CUH’s Nursing Program Introduces 2 Significant Changes


Aubree Campbell

The Chaminade University Nursing emblem is displayed in the faculty nursing office of Henry Hall.

The Chaminade University Nursing program has applied various changes and opportunities to its program. Some may say the adjustments are for the better.

Two significant changes occurred: offering nursing courses year-round in the fall, spring and summer based on availability and introducing an accelerated nursing program. 

Rhoberta Haley, the dean of Chaminade Nursing, describes the accelerated program to be an intensive five continuous semesters of nursing and other higher-level courses. It is a program meant for students who have already completed their pre-requisite requirements and hope to complete their nursing education with Chaminade University.

“It’s the right program [accelerated nursing program] for some people,” Haley said. “No program is the right program for everybody. But every program is designed for somebody.” 

The nursing faculty first commenced with offering nursing classes twice a year and worked toward offering classes during the summer. This was all forms of preparation for the accelerated program as it is a continuous program that occurs throughout the summer in addition to the fall and spring semesters. The concept of an accelerated program may have existed before, but Haley is confident the new program will benefit Chaminade in the future. 

“I think it [accelerated program] will be a great option. I’ve run this type of program and so has our president, Lynn Babington,” Haley said. “It’s not a new idea, but it’s a new track for Chaminade. And I think it will be a good addition to what we are doing.”

Potential students include those who received all of the required pre-requisite credits through Chaminade or other universities. Yet, with such an opportunity comes a price. Potential applicants for the program are encouraged to focus solely on their education.  

“They [accelerated nursing students] shouldn’t work, they shouldn’t be the primary caregiver for children or elders, they shouldn’t depend on working to pay for school and they’re going to need support from family and friends,” Haley said. “Because it’s intense, and it means that life will change during that time.” 

Although the accelerated nursing program is described to be intense, the adjustments became a new opportunity for various nursing students. 

If students were required to repeat a fall semester course in prior years, they would need to wait an entire year until the following fall. This also applies to spring courses and effectively sets students back one year from graduation. In addition, suppose a student were to transfer from another university to the Chaminade Nursing Program. In that case, there is no guaranteed that all of their earned credits will be transferred and utilized. This results in transfer students having to repeat courses they may have already taken. In addition, it would previously take transfer students four years to earn their Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing due to the limited availability of classes. 

Senior nursing student Jezelle Ulep Ruiz experienced this first hand. 

As a mother of two sons who are 6 and 9 years old, Ruiz faced the challenges of balancing university responsibilities and taking care of her family. Unfortunately, her journey toward senior year was far from smooth. Although Ruiz attended Leeward Community College before being accepted to Chaminade, only a limited amount of credits were accepted and transferred. She also had to repeat a nursing course and was held back from her graduation track by one year. However, upon hearing about the increased availability of nursing courses, Ruiz was pleased. 

“She [Dean Rhoberta Haley] gave us summer school. For us that has to make [classes] up, I like the summer school,” Ruiz said. “And I like that some people are graduating earlier. That’s kind of cool.”  

With the recent adjustments, nursing students can retake courses without having to wait a year. This encourages them to continue on their original graduation track and remain with their cohorts. Transfer students are also allowed to partake in the newly offered accelerated program without the hassle of retaking pre-requisite courses. Instead of a four-year bachelor’s program, the accelerated program will take two and a half years.   

The priority application deadline for the accelerated nursing program ended Dec. 1, and the program is set to commence on Jan. 10. Students must have completed all general education requirements or received the university’s general education waiver to be eligible for the program. A total of 24 seats are available per cohort. For future reference, the following accelerated and regular nursing cohort is to start in Fall of 2022 and the application deadline for both programs is Feb. 15.