The Legacy of PIN: A New Level of Collaboration in the Pacific

Dec 17, 2014, 9:00 AM

Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), an initiative of the Northwest Health Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), was represented in the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) by two partnerships: Building Nursing Faculty Capacity in the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, which brought together the American Pacific Nurse Leaders Council, the World Health Organization and others to strengthen nursing education in the USAPI; and Step by Step, Hand in Hand: Expanding PIN Synergies in the Pacific, which introduced the Dreyfus Health Foundation’s Problem Solving for Better Health® (PSBH®) model to effect change within nursing education and within communities. 

As part of a series of posts on PIN’s legacy of encouraging innovative collaborative responses to challenges facing the nursing workforce in local communities, a number of the USAPI partners have responded to the question: What do you think has been the major impact of the Pacific PIN?

“Since the first meeting of the Pacific PIN, we have come to learn more about each other’s nursing programs and the common needs that we shared. Through the years, this knowledge has expanded our friendship to those who have patiently stayed with us and directed us toward sharing resources and seeking new learning experiences, all to increase the number of qualified nurses for the Pacific region. I am most grateful to the foundations that were directly involved and the special people who made this all possible. Fa’afetai tele.”

--Lele Ah Mu, RN, BSN, Chair, Nursing Department, American Samoa Community College, American Samoa


“The project has given voice to PINNED and jurisdiction nurses to envision new nursing models of care, and has given us understanding of building capacity through new projects and implementing action plans, and developing new models for supporting student success.”

--Jacque Dolberry, MS, RN, Nurse Education Consultant, Pacific Island Network of Nursing Education Directors (PINNED), Polson, Montana


“The Pacific PIN initiative has contributed to the development of a critical mass in the movement to enhance nursing education and practice. This has been done across cultural and national lines in the Pacific Islands. Furthermore, the Pacific partners have broadened our perspectives and strategies on the mainland, including Mississippi and New York.”

--John J. Green, PhD, Pacific PIN Evaluator, Associate Professor and Director, University of Mississippi, Center for Population Studies, Oxford, Miss.


“A major impact of the Pacific PIN project has been the formation of a more formal collaboration amongst the regional education programs. This has provided the venue for sharing of information, strategies and resources. Through Pacific PIN, the regional nurses have been empowered to be leaders and active participants in the process of strategic planning and strengthening of the nursing programs in their jurisdictions.”

--Margaret Hattori-Uchima, PhD, RN, Dean, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam


“PIN’s major impact in the Pacific is providing a higher level of faculty available to build the pipeline of nurse educators, and building bridges to other organizations that have helped to bring higher levels of nursing education to Pacific jurisdictions.”

--Wilson Hess, PhD, Executive Director, College of the Marshall Islands Foundation, President, University of Maine at Fort Kent


“I believe the major impact of the Pacific PIN is the fact that the nursing directors from the six jurisdictions are now recognized as an established entity and collective voice at the Ministry level on behalf of nursing education and health workforce development throughout the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. The relationships developed through the Pacific PIN from New York, to Maine, to Mississippi, to Montana, to Alaska, to Hawaii, and onto the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands have been life changing—on behalf of a shared mission and movement to better health.”

--Pamela Hoyt Hudson, RN, BSN, Global Nursing Coordinator, The Rogosin Institute/Dreyfus Health Foundation


“The major impact of the Pacific PIN is the successful collaboration of the nurse leaders in education from the Pacific region. With the help of this grant, the PIN partners were able to share tips for success, build networks for strengthening their own programs, and maintain pride in their culture and educational institutions. We learned from each other and grew to be great friends.”

--Dorothy Manglona, MSN, RN, Nursing and Allied Health Administrator, Guam Community College, Mangilao, Guam


“Pacific PIN has empowered me to be more assertive and vocal when it comes to the needs of the program. As a result of the Pacific PIN meetings, conferences and trainings, there is now more collaboration between nursing program directors in the USAPI. As a result of these meetings and trainings through Pacific PIN, I see a lot of improvements in the delivery of nursing courses. And as a result of the collaboration through Pacific PIN, I am now more comfortable asking for help from other directors and know who to ask for specific assistance when needed.”

--Tarmau Terry Ngirmang, BSN, RN, Nursing Program Chair, Palau Community College, Koror, Palau


“Pacific PIN’s major impact has been building a stronger partnership among nurse educators in the North Pacific Region through regular face-to-face meetings and teleconferencing, as well as the opportunity to meet and build relationships with other nursing partners from around the United States and with health leaders in the Pacific.”

--Florence Peter, RN, MPH, Nursing Program Chair, College of the Marshall Islands, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands


“The Pacific PIN partnership has evolved in the most exciting of ways, bringing together education, primary care, community outreach, and community mobilization, innovation, government, and other sectors to the benefit of the health of the people of the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. We are proud to be partners in this dynamic living program.”

--Barry Smith, MD, PhD, President/CEO, The Rogosin Institute, New York


“Our nursing education vision began as a drop of water in the scope of the Pacific Ocean. PIN 4 and PIN 6 empowered the Pacific nursing education directors and partners to distinctly and collaboratively develop nursing education capacity. Looking back, our PIN legacy has now taken over the Pacific Ocean.”

--Alice Tse, PhD, APRN, Pacific PIN Evaluator, Associate Professor, University of Hawaii, Honolulu


“It has been a wonderful journey of getting all nursing program directors together to work collaboratively from six U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island jurisdictions. I came to know about PIN in December of 2010 when I was invited to attend the PIN conference in Washington, D.C., by Capt. Cathy Wasem, nurse advisor to the PIN project, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region IX Office of the Regional Health Administrator. I was impressed with what I had seen at the University of Portland, ‘Dedicated Education Unit: An Innovative Clinical Teaching Model,’ and while in D.C., I got fascinated by all the things that were going on in addressing nursing’s future. These had given me a broader perspective of what we can be doing collectively to improve nursing education and nursing practice for our island jurisdictions. I feel we are making progress, taking small steps along the way, and BELIEVE we will make a difference. Thank you (Si Yu’us Ma’ase) to all our Pacific PIN partners for giving us the opportunity to learn, grow and expand our horizons.”

--Rosa M. Tudela, MSN, BSN, RN, Department Chair, Nursing, Northern Marianas College, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands


“Pacific PIN led to the formation of the Pacific Island Network of Nursing Education Directors (PINNED), which has become the voice for nursing education in the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands.  PINNED has demonstrated the power of a unified voice in changing systems and became the model for the emerging USAPI hospital and public health nursing directors network.

“It has also broadened the perspective of nursing education program directors by exposing them to nontraditional partners such as foundations and other community funders (Bank of Guam); it allowed USAPI programs to share amongst themselves rather than operate in isolation and to share and network with a broad range of other PIN projects undertaking novel ways to address nursing issues; and it helped put the USAPI jurisdictions ‘on the map’ for funding/philanthropic and federal partners, enabling them to tap into additional funding. 

“The initial Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Northwest Health Foundation PIN investment in the Pacific has turned into a ‘force multiplier’ for nursing and nursing education in the Pacific.”

--Cathy Wasem, RN, MN, Captain, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Senior Program Management Officer, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Region IX Office of the Regional Health Administrator, Office of Pacific Health, Honolulu


“The Pacific PIN has had major impact on nursing education in Micronesia. The Pacific PIN brought the directors of all nursing programs in Micronesia together for the first time to discuss current issues facing nursing education, providing a venue for discussion and sharing of challenges and successes within and between the programs. From these discussions, plans emerged to improve current situations and plan for the future.”

--Kathryn Wood, PhD, RNC, Former Acting Director, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam


Read other “Legacy of PIN” posts about partnerships in New York and North Carolina, Arkansas, and New Hampshire

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.