Dean of Nursing is finalist for inaugural health-care hero award

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Desiree Yamamoto, (808) 956-2904
Marketing Manager, Nursing
Posted: Jul 31, 2015

Dean of Nursing Mary G. Boland
Dean of Nursing Mary G. Boland
Award recipient Steven Ai, Dean Boland and event sponsor Art Gladstone.
Award recipient Steven Ai, Dean Boland and event sponsor Art Gladstone.
Dean Boland and friends from UHM, DOE and Hawaii State Center for Nursing.
Dean Boland and friends from UHM, DOE and Hawaii State Center for Nursing.

Pacific Business News has recognized UH Mānoa Nursing Dean Mary G. Boland as a Healthcare Hero in the Administrative Excellence category at the 2015 Healthiest Employer and Healthcare Hero event on Thursday, July 30. This is the first year Pacific Business News, a weekly business newspaper, has recognized individuals who are making a difference in the health-care community.

Boland was nominated for her indelible contributions to the local health-care community. Over her decade of service to Hawai‘i’s health-care and nursing communities, she has led initiatives to increase the number of nurses to address nursing shortages, led program expansion at the graduate level to respond to primary care provider shortages, and engaged in interdisciplinary activities, including partnership with the state Department of Education to re-establish school nurses in the public school system in Hawai‘i.

Most recently, Dean Boland spearheaded and achieved passage of continuing competency requirements for nurses in Hawai‘i.  For five years, she worked to gain statewide and local support by disseminating the importance of this bill for nursing and for safe patient care, and working with legislators and the Board of Nursing to ensure questions related to the implementation of this bill were answered with evidence based information.

Her ability to engage stakeholders across the health-care sector’s many disciplines to achieve actionable outcomes is a signature of her contribution to the state. Championing continuing competency for nurses is a key marker of her contributions to the health-care community, as it will establish the culture of lifelong learning in nursing practice with the aims of providing safe and quality care to the people of Hawai‘i. 

“As an education leader, I am inspired by the opportunity to steward the UH Mānoa School of Nursing, which is a precious state asset. In doing so, I engage with amazing Hawai‘i public and private leaders who have embraced me with their ‘can-do’ spirit. The recognition by peers in the health and business communities is much appreciated,” said Boland.

Under her leadership, the nursing department has reorganized the bachelor of science in nursing program, using the consortium model, to support nursing students graduating with associate degrees in nursing across the state to achieve a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and developed an executive RN program to facilitate working nurses with ADNs (Associate Degrees in Nursing) to achieve a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) while maintaining full-time nursing schedules. The school expanded to include a graduate entry program in nursing to address Hawai‘i’s primary care provider shortage as well as a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Under her stewardship, the School is moving up in national rankings, as evidenced by U.S. News and World Report magazine’s 2015 ranking: #83 for Best Graduate Nursing Schools and #70 for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.

About UH Mānoa Nursing

UH Mānoa Nursing, the Nursing Capitol of the Pacific, is the leader in nursing education and research in Hawai‘i with outreach to Asia and the Pacific Basin. We support the mission of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa: to provide an innovative, caring and multicultural environment in which faculty, students and staff work together to generate and transmit knowledge, wisdom, and values to promote quality of life and health for present and future generations. The school offers the BS, master’s, and doctoral programs. To reflect Hawai‘i's unique cultural diversity and heritage, UH Mānoa Nursing is committed to increasing the representation of Native Hawaiian and other underserved people in all nursing programs. Visit us at