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Queen's Medical Center Establishes Cohort of Native Hawaiian Nursing Students at UH Manoa

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jul 30, 2003

Over the next three years, the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa will receive a total of $241,000 from The Queen‘s Medical Center that will support a cohort of Native Hawaiian nursing students at the school. The funds will make possible the admission of 10 students who will begin their studies this fall and will support their instructional costs.

"I applaud Queen‘s President and CEO Art Ushijima, Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Naleen Andrade, and Vice President for Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer Barbara Mathews for their vision in creating the first-ever cohort of Native Hawaiian nursing students and for their generosity in supporting these students in pursuing a nursing education," said UH Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene Interim Dean Barbara Molina Kooker.

The commitment made by Queen‘s is significant not only for Native Hawaiian students but also for the advancement of Native Hawaiians in the field of healthcare, especially because they are greatly under-represented in the nursing workforce. While Native Hawaiians comprise approximately 19 percent of the local population, only 5.1 percent of registered nurses in the state of Hawaiʻi are Native Hawaiian. With the admittance of these 10 students, 13 percent of the students in the UH Mānoa nursing program are Native Hawaiian, while Native Hawaiians comprise only 8.4 percent of the entire student body at UH Mānoa.

"The nursing program has one of the highest percentages of Native Hawaiian students at the Mānoa campus. This is a significant step towards meeting the goals of our strategic plan," said UH Mānoa Chancellor Peter Englert.

Also instrumental in the creation of this unique cohort of students were School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene officials Dr. Lois Magnussen and Nalani Minton Henderson. Magnussen received federal funding for the Nursing Workforce Diversity grant to prepare pre-nursing students for entry to the nursing program, and Henderson, the project coordinator, has successfully managed the activities of the ʻIke Ao Pono project.

"We believe that these Native Hawaiian nursing students will provide more culturally competent care, address and improve the health status of the Native Hawaiian population in our state, and serve as role models to recruit other young women and men into the nursing profession," said Kooker.

"On behalf of all nurses at The Queen‘s Medical Center, I am proud to enter into this collaboration with the UH Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene in support of the cohort of Native Hawaiian student nurses. This initiative expresses the vision of the founders of The Queen‘s Medical Center, Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, and continues the heritage which is so meaningful to our mission," said Barbara Mathews, Queen‘s Vice President for Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer.

Mathews also stated, "These Native Hawaiian student nurses will be supported in their entry into the nursing profession with individual mentors from among the nursing staff of Queen‘s to ensure their success. This is an exciting step in increasing the diversity of our nursing workforce in Hawaiʻi."