Maui cohort formed to help address the shortage of Licensed Practical Nurses
Kaiser Permanente, UNITE Here! Local 5, and the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College today announced the launch of their Practical Nurse Trainee Program, an 18-month program for current Kaiser Permanente employees who wish to pursue a career in the nursing field.
The program’s inaugural cohort consists of 18 students, of which 10 are employees from various Kaiser Permanente departments and disciplines, including medical assistants and hospital aides.
The program’s curriculum will build and enhance technical skills in primary and specialty care areas. The goal of the program is to provide a pathway for employees to become licensed and fill open Kaiser Permanente Licensed Practical Nurse positions across the state.
“Together with our partners UNITE Here! Local 5 and UH Maui, we are excited to kick off our first Practical Nurse Trainee Program,” said Dionicia Lagapa, MSN, APRN, vice president of Ambulatory Operations, Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi. “This program is a way for our talented team members, who have already demonstrated a dedication to our patients, to continue to grow their careers at Kaiser Permanente while filling critical open positions.”
Hawaiʻi has long dealt with a nursing shortage which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, there are an estimated 1,000 nurse vacancies in Hawaiʻi. State labor data predicts that the demand for nurses will increase by 110 positions each year through 2030. Programs that make it possible for employees to develop their professional skills while on the job will help build the pipeline of nursing professionals in Hawaiʻi, according to program leaders.
“This program is designed to address finding qualified workers during a labor shortage,” said Daniel Kerwin from UNITE Here! Local 5. “What makes it unique is the fact that unionized Local 5 workers at Kaiser Permanente pay nothing for the program, suffer no loss in wages, and get schedule flexibility. We are growing our own thanks to the funding provided by the Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust and Kaiser Permanente.”