"I think it's more nationally um, the shortage of nurses that we're going to be seeing in the next few years,"
In order to keep up with the demand, Maine needs to graduate about 1,000 nurses a year and currently, Maine is only graduating about 800, according to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Vice President of Human Resources, Ali Worster.
"Maine is feeling it particularly acutely because we have an aging population. We have a projected shortage by 2025 of almost 3,000 nurses," Worster said.
Hiring managers at hospitals want to hire, but they want to hire people that are committed to the state.
"We are Maine, you know and when people are grounded in the state and they know our communities, they make great nurses for us," Worster said.
Grounded in the state, like people with families.
Husson University sophomore Erika Tripp works at Lincoln's Penobscot Valley Hospital and sees the nursing shortage first hand.
"Especially in a small town they are busing their bums daily working all kinds of extra hours. We don't have a lot of nurses locally anymore, we have a lot of travel nurses," Tripp said.
To fulfill a dream, and to help her local community.