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NMC Nursing Faculty to Help Develop Innovative Teaching Programs (February 25, 2010)

New ways of teaching nursing students in clinical settings will be developed, thanks to the efforts of Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future, a partnership of nursing faculty and local organizations.

The decision to develop what they will call “Innovative Clinical Teaching Models,” was made by Pasquana H. Calvo of Northern Marianas College with nursing faculty from the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) and their supporting partners, who met in December at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The partners agreed to collaborate in developing the Innovative Clinical Teaching Models for the nursing programs in the USAPI, in order to address the nursing shortage. The total nursing shortage results from a nursing faculty shortage in the USAPI.

Although the USAPI have in common a shortage of nursing faculty and a shortage of nurses, each jurisdiction has its own culture and institutions, which must be included in any solution. For that reason, the partners agreed that each nursing program will work with their local hospitals, public health centers and clinics to develop a teaching plan that fits their local situation. Cultural sensitivity will be the over-arching concept for their planning.

The other important concept is the need for sharing resources across the region. The University of Guam, for instance, has already developed a course to train experienced clinical nurses to teach nursing students, and they are willing to share this training with the other nursing programs.

Representatives of all seven government-supported nursing programs in the USAPI participated in the meeting: Northern Marianas College, University of Guam, Guam Community College, Palau Community College, College of the Marshall Islands, American Samoa Community College, and the newly-approved program at the College of Micronesia-FSM.

Supporting partners are very important to this work, and they participated fully. Supporting partners include: Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA); Jitdam Kapeel Area Health Education Center (AHEC); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Western Pacific Regional Office of WHO; and University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, who hosted the meeting. The Bank of Guam is also a major partner in the effort to improve health care in the USAPI by supporting the development of nursing faculty.

In communities around the world the nursing shortage has become so severe that it threatens patient care and safety, healthcare costs, and patient outcomes. The work of the USAPI nursing partners to alleviate the nursing shortage locally is funded by The Friends of the Marshall Islands Foundation Inc., with a grant called “Partners Investing in Nursing's Future” (PIN), a partnership of the Northwest Health Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Partners Investing In Nursing’s Future is helping regional foundations develop local solutions.

The current PIN partners would like to encourage other community businesses and foundations to join them in developing strategies to establish a stable, adequate nursing workforce. Please contact Pasquana H. Calvo or John Cox at [email protected] or [email protected].

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