Our guest for this episode is Laura Reichhardt, the Director for the Hawaii State Center for Nursing. As the most remote inhabited island chain in the world, Hawaii faces a unique set of challenges when it comes to nursing, including a high cost of living, a diverse patient population, difficulty transferring in nurses from out of state, and access to supplies that can be disrupted by natural disasters and other logistical issues. During the pandemic, these challenges became exacerbated and the state’s supply of nurses was severely limited. Laura and her colleagues at the center for nursing worked closely with the state government on their COVID response plan and to enact changes that would facilitate the flow of nurses into the state.
Today Laura and Dan talk about that work, as well as Hawaii’s nurse residency program, the first statewide residency program in the nation. She also talks about what she sees as the future of the workforce, the need to train more specialist nurses and her advice for nurses who want to get more involved in policy making at the state and local level.
Links to recommended reading:
Hawaii Center for Nursing Hawai‘i Nurses Play Major Role in COVID-19 Pandemic Response
The full transcript for this episode can be found here: http://www.trustedhealth.com/the-handoff-podcast/laura-reichhardt