Nursing student Courtney Wilson checks a patient's blood pressure under the watchful eye of nurse practitioner Gretchen Speed at the Greater Portland Health clinic, May 9, 2017.

A Maine college is partnering with a health care organization on a drive to train more nurses to help with the state’s aging population.

Maine College of Health Professions is starting a new program for licensed practical nurses in conjunction with the Maine Health Care Association. The two groups say the new program will fill “an educational void in Maine” while also providing a new way for direct care workers to advance in their careers.

[Maine is facing a nursing shortage. UMaine system unveils its plan to help.]

The groups say the state is in the midst of a “critical nursing shortage,” and they collaborated on the new program to address the problem for long-term care facilities.

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

The first students in the program are expected to get started in January. The one-year program will cost about $16,000.