Nursing Students Make an Impact in Schools with the Hawaii Keiki Program

This fall, undergraduate nursing students learned valuable lessons about protecting and promoting the health of our state’s school children and adolescents through their community clinical experiences with the Hawaii Keiki: Health and Ready to Learn Program. Three Hawaii Keiki sites around Oahu were involved: Castle High School, Dole Middle School, and Waipahu High School.

a posterboard is prepared

This experience was part of the nursing course N450: Community, Public and Global Health. The focus of this course is on nursing of populations, incorporating value central to the public health such as social justice, ethical decision-making, and equity and access to best practices in healthcare. Students studying at Hawaii Keiki sites had the added benefit of learning about school nursing. This specialized practice of professional nursing advances the well-being, academic success, and life-long achievement and health of students.

At Castle High School, three students and their instructor, Carmen Linhares, worked with Lisa Jacquet, Hawaii Keiki Program’s family nurse practitioner for the Castle-Kahuku Complex Area. Nursing students completed four teaching sessions throughout the semester. During lunch period, they provided high school students with information about identifying symptoms of stress and ways to best manage it. They also presented about the nursing profession at the school’s career counseling center. Other presentations focused on preventing seizures and eye health.

effects of stress

In addition to these educational sessions, students collaborated with Project Vision Hawaii, a non-profit that provides mobile vision screenings. UHM Nursing students helped organize a vision screening for Castle High School students, resulting in a total of 395 students screened. For some high school students, it was their first vision screening ever. Those who were found in need of glasses were connected with a community resource that was able to provide them with new glasses.

According to UHM Nursing student, Angella Ligon, “We were honored to spend our clinical hours at Castle High School, providing education to students and faculty. We are incredibly thankful for this experience and learned about many aspects of nursing at Castle High School.”

For more information about Hawaii Keiki, contact Ben Kilinski, Executive Operations Director at or (808) 271-0362.

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