Nurses are the backbone of health care in Hawaii. With implementation of the Affordable Care Act, models of care are changing as the complexity of our communities health needs are growing. Preparing our nursing workforce to meet these demands has prompted a state-wide effort to increase the number of nurses with higher levels of education.
The long-term goal of the Hawaii Statewide Plan to Ensure Academic Progression in Nursing is to increase the percentage of baccalaureate prepared nurses in the state from 59 to 80 percent by 2020. The major initiatives that comprise this plan are:
- Collaboration between Hawaii universities and community colleges, both public and private, to create a shared, comprehensive RN to BSN curriculum.
- Establishment of academic and nursing employer partnerships working to develop employer supported on-site learning opportunities in various settings (e.g. acute care, long-term care, community health, etc.) to ensure the diversity of baccalaureate prepared nurses in the state by specialty.
- Increasing commitment from nursing employers to provide support and incentives for their RNs returning to school for a baccalaureate education.
Currently Hawaii is working to expand its Executive RN to BSN Program, which provides on-site learning opportunities, to specialties other than acute care such as long-term care and community health. This expansion includes implementation of the program through various partnerships between facilities and academic institutions and increasing the diversity of the RN to BSN student by specialty.