New report reveals where Maine’s looming nursing shortage will hit hardest

Nearly half of all nurses working in Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Waldo and Hancock counties are older than 55 and expected to retire or reduce their hours over the next 10 years, contributing to a drastic shortage that officials in Maine are trying to counter.

Earlier this year, a state study revealed that, without intervention, Maine could be short 3,200 nurses by 2025. An additional report released Thursday by the Maine Nursing Action Coalition identified counties with high percentages of nurses approaching retirement, turning attention to rural areas where the looming shortage could hurt the most.

“It is with an abundance of concern for our state and the patients in our care that we continue to sound the alarm about Maine’s nursing workforce cliff,” said Lisa Harvey-McPherson, a nurse and co-chairwoman of the Maine Nursing Action Coalition. “Every region of Maine and every health care setting faces challenges as our state ages and a wave of dedicated caregivers approaches retirement.”

To avoid the shortage, state officials say they need to boost the number of new registered nurses licensed in the state by 400 each year, producing a 65 percent increase in the number of nurses in the state. In addition, the state would have to recruit 265 RNs to move to Maine each year to avoid the shortage.

The Fiddlehead Focus / St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “New report reveals where Maine’s looming nursing shortage will hit hardest,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Nick McCrea, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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