School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene receives training grant to prepare pediatric nurse practitioners

Health Resources and Services Administration awards $1 million grant

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Victoria Niederhauser, (808) 956-5297
School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Aug 17, 2005

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop and offer an Advanced Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Program. The program at UH Mānoa will be the only one in the state to prepare PNPs.

The focus of the program is to prepare PNPs to assess, diagnose, manage and evaluate care of vulnerable children and adolescents with particular attention to Native Hawaiian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander clients. Vulnerable children include those who are medically fragile, developmentally challenged, have health disparities, or are living with environmental threats.

"We are indeed grateful to be given the opportunity to serve the people of Hawaiʻi through our nursing educational programs," said UH Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene Interim Dean Lois Magnussen. "The School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene has been successful in delivering its programs through distance means. A recently completed grant-supported program to offer the family nurse practitioner program to the neighbor islands has been shown to successfully prepare nurse practitioners who meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities."

Distance technologies will be used as part of the program, which will enable students residing on other islands or in rural areas to fully participate in the program. All of the students participating in the program will work in rural and underserved areas during their training.

A strong mentoring component will provide support for PNP students and new graduates. The advanced PNP students will not only receive mentoring but will also provide mentoring to minority and disadvantaged high school students. Part of the project will include working with the Department of Education to develop a health professions mentorship program within the public high schools. Through this mentorship program, ethnically diverse and disadvantaged youth will be encouraged to pursue health careers through their interactions with college students in health professions programs.

Dr. Victoria Niederhauser, project director and nursing faculty, is one of just 31 PNPs registered as an Advanced Practice Nurse in the state. A recent survey showed the need for PNPs in Hawaiʻi to work in community health centers, developmental clinics, women‘s and children‘s hospitals and clinics, and in nursing education.

The federal grant funding received provides for approximately 70 percent of the program costs with the remaining program costs supported by the school‘s budget.