A Support Program for Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander & Native American Nursing Students

The IKE AO PONO program is designed to increase the number of Native nurses in order to advance the healthcare and well being of Native islanders and all peoples throughout Hawaii nei. By increasing the number of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Native American nurses in Hawaii, we will also increase the number of culturally informed and sensitive nursing professionals committed to improving health and healthcare in Hawaii and beyond.

This historic program is a 2010 recipient of the American Association of Colleges of Nurses Award in recognition of unprecedented success in Innovations in Professional Nursing Education. IKE AO PONO has also been recognized in the U.S. Congressional Record for these achievements by U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye.


Improving Health and Wellness for the Whole Community

  • IKE … a shared vision held and nurtured by all
  • AO … the everlasting quality of continuation
  • PONO … well being in life


IKE AO PONO strives to create a lasting advancement, and promotion of health within the individual, family and the whole community with special attention to at-risk, under-represented and under-served communities. The goal of IKE AO PONO is to provide Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Native American nursing students with access to quality nursing education at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral level, including both PhD and DNP degrees.

IKE AO PONO has the full support of the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing (NAWSON), the UH Administration and the Board of Regents, the Native Hawaiian Councils of Kualii and Pukoa, the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health, the UH Council of Health Sciences and community health partners such as Papa Ola Lokahi, Kamehameha Schools and The Queen’s Health Systems.

Kokua – Services

IKE AO PONO focuses on:

  • Providing support to undergraduate and graduate nursing students enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Manoa through: academic tutoring; study group sessions; scholarships and community service.
  • Working with community and UH partnerships to expand clinical learning sites, scholarship and employment opportunities.
  • Advocacy for Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Native American students from admission to graduation in the endeavor to improve workforce diversity and professional development.
  • Provide space for an ohana style of learning & mentoring with a study and computer resource room. Encourage students to feel accepted at UH Manoa Nursing by providing positive support for student empowerment and successful academic achievement.


Picture of Nalani Minton, MA, MA, BS
Nalani Minton, MA, MA, BS
IKE AO PONO Director & Assistant Specialist

Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall 222
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Phone: 808-956-5504
Fax: 808-956-3257

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