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July 14, 2023

UMaine School of Nursing will expand nurse practitioner program with help from $2M grant

2 people in blue scrubs writing Courtesy / University of Maine Students from the University of Maine School of Nursing do paperwork.

As Maine health care providers and their higher-education partners work to reduce the state’s shortage of nurses and other health care professionals, new funding will help train family nurse practitioners.

The University of Maine School of Nursing received a $1.96 million grant to provide financial assistance and new educational opportunities to aspiring family nurse practitioners, with the goal of improving access to primary care in rural and underserved regions of Maine.

The four-year grant from the Health Services Resources Administration’s Advanced Nursing Education Workforce program will allow UMaine Nursing to provide financial support to approximately 40 students pursuing a master of science in nursing degree with a family nurse practitioner concentration. 

The money also supports a new preceptor training program, continuing education and enhanced learning offerings that will train students to help address critical health care gaps in Maine, including LGBTQ+ care, substance use disorder treatment and services for childhood obesity and other weight-related issues. 

“This support means more nurses advancing their education to address our urgent primary care needs in the state,” said Sean Sibley, clinical assistant faculty and Advanced Nursing Education Workforce program director at UMaine. 

For the 2023–24 academic year, participants in the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce program can expect tuition and living expenses to be $23,000, with additional funding available for those who serve as clinical and lab instructors for the bachelor’s in nursing program. 

With the offerings funded by the grant, UMaine Nursing aims to strengthen its recruitment and graduation of diverse family nurse practitioners. The grant also will support clinical education expansion initiatives within Maine Indian Health Services locations and Federally Qualified Health Centers.

The program has a 100% first-time pass rate for family nurse practitioner program graduates since graduating its first cohort of masters-prepared practitioners in 1994.  

“By expanding clinical education experiences, enhancing educational offerings and strengthening partnerships, UMaine Nursing is taking significant strides toward creating a brighter and healthier future for rural communities in Maine,” said the school’s director, Kelley Strout. 

The Advanced Nursing Education Workforce program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of an award totaling $485,641 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources.

U.S. News and Reports ranks UMaine Nursing’s BSN and MSN programs in the top 100 nationally.  

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