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Advancing nursing standards in the Pacific

The American Pacific Nursing Leaders Council (APNLC) was founded by nurses in 1978 to promote the advancement of nursing practice and standards in the US – affiliated jurisdictions in the Pacific.

The jurisdictions include the Territory of Guam, the Territory of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the State of Hawaii, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Each jurisdiction has four voting delegates. Ex-officio members include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region IX Nursing Consultant and the World Health Organization Nursing Consultant.

Facilitating communication

The purposes of the organization are to provide a communication mechanism for nursing leaders, to discuss problems confronting nurses in the American Pacific Basin, to examine solutions to problems or resolutions to issues, to explore educational needs of nurses, and to share expertise of nurse members.

The APNLC believes nursing is the common ground amidst a diversity in culture and language. Nursing leaders from these islands meet annually to network, share knowledge and concerns, problem-solve issues, and collaborate on projects. Over the years all jurisdictions have succeeded in developing nurse practice acts and nurse education and licensing requirements. A study was completed in 2002 which provided information as to how nurses could allocate more time for patient care.

By Karen A. Fury Cruz, RN, MPH