AUGUSTA (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- The University of Maine system announced today that they are going to make nursing programs more accessible for students in rural areas.
They announced nursing centers in Augusta, Brunswick, Presque Isle, Machias, Ellsworth, Rockland, and Rumford.
This program is for students that may not believe they could pursue nursing because of either the cost or programs not being available in their area.
"There's the perceived access area that maybe they can't access nursing and they want to stay home in rural Maine," Jonathan Henry, Vice President of enrollment and marketing at UMaine Augusta, said.
This program is also designed to create jobs in an aging state.
"You know there's more than half the nurses in the state, or approximately half are over the age of 55, it's more pronounced in the rural areas so each institution has to do with something of the continuing of education," Henry said.
Because of the average age of the state's nurses, by 2025 it is projected that there will be 2,500-3,200 nursing jobs open.
"So we're looking to dramatically increase the number of nurses." James Page, UMaine System Chancellor, said.
On Wednesday, the University System announced their five-year plan to double nursing enrollment, expand rural Maine nursing, provide free nursing education and launch career-advancing programs.