University of Hawaii at Manoa
Overview of the Curriculum Innovation
Student Nurse Participation in Pacific Partnership Humanitarian Missions
The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) School of Nursing participates in the United States Navy sponsored annual Pacific Partnership humanitarian mission. During Pacific Partnership, a multinational - interdisciplinary team of professionals from various sectors (including public health, acute care services, dentistry, veterinarian services, engineering and others) partner with the host nations for subject matter expert exchange endeavors and provision of services to individuals and communities. The primary role of the UHM School of Nursing (faculty and students) in Pacific Partnership is to engage in community/public health subject matter expert exchange endeavors which focus on topics such as disaster preparedness, community health, environmental health, prevention and management of communicable and non-communicable diseases. This program provides nursing students with valuable skills in community/public health nursing, and strengthens interest and awareness in global health. Many things are learned, including, how to work in multi-national, interdisciplinary teams, how to collaborate with and learn from other cultures, and how to function in low resource settings. UHM Nursing has participated in Pacific Partnership for the past three years, and has involved approximately 25 faculty and students. Program evaluation is done on two levels: formative evaluation to assess UHM planning for the mission, and summative evaluation to assess impact on faculty, students and host nation participants. Evaluation findings indicate that students increase their knowledge, skills, abilities and confidence for multidisciplinary collaboration with international partners, gain an understanding of different cultures (including the host nation and military cultures), and increase their own capabilities for providing nursing care in low resource environments. Through the reciprocal subject matter expert exchange activities, the host nation learns from the UHM faculty and students, and the UHM faculty and students learn from the host nation. There are many other volunteer humanitarian assistance programs that nursing students can engage in where similar community/public/global health knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes can be can developed.
Kristine Qureshi, DNSc, RN, CEN, APHN-BC
University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Nursing
Commander, US Pacific Fleet