nursing students in the classroom
nursing students in the classroom
Brittney Barreira, Kauaʻi CC nursing student.

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 Kauaʻi 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 Kauaʻi 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 the University of Hawaiʻi are looking to Kauaʻi CC as a model of excellence as they prepare for their accreditation visits.

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

Kauai nursing staff with accreditation certificate
Kauaʻi CC nursing faculty, front row, Tammie Napoleon, Maureen Tabura, second row, Maria Fabro, Charlene Ono, and third row, Kurt Rutter, Sandra Knighton, Sharon Ehlers

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 ʻŌmaʻo, Kauaʻi. 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 Kauaʻi.

“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 Kauaʻi CC, “Our students continue to four-year degrees. Some even earn PhDs.”

Accreditation reviewers commended faculty and staff for their depth of quality and expertise.

Nursing faculty and staff chose the legendary Hōkūleʻa as the accreditation theme, noting the canoe made many trips across the globe facing challenges and coming up with solutions. “Hoʻokahi ka ʻilau 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.