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More Than $3 Million for UMaine Ph.D. Nursing Program Secured by Senator Collins in Funding Bill

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the SenateAppropriations Committee, announced that she secured $3,057,000 in Congressionally Directed Spending for the University of Maine (UMaine) to develop a doctoral nursing program in the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill.  Congress has passed the bill, and the President has signed it into law.

“Increased access to education for future health care workers is crucial, particularly in Maine where we are facing a shortage of health care professionals,” said Senator Collins.  “As Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I worked hard to secure this funding, which will support the creation of the first Ph.D. nursing program at UMaine, increasing the number of nurse educators in Maine and strengthening our health care workforce.”

“We are deeply appreciative of Senator Collins’ continued leadership in securing federal funding to improve health care in our state, including through investments in the University of Maine System simulation that have increased our public universities’ nursing enrollment and output of highly qualified nurses.  The opening of Maine's first Ph.D. nursing program at the R1 University of Maine will transform the state’s ability to address the critical shortage of nurse faculty, enabling us to further enhance and expand nursing education and high-quality, evidence-based care," said University of Maine Director of Nursing Kelley Strout.

UMaine’s Ph.D. in nursing program will be the first in northern New England.  Classes will be taught by accredited experts and will provide students with education surrounding health care disparities and limited access to care.  Students will engage in evidence-based projects and collaborate with community programs and health care partners through their Ph.D. dissertations.

This funding is part of the 231 targeted investments Senator Collins secured through the FY2024 appropriations process, driving more than $577 million to the state for projects throughout each of Maine’s 16 counties.

In 2021, Congress reinstituted Congressionally Directed Spending. Following this decision, Senator Collins secured more than $500 million for hundreds of Maine projects for FY2022 and FY2023.  As Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins is committed to championingtargeted investments that willbenefit Maine communities.