Maui News

UH Maui Nursing Program Awarded $37,850 from Wailea Community Association

May 22, 2021, 7:12 AM HST
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UH Maui College student nurses from COVID vaccine clinic at Binhi At Ani Philipino Community Center on May 1st. Fist year students (teal scrubs) and second year students (in maroon) administered 76 shots). Photo courtesy of UH Maui.

The Wailea Community Association committed to a partnership with the UH Maui nursing program and is helping 41 graduates from the class of 2021 obtain their nursing licensure by funding costs associated with taking the National Council Licensure Examination for each UHMC graduate.

The only authorized testing site for the required test is at the Pearson VUE Testing Center on Oʻahu – with total costs estimated to be around $450 per graduate. To take the required test for licensure, the Maui nursing graduate must pay for interisland airfare, the test fee and ground transportation from the airport to the testing site and back. The test is not available on Maui or online.

”We are thrilled to continue the partnership we established last year. We have all learned how valuable this program and these students and graduates are to the Maui community. We shifted our annual scholarship program to address the crucial health needs of the Maui community during the pandemic and chose to invest in our future nurses,” said Bud Pikrone, General Manager of Wailea Community Association.

Jocelyn Romero Demirbag, Ed.D., Director of Development UHMC receives check from Bud Pikrone, General Manager, Wailea Community Association. Photo courtesy of WCA.

The UHMC nursing program is highly competitive; Anne Scharnhorst, who directs the UHMC nursing program, is ecstatic.  “This gift is so needed. The licensure exam to become an RN is a high-stakes, stressful experience and having to travel makes it more so. With it being right after graduation, when they have been paying tuition and not working the last few years, the financial stress is yet another pressure to bear. Our graduates are well qualified and eager to start their nursing practice, but they need to take this exam to do so. We are so grateful to Wailea Community Association for making this difference in our graduates’ careers and in the future health of Maui County!”

In addition to funding the licensure testing and travel expenses, WCA has also committed to helping nursing students prepare for their NCLEX examinations by offsetting the cost of the software that features practice tests and simulations, tutoring, books and more to increase students’ testing success.

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Besides helping students become nurses, the partnership with WCA has already had a tangible impact in the community. WCA recently asked UHMC’s nursing department for help talking with their landscaping crew in Ilocano about COID vaccinations. Students realized that there was a need in the Filipino community to dispel misinformation and make it easier to access the vaccines. This resulted in a vaccination clinic which the students ran resulting in setting up and registering and administering 76 shots.

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“This is an amazing testament to the influence these young nurses are having and will have in this community” said Anne Scharnhorst, DNP, RN. Chair and professor of Allied Health at UHMC.  She said WCA’s influence will be felt for years to come.

Students have been grateful for the support, especially considering how the pandemic has impacted their lives. The WCA’s gifts have encouraged nursing students not only to complete their licensing but also to continue their education.

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