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Kauaʻi Community College nursing program earns highest accreditation

Kauaʻi Community College
Camilla Matsumoto, (808) 245-8280
Community Relations & Special Projects, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Oct 19, 2017

Kaua‘i CC nursing faculty (front) Tammie Napoleon, Maureen Tabura (2nd) Maria Fabro, Charlene Ono (3rd) Kurt Rutter, Sandra Knighton, Sharon Ehlers
Kaua‘i CC nursing faculty (front) Tammie Napoleon, Maureen Tabura (2nd) Maria Fabro, Charlene Ono (3rd) Kurt Rutter, Sandra Knighton, Sharon Ehlers

Kauaʻi Community College's nursing program has been awarded accreditation for eight years, the longest period possible, by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

"To receive reaffirmation of ACEN accreditation for the next eight years is a testament to the nursing faculty who are dedicated to their pursuit of providing a quality nursing program for our Kaua‘i community," said Tammie Napoleon, health education chair and nursing faculty.   

"Congratulations on this outstanding achievement!" said Marsal Stoll, chief executive officer of ACEN. The ACEN Board of Commissioners also commended Kaua‘i CC nursing faculty for their "commitment to quality nursing education."

Nursing faculty Sharon Ehlers, Maria Fabro, Sandra Knighton, Tammie Napoleon, Charlene Ono, Kurt Rutter and Maureen Tabura feel a sense of tremendous accomplishment and validation that the program is doing a good job. Other programs at UH are looking to Kaua‘i CC as a model of excellence as they prepare for their accreditation visits.

The Kaua‘i CC nursing program accepts 24 students annually. Although the majority of the students in the program are from Kaua‘i, students from other islands also enroll, according to Maureen Tabura, lead coordinator for the accreditation self-study.

Second year student and Nursing Club President Brittney Barreira was interviewed by ACEN as part of the accreditation process. Her passion for nursing started with a rewarding job experience at Hale Kupuna Heritage Home, a skilled nursing and intermediate long term care facility, in ‘Ōmaʻo, Kaua‘i. She will earn her associate of science degree in nursing in May 2018 and plans to to earn her bachelor of science degree in nursing while working on Oʻahu. She is currently exploring pediatrics as a focus of her profession, with plans to return to work on Kaua‘i.

"You can go anywhere and work in a hospital, in clinics, in pediatrics, and even in informatics," Barreira said.

"Our nursing program produces professionals who transition quickly to the professional world once they get their degree," said Helen Cox, chancellor for Kaua‘i CC, "Our students continue to four-year degrees. Some even earn PhDs."

Nursing faculty and staff chose the legendary Hōkūle‘a as the accreditation theme, noting the canoe made many trips across the globe facing challenges and coming up with solutions.  "Ho‘okahi ka ‘ilau like ana," which means, "Wield the paddles together. Work together." became the team's guide throughout the preparation and production of the accreditation self-study.

Accreditation reviewers commended faculty and staff for their depth of quality and expertise.  Assistant Professor for Natural Sciences Terrence Bruns, who teaches general education courses that align with the nursing program, was among those recognized.

"Our faculty members bring a unique and talented set of skills to their classroom teaching, and they are totally committed to our students. They are responsible for the distinction of this accreditation. I am grateful and honored to support them. They are outstanding educators," said Cox.