UH Manoa nursing school partnership addresses neonatal needs

UH, UCSF collaborate to educate ʻhomegrown‘ neonatal nurse practitioners

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Apr 15, 2009

The School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (SONDH) and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing are collaborating on the NeoRISK Project, a master‘s degree in nursing program designed to strengthen the workforce of neonatal nurse practitioners in geographic areas where their skills are most needed.

The growing numbers of term and preterm infants who survive hospitalization continue to encounter health challenges after they leave the hospital. Neonatal nurse practitioners, who are registered nurses with graduate nursing degrees and advanced practice skills, provide care and treatment to these infants and their families. "The NeoRISK Project presented a wonderful opportunity to design a collaboration between California and in Hawaiʻi by jointly educating nurses in their home state to fill gaps in their own communities," says SONDH Dean Mary Boland. "This cross-university project is a model of innovation and change to meet community need."

Currently, there is a shortage of neonatal nurse practitioners in both Hawaiʻi and California. By increasing their number, the NeoRISK program will provide acutely ill and convalescing infants access to specialized health care in the hospital, and during transition from hospital to home across community and rural settings.

Students participating in the NeoRISK Project are enrolled in the UCSF School of Nursing and graduate with a Master‘s of Science in Nursing with a major in Advanced Practice Neonatal Nursing from UCSF. Hawaiʻi students complete course work at both UH and UCSF with novel hybrid video teleconferencing supplemented by clinical work at the Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children, Kaiser Permanente or Tripler Army Medical Center, followed by 90 hours of clinical experience at NICUs in San Francisco. The first cohort of eight students, four from each campus, is scheduled to graduate in spring 2010.

Funding for the NeoRISK Project is provided by HRSA Advanced Nurse Education Training.

The UH Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene is at the forefront of health professionals education offering innovative programs enhanced by simulation technology and web-based education, with rich clinical experiences, cooperative internships, and interdisciplinary study opportunities. SONDH is committed to addressing the nursing shortage while contributing to advancing the discipline and science of nursing. To learn more, visit http://www.nursing.hawaii.edu.

To learn more about UCSF, visit nurseweb.ucsf.edu or contact Karin Rush-Monroe, senior public information representative, UCSF News Office, at 415-502-1332 or via e-mail sent to Karin.Rush-Monroe@ucsf.edu