Filipina-born nurse is 1st immigrant honored with University of Hawaii school renaming

Nancy Atmospera-Walch  University of Hawaii school
The permanent signage at the University of Hawaii at Manoa recognizes the home of the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing. Photo from UH Manoa website.

Filipina-born nurse Nancy Atmospera-Walch has made history by being the first immigrant woman to have the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Nursing renamed in her honor.

Born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur in the Philippines, Atmospera-Walch and her family moved to Hawaii after she graduated from high school. Despite being initially discouraged from attending college in her new country, she went on to earn multiple degrees from the School of Nursing at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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The Filipina-born nurse worked for the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii for nearly 30 years in clinical, management, and administrative areas.

Atmospera-Walch is a University of Hawaii alumna and founder of ADVANTAGE Health Care Provider Inc. and the AIM Healthcare Institute.

The Filipino healthcare professional was recognized both as a nursing school donor and for her contributions to the profession.

“It is a tremendous honor to be the namesake of the Nursing School because my nursing education has had a great influence on my career and my life,” Dr. Nancy Atmospera-Walch said in the university’s news release about the naming and dedication ceremony on May 20, 2022.

“Without the UH School of Nursing, I would not be who I am today. It is my sincere wish that every nursing student who passes through these doors will use the education they receive here to achieve their dreams, too,” Atmospera-Walch adds.

Atmospera-Walch was honored by the university for her “transformational gift” that will have an “enduring impact on the quality of nursing education, student success, community service, and the nursing profession.”

“This bold, transformational gift from Dr. Nancy Atmospera-Walch elevates UH Manoa’s School of Nursing here in Hawaii and on the national stage. These new resources will be strategically invested in critical areas that enable UH to improve the health of people and communities across our islands,” said UH President David Lassner. “We are proud to display Dr. Atmospera-Walch’s name on the school she is helping to do so much for Hawaii.”

She founded ADVANTAGE Health Care Provider, Inc. in 2009, a local company that provides health care services and support to intellectually and developmentally disabled clients, and is the founder and CEO of AIM Healthcare Institute, a health care education and consulting company.

Atmospera-Walch serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including as the current President-elect of the Hawaii American Nurses Association (HI-ANA), Philippine Nurses Association of America, the PNAA Foundation, State of Hawaii Small Business Regulatory Review Board, and as the founding president of the Filipino Nurses Foundation, among many others.

Overseas Filipino nurses Francis Michael Fernando, Dennis Singson, and Marc Rodriguera were recently honored for their service in the United Kingdom.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Filipina-born nurse Dr. Nancy Atmospera-Walch, the first immigrant woman to have a University of Hawaii school named in her honor!

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.