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The Conversation: Assessing Hawaii's Nursing Shortage



Today we take a look at the shortage of nurses in the islands. A just released workforce report by the Hawaii State Nursing Center looks at our education capacity and whether new graduates are finding jobs. The survey comes as the Hawaii Healthcare Association put out a call for new nurse graduates to apply for jobs during this health crisis. The state has also been forced to bring in specialized nurses as COVID-19 cases began to surge last month. We get a snapshot of training and hiring across the state. What are the barriers to getting new graduates into a hospital setting?

Joining us today are:

  • Laura Reichhardt is Executive Director of the Hawaii State Nursing Center. Her background is in community health, and she holds a masters in nursing from the University of Hawaii and has completed a fellowship at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention


  • Mimi Harris is the Chief Nursing Officer and vice president of patient care at Queen’s Health Systems. Harris is also a UH Nursing alum and has held a number of key positions at Queen’s, including Gerontology and Cardiovascular Services

Catherine Cruz is the Host of The Conversation and a member of HPR’s news team. She has been a television reporter in Hawai‘i since 1983 and has won a number of awards and respect from a statewide audience. She spent more than thirty years at KITV, covering beats from government to education and health. Originally from Guam, Cruz is also a co-founder and former Board member and programming chair of Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC). Catherine is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
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