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Running Head: HAWAII ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL NURSES

Hawaii Association of Professional Nurses


Christine Rombawa
N360 Spring 2016
Kapiolani Community College

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The Hawaii Association of Professional Nurses (HAPN) is a non-profit professional


nursing organization with unlimited authority to lobby legislature. HAPN focuses on bringing
nurses together to form a consensus. Their goal is to be the vital voice of nurses and to educate
the public on the roles and practices of registered nurses and advanced practical registered
nurses.
I had the opportunity to attend the Hawaii Association of Professional Nurses meeting
on January 21st, 2016. Due to the limited amount of space, they only allowed thirteen students
from Kapiolani Community College to attend. As an alternative, there was an option to
participate virtually. It was interesting to find out that many of the members that were present at
the meeting were Professors at various nursing schools in Hawaii.
They have about sixty members that are a combination of registered nurses, advanced
practical registered nurses, and nursing students. It was stated at the meeting that the RN
membership count was low compared to the APRNs and they are hoping to gain more members
that are registered nurses. This would allow a well-rounded and equal expression of the nursing
community reflected in their membership and voice. It is fairly easy to join and they are
currently accepting new members. Membership fees to join for students are $30 a year and $60 a
year for all other members. They have member meetings on Thursdays of every odd month and
Executive meetings every even month.
They currently do not offer any scholarships for student members, but are planning to
provide scholarships in the future. HAPN offers other educational resources to their members
and helps their members who need continuing education units. Members are also able to view

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job postings and participate in professional and personal development, entrepreneurship,


networking opportunities and conferences.
They recommended attending conferences as a student because the price to attend is
significantly lower and it is a great learning opportunity. The most recent conference was the
2016 Psychopharmacology Conference that was held at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach resort.
The cost to attend was $200 per day or $500 for the entire conference. The conference addressed
topics about medications used to treat children and adolescents with depression, psychotherapies
and behavioral therapies, treatment of depression in geriatric patients, opioids and pain
pharmacotherapy, and information regarding the use of medical marijuana and legal
considerations.
They have 3 main committees: legislation, education and public relations. The legislation
committee is responsible for lobbying for change and communicating with policy makers who
support Hawaii Professional Nursing Organizations goals and persuade them to support specific
policies that affect APRNs. The education committee supports professional growth by attending
conferences and sharing the information with other members. They also recruit speakers to come
to Hawaii and speak at conferences that benefit the organization. Lastly, the public relations
committee focuses on recruiting more members to boost membership and making their
organization more visible in the community.
They discussed a variety of senate and house bills that they were focusing on and gave a
brief description of the Bill and what their intent and plan was to move forward with them. Most
of the bills were related to increasing the scope of practice and prescribing authority of APRNs.

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One of the Bills that were addressed were Senate Bill 1072, which would allow a psychiatrist or
APRN with at least 2 years of experience to be able to have authority to prescribe psychiatric
medications with the cooperation of a doctor. House Bill 1686, would allow APRNs to initiate
involuntary commitment of a patient into a mental health facility and provide follow up
care. House Bill 1756, is another Bill that they are supporting that is aimed to require new and
existing nurses to complete fingerprinting and criminal background checks prior to obtaining and
renewing their license. House Bill 2332, would allow an APRN to prescribe controlled
substances, and House Bill 2707, would allow an advanced practice registered nurse with
prescriptive authority to treat and determine qualification of medical marijuana use.
This assignment was a great opportunity to learn more about professional nursing
organizations. I never realized how active they were in amending policies that benefit the patient
and healthcare in a cost effective way. It is important for nurses to unite and advocate for
passage of legislation that will improve quality and access to care, along with
making improvements in patient safety, and the work environment of nurses.
I would seriously consider joining HAPN after I graduate because it is a great organization
and a great way to network. I agree with their goals and vision and I admire their
hard work and dedication to lobby legislature and make their voice be heard. Their membership
fee is reasonable and they are in need of more members that are registered nurses. Having the
option of participating virtually is also very accommodating.

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Reference

Cherry, Barbara, Susan Jacob. Contemporary Nursing: Issues, Trends, &


Management, 6th Edition. Mosby, 2014. VitalBook file.
Hawaii Association of Professional Nurses. (n.d.). The HAPN Board. Retrieved from http://www.hapnnurses.org/#!hapn-board/c5mn