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Hawaii State Center for Nursing

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Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 - Map -

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The Robert Wood Johnson/Northwest Health Foundation has awarded a Partners in Nursing Grant to the HMSA Foundation in partnership with the Hawaii State Center for Nursing.  This is one of ten grants in the country and will focus on recruitment and retention of nurses in the long term care sector.

The HMSA Foundation was established in 1986 by the Hawai’i Medical Service Association (Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan of Hawai’i) to stimulate the research of issues that confront Hawai’i’s healthcare industry.  The Foundation is a private organization dedicated to improving health in Hawai’i through grant making, strategic initiatives, publications and community-wide programs.  The key initiatives are implemented through partnerships with community and government organizations and are focused in four priority areas:  health promotion and disease prevention; health care delivery system; access to health care; general social welfare and healthy communities.


The Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Northwest Health Foundation,  shares many of the same goals and objectives of the HMSA Foundation.  Together, we are looking for ways to improve the healthcare delivered to the people of Hawai’i.  For the Hawai’i Partners in Nursing, the HMSA Foundation and the Hawai’i State Center for Nursing have partnered to provide leadership for the project.


The purpose of the Hawai’i Partners in Nursing project is to build strong partnerships which lead to statewide education and practice initiatives that facilitate positive change in the initial and continuing education and training of nurses in long term care (LTC).  In addition, partnerships will lead to improvements in the recruitment and retention of nurses in the geriatric specialty and in the long term care sector.

The project brings together partners from education and practice (academic sites paired with long term care facilities) to develop and implement an integrated model of education and practice in long term care using demonstration projects.  The partners include:  The University of Hawai’i School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene with Maunalani Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; Hawaii Pacific University with the Hi’olani Care Center at Kahalu Nui; Kapiolani Community College with Leahi Hospital and Maui Community College with Hale Makua.

The project began in August, 2006 and is nearing the completion date of August, 2008.  The first arm of the demonstration project involves nursing student clinical placement in each of four LTC partner facilities. Clinical rotations for student nurses have been implemented during all four semesters of the project by all partners.

The second arm of the project involves faculty from the schools of nursing who will provide in-service education or clinical skill upgrades to the staff of the LTC facilities.  The focus of the clinical skill upgrades is linked to each facility’s quality data as reported in the Minimum Data Set (MDS).  Faculty and LTC leadership have identified priority MDS indicator(s), and inservice education has been provided during all four semesters. 

The third arm of the project involves preceptor training which was developed in collaboration with LTC partners by Lois Greenwood, PhD from VITEC at Maui Community College.  A program entitled “Professional Nurse Leadership for Long Term Care” has been provided for twelve nurses who have become certified trainers for their LTC organization.  They have continued to develop and train preceptors who then work with preceptees within this “train-the trainer” model.

The aim of the demonstration project is to encourage sustainable change within each facility and within each school of nursing as well as to influence local policy development.

Evaluation is ongoing with measures examining HR factors, MDS Quality indicators, and perceptions of nursing staff as well as pre and post clinical placement questionnaires of students.


All partners have been actively involved in planning and implementing the project and have formed a cohesive group with a commitment to learning from each other.  We are very pleased and proud to be a part of a significant initiative with our nationwide partners and are committed to sharing the learning with nurses and healthcare leaders in Hawai’i.


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