STANDISH, Maine — The Harold Alfond Foundation is providing $1.5 million to Saint Joseph’s College to help create an academic center to address shortages in Maine’s nursing workforce.
The foundation is concerned because nearly three-fourths of Maine’s nurses are nearing retirement age at a time when demand for home health care, nursing home and hospital workers is expected to surge.
The Maine Department of Labor anticipates a need for at least 3,700 more workers in ambulatory health care services, 2,300 in hospitals and 1,900 in nursing and residential care facilities by 2024.
The grant provides critical funding for expanded nursing simulation labs that will be the cornerstone of the new academic center. The college intends to use the grant to raise an additional $3.5 million to fully fund the program’s expansion.