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In spring 2020, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa nursing faculty developed a three-hour training program, “Nursing During Pandemics—COVID-19” for students, frontline nurses and other health professionals as a teaching tool to ensure that they were prepared to navigate the new reality with COVID-19. The free course, made available from April 2020 until April 2021, was delivered online via UH Mānoa Outreach College and enrolled a total of 2,375 individuals from Hawaiʻi, the U.S. and other countries. Hawaiʻi licensed nurses and other health professionals could also earn continuing nursing education (CNE) credits for their participation from the The Hawaiʻi State Center for Nursing.

Feedback received from the participants indicated that the program has been very beneficial on multiple levels. Attendees commented how the program has strengthened their knowledge about COVID-19 and that they felt more prepared to keep themselves and their communities safe and healthy.

A participant said, “Overall, [the training] was very helpful and informative regarding nursing responsibilities/roles, preparedness and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. These modules helped to further my knowledge as this information is beneficial and can assist me in my nursing career.”

The COVID-19 online training consisted of four modules (30–60 minutes each) which could be taken individually or as a series. While the program was primarily focused toward nursing students, nurses and health professionals, there were no prerequisites required and the virtual training could also be taken by anyone interested in the subject matter.

About 86% of the total participants came from Hawaiʻi with the remainder coming from 39 U.S. states and 6 countries. Fifty-three percent of the 2,375 enrolled individuals were students and non-licensed health professionals and 47% were licensed health professionals. Of the total participants, 56% were entry level and advanced practice nursing students of which 45% were enrolled in nursing schools in Hawaiʻi.

Collaboration among UH units

The program content was piloted using a live webinar format for all UH Mānoa nursing faculty and enrolled nursing students in March 2020. Upon the pilot’s success, UH Mānoa’s School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene approached Outreach College with the program idea and the request to assist with registration. Outreach College happily supported the program at no cost to the partners. The Hawaiʻi State Center for Nursing, a nursing continuing professional development provider accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, ensured content integrity, provided the CNE credits and supported the post-test and evaluation.

“Providing timely, quality educational programs during the pandemic was one of the many ways UH contributed to the COVID-19 response,” said Mary G. Boland, dean and professor of UH Mānoa Nursing. “One of the strengths of our university is the ability to deliver relevant and current information to broad audiences. This collaboration with Outreach College and the Hawaiʻi State Center for Nursing highlights the tremendous impact we can have when we work together.”

This effort is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Enhancing Student Success (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

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