University of Hawaii System newsletter

Hilo Offers New Dual Nursing-Pharmacy Degree

Posted on | September 25, 2009 | 1 Comment

Hilo received a $951,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to offer a dual degree with a nurse practitioner specialty and doctorate in pharmacy. The new program is the first in the country and is jointly offered by the College of Pharmacy and the Department of Nursing. It is expected to begin in fall 2010 and require a six-and-a-half-year commitment from the student, says Edward Fisher, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Pharmacy.

With aid from the grant, the College of Pharmacy also plans to
• create a general practice pharmacy residency program, as well as a drug information and medication
• therapy management center and distance learning program
• develop a clinical pharmacist training model for rural and underserved areas in Hawaiʻi
• enhance training of pharmacy students through the use of new technologies, such as virtual laboratories
• begin the planning phase for a doctoral program in physical therapy

“There is critical need for all healthcare services in rural areas of the Pacific region, including many areas of Hawaiʻi,” says John M. Pezzuto, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “This grant will help us expand our reach and be used to help increase the availability of both pharmacists and nurse practitioners to these underserved areas.”

“Nurse practitioners are working hard to reduce medication errors, which are a major concern in healthcare facilities,” says Professor Kay Daub, chair of the baccalaureate nursing program. “Our goal is to enhance the evidence-based practice of the nurse practitioner regarding drug therapy and prescriptive authority that will improve patient outcomes. The unique collaboration between nursing and pharmacy will provide innovative interdisciplinary research and practice to address the complex needs of a rural and richly multiethnic population.”

Read the news release.