Thursday, May 6, 2004

$7.5 million in grants
benefits Queen’s nursing

The Queen Emma Nursing Institute at the Queen's Medical Center has a multimillion-dollar reason today to celebrate National Nurses Week.

The institute planned to announce a total of $7.5 million in grants from the Queen Emma Foundation over the next five years. It will receive $500,000 a year for a total of $2.5 million to expand efforts in career planning and development, education, research, recruitment and retention.

Barbara Mathews, Queen's vice president for patient care and chief nursing officer, who oversees the institute, said it will be able to do "much more significant work in terms of nursing research and education and building in-house faculty to enhance nursing practice."

An additional $1 million a year, for a total of $5 million, will be used to train registered nurses for specialties.

"It is extremely generous and farsighted on the part of the Queen Emma Foundation to realize the very key role nurses play in health care delivery," Mathews said.

The institute was established in 1991 by Duane Walker, then Queen's vice president for patient care, through the Hau'oli Mau Loa Foundation, endowed by a patient grateful for nursing care she received.

Mathews said it is hoped ultimately to make the institute self-sustaining through increased research and grants. "In that way we will be able to sustain this effort way beyond the five years."

A registered nurse with a doctorate degree will be recruited as director of the nursing institute and infrastructure developed to research such issues as best nursing practices, she said.

Other goals are to expand institute faculty, provide leadership for the state and community and form collaborations with schools of nursing and medicine.

Mathews said the biggest challenge the institute will address "is to build a well-educated, competent nursing work force that will carry us into the future for this state so all health-care needs in terms of nursing are met."

Mathews said there is no shortage of men and women who want a nursing career, but there are not enough University of Hawaii faculty positions to admit them to classrooms.

She said joint appointments will be made between the medical center, UH-Manoa and HPU for institute nursing faculty. "This is a significant advantage in terms of the relationship between the clinical and academic setting," she said, noting she has one nurse now splitting time between Queen's and UH.


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