UH Mānoa Nursing and the Department of Education will celebrate National School Nurse Day 2016

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Desiree Uyeda, (808) 956-2904
Marketing Manager, Nursing
Donalyn Dela Cruz, (808) 586-3232
Director, Communications and Community Affairs, Hawaii State Department of Education
Posted: May 10, 2016

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Nursing and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) will celebrate National School Nurse Day on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. The two State agencies have partnered to place Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in seven HIDOE Complex Areas on three islands.

With public support from the state Legislature and private support from Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, HMSA Foundation, Kaiser Permanante Hawaiʻi and The Queen’s Medical Center, the Hawai’i Keiki: Health and Ready to Learn Program is growing.

“We are excited about the growth of our partnerships as we support individual schools to ensure students are healthy and ready to learn,” said Mary G. Boland, DrPH, RN, FAAN, UH Mānoa Nursing Dean.  “During the past two years, Hawaiʻi Keiki nurses in schools have surveyed parents about their children’s health needs, coordinated and conducted vision and dental services as well as managed emergencies.  Most importantly – our nurses have relieved teachers and principals of the responsibility of addressing health concerns and allowed them to focus on teaching.” 

Directed by UH Mānoa Nursing in partnership with HIDOE administrators, Hawaiʻi Keiki nurses play a pivotal role to improving access and quality of health services in schools by coordinating and expanding existing efforts of the partners and community resources.

“School nurses play a vital role in ensuring the health and well-being of our students, from overseeing care for medical conditions to treating minor cuts and bruises from playground activities,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “In celebration of National School Nurse Day, we’d like to acknowledge and thank the nurses in our schools, as well as our community partners for their commitment to our students by supporting programs like Hawaiʻi Keiki.”

Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the program will operate six school-based health centers on Oʻahu, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island, with services delivered by Advanced Practice RNs. The goal of the program is to have an Advanced Practice RN working in each of the 15 DOE Complex Areas statewide.  Parents, teachers, insurers, and health-care organizations recognize that the school is the ideal site to optimize access to prevention and treatment services for children and youth.

“School nurses collaborate with students, the school community, families, the health care community, the community at large, and government agencies so that children are in school, healthy, safe, and ready to learn,” said National Association of School Nurses President Beth Mattey, MSN, RN, NCSN. “A professional school nurse is needed in every school to care for every child because school nursing is the foundation for student health.”

The 2016 National School Nurse Day theme is School Nurses: Better Health. Better Learning. This signifies the important role school nurses have in the health of their school communities. Healthy children learn better and school nurses work to remove barriers to learning. It is a specialized field with national certification representing competency in preparation, knowledge, and practice as demonstrated by passing an exam after completing 1,000 hours of working in a school. All eligible Hawaiʻi Keiki nurses have achieved this certification status.

About Hawaiʻi Keiki

Hawai‘i Keiki is a partnership between UH Mānoa Nursing and the Hawai‘i Department of Education (DOE) and bridges between the education and health sectors to support the DOE to achieve student, school, and system success. The program is designed to improve access and quality of health services in the school by coordinating and expanding existing efforts of the partners and community resources. The program is enhancing and building school based health services that screen for treatable health conditions; provide referral to primary health care and patient centered medical home services; prevent and control communicable disease and other health problems; and provide emergency care for illness or injury. Visit us at www.hawaiikeiki.com.

About UH Mānoa Nursing

UH Mānoa Nursing, the Nursing Capitol of the Pacific, is the leader in nursing education and research in Hawai‘i with outreach to Asia and the Pacific Basin. We support the mission of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa: to provide an innovative, caring and multicultural environment in which faculty, students and staff work together to generate and transmit knowledge, wisdom, and values to promote quality of life and health for present and future generations. The school offers the BS, master’s, and doctoral programs. To reflect Hawai‘i's unique cultural diversity and heritage, UH Mānoa Nursing is committed to increasing the representation of Native Hawaiian and other underserved people in all nursing programs. Visit us at www.nursing.hawaii.edu.

About the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education is the ninth-largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 256 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaiʻi’s public school system in 1840. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.