nursing students practicing on a dummy patient

This fall, the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will launch an innovative new pathway program for students interested in pursuing nursing careers. UH West Oʻahu will offer a pre-nursing pathway—pre-requisite nursing courses required for application to accredited nursing programs in the State of Hawaiʻi.

Through this university partnership, students may apply to UH Hilo’s bachelor of science in nursing degree program after completing pre-nursing coursework at UH West Oʻahu. UH West Oʻahu students who are accepted into this ʻIke Mauli Ola West Oʻahu and UH Hilo nursing partnership bachelor of science in nursing program will have the opportunity to take UH Hilo nursing courses delivered from the UH West Oʻahu campus in Kapolei and participate in hands-on classroom lab activities via UH West Oʻahu’s future new Nursing Simulation Laboratory.

“We are excited about the ʻIke Mauli Ola partnership with UH Hilo because it offers students from the leeward coast of Oʻahu access to a nursing program in their region,” said UH West Oʻahu PIKO Project Director Melissa Saul. “Through this unique partnership, we hope to increase the number of underrepresented students in nursing and other health careers.”

UH Hilo is delighted to assist UH West Oʻahu in establishing a pathway for their students to the bachelor of science in nursing degree,” said UH Hilo Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Matthew Platz. “This agreement is win-win for both campuses. The partnership will enable UH Hilo to provide the bachelor of science in nursing program to both UH West Oʻahu and additional UH Hilo students. By the end of the agreement, UH West Oʻahu will have a robust capacity for delivering the program to UH West Oʻahu students, and UH Hilo will have increased capacity as well.”

UH Hilo School of Nursing faculty are committed to an educational pipeline with a focus on rural transcultural nursing,” said UH Hilo School of Nursing Director Katharyn Daub. “This partnership with UH West Oʻahu is a good fit for our students here in Hilo and Kapolei, and we are excited about the ability to increase our admission capacity.”

Support services

While taking pre-nursing coursework, UH West Oʻahu students will be provided with support services to prepare for admission to the ʻIke Mauli Ola West Oʻahu and UH Hilo Nursing Partnership bachelor of science in nursing program. UH West Oʻahu pre-nursing pathway students will also have the opportunity to participate in the ʻIke Mauli Ola Learning Community, a U.S. Department of Education Title III grant-funded cohort of pre-nursing students that begin as freshmen at UH West Oʻahu. These ʻIke Mauli Ola Learning Community students will receive assistance with academic coursework, learn about a holistic approach to health care that is inclusive of Native Hawaiian values and practices, and participate in West Oʻahu area community engagement activities.

—By Julie Funasaki Yuen