Leading healthcare organizations announce support of Question 4

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Leading healthcare organizations representing hospitals across Maine came together Thursday in support of Question 4 on this year's ballot.

It asks voters whether to approve $49M for the University of Maine System to expand workforce development and attract and retain students to help Maine's economy.

The Maine Nursing Action Coalition estimates a nursing shortage of 2,700 by 2025.

To help students, healthcare organizations are teaming up with the University of Maine School of Nursing to announce a dedicated education unit.

By working together, they hope to help communities provide care to current and future patients.

"If we are going to be able to meet the care demands in the state of Maine we're going to need to work, healthcare providers and the schools together to increase the enrollment and provide meaningful clinical opportunities for our students so they are prepared to take care of the patients in the future," explained Deborah Sanford, Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Also, Thursday, there was a tour of the hospital's nursing simulation laboratory.

The simulation lab and the education unit will help the goal of accommodating more nursing students for clinical rotations.