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University of Maine at Augusta nursing program transitions to 20,000 square feet in WS Development's Augusta marketplace: NEREJ

Augusta Marketplace – Augusta, ME

Augusta, ME The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) will increase enrollment in its in-demand nursing degree programs to better meet the state's health care workforce needs when it moves to the Augusta Marketplace later this year.

At their meeting in late January, University of Maine System (UMS) trustees approved UMA's renovations to transform Purdue University Global's former site at the Marketplace in Augusta into the future home of its nursing and cybersecurity training programs.

The 20,000-square-foot facility, which will be called the UMA Capital Center, is scheduled to open later this year and will serve as an expanded location for classes, demonstrations, seminars and more.

Located directly across Civic Center Drive from UMA's main campus in Augusta, the university's new location for its nursing program at the Marketplace at Augusta is conveniently located among the property's more than 45 retail stores and restaurants, offering students and employees a unique off-campus experience and operated by WS Development.

Over the past five years, the number of students enrolled in UMA's nursing program has increased from 50 to 320, and when fully built out, the new Capital Center will provide high-quality, hands-on education and training to a total of nearly 400 nursing students to support staffing needs in the Healthcare in Maine.

Funding for the renovations needed to support this growth is expected to occur in two phases. The first phase, which will allow the UMA Capital Center to begin serving students later this year, is funded with $1.8 million through a fiscal year 2023 grant approved by Senators Susan Collins and Angus King secured $4.5 million Congressional Directed Spending Award to improve care simulation across EMS and patient outcomes across Maine.

MaineGeneral Medical Center, headquartered in Augusta, is also donating $480,000 over four years to expand its nursing program to meet the growing need for nurses in Maine.

An additional $4.5 million in congressionally directed spending, requested by Senators Collins, Senate Budget Committee Vice Chairman, and King specifically to further expand the UMA Capital Center, is part of ongoing federal budget negotiations for fiscal year 2024 in Congress. If secured, a second phase would be supported.

UMA President Jenifer Cushman said, “With this location to expand UMA’s workforce development offerings, we will be able to further expand our nursing and cybersecurity offerings and meet the needs of Mainers seeking high-quality education in high-demand fields.” We We are also pleased to partner with MaineGeneral Medical Center to create more skilled healthcare professionals, particularly nurses.”

“MaineGeneral is proud to partner with the University of Maine Augusta on this project that will enable increased enrollment in the nursing program and help alleviate the current and projected nursing shortage in Maine. “As our population ages, it is important that we work together to ensure our communities have access to high-quality care now and in the years to come,” said Jennifer Riggs, Chief Nursing Officer of MaineGeneral Medical Center and CEO of MaineGeneral Community Care. He is also chairman of the UMA Board of Visitors.

“Nurses are more important than ever in our oldest state in the nation, providing critical, compassionate care not only in hospitals and health centers, but also in nursing homes, schools and communities,” said Shannon Gauvin, University of Maine Director of the Augusta Nursing Program. “The new UMA Capital Center, supported by Senators Collins, King and Maine General, will enable us to provide high-quality, hands-on clinical training, including in simulated environments, to help more students gain the skills necessary for positive patient outcomes and a degree are required.” ready for a successful career in nursing. We are excited to be opening at Marketplace at Augusta.”

“We are proud to partner with the University of Maine Augusta to open a new space for their growing programs. “It provides a place for learning and recreation and is a destination beyond the classroom where educators and students can also enjoy the mix of great local, regional and national businesses and community activities,” said Nick Margitza, senior director, leasing at WS Development and Marketplace in Augusta.

Anna Harden

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