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More Than $1.1 Million for St. Joseph’s College Secured by Senator Collins in Funding Bill in First Key Step

Funding would be used to help expand nursing and home care workforce

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she secured $1,165,000 for St. Joseph’s College in the draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill.  The bill, which was officially released by the full Senate Appropriations Committee today, must still be voted upon by the full Senate and House.


“Maine has the highest median age of any state in the nation, which presents unique challenges to the state’s health workforce for meeting the needs of its aging population.  In addition, many of Maine’s residents reside in rural areas where there is often a lack of access to home health care,” said Senator Collins.  “The pandemic has further highlighted how vital it is to have a sufficient number of medical professionals to keep Mainers healthy.  This funding would help St. Joseph’s College build on its superb health care workforce training programs and increase the number of nurses and other health care workers in Maine.  As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to champion this funding as the appropriations process moves forward.”


A January 2022 study of the nursing workforce in Maine by the Maine Nursing Action Coalition (MeNAC) and the Maine Hospital Association indicates that there will still be a shortage of possibly 2,250 registered nurses (RN) by 2025.  


The funding would support a major renovation of 7,100 square-feet of space on the second floor of Mercy Hall at St. Joseph’s College for a Collaboration and Community Training Floor.  This new space would be dedicated to supporting the academic programs and successful RN licensure of future nurses and training a workforce of new home care workers to address Maine’s critical workforce needs in both these areas.


Specifically, the facility would provide the resources and space to promote student-faculty and student-student collaboration for advising, study, tutoring, remediation, test-taking, interdisciplinary team training, and NCLEX licensure test preparation for SJC’s largest enrolled major.  Additionally, this project would create a “community training” hub dedicated to providing consistent, outcome-based training of a new, larger workforce of direct care workers to serve Maine’s homebound elders, to improve their health, reduce loneliness and isolation, dramatically reduce care costs, and enable family caregivers to return to work.


This project is the second, distinct phase of the College’s Center for Nursing Innovation.  Senator Collins secured the funding for the first phase of this project in the FY22 government funding law.