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Online Nursing Programs in Hawaii

By Jordan Beliles | Updated 10/28/2022

The University of Hawaii at Hilo is one of the few universities in the state of Hawaii to offer accredited online nursing programs. Programs offered at the school include a traditional BSN program, an RN to BSN degree, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. In order to be eligible to practice nursing in Hawaii, applicants must be able to provide documentation of at least 30 contact hours of which eight hours must be in pharmacology. Nurses working in Hawaii must renew their license every two years by June 30th.

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Comprehensive List of Online Nursing Schools in Hawaii

School Annual Tuition NCLEX Pass Rate Locations
# Hawai'i Pacific University $27,500 86.67% Honolulu
# University of Hawaii at Hilo $20,752 73.47% Hilo
# University of Hawaii at Manoa $34,218 90.24% Honolulu
# University of Phoenix $9,552 90.0% Nationwide

How Do I Become a Nurse in Hawaii

In order to become a nurse in Hawaii you'll need to meet certain requirements for education and certification. Many students choose to attend one of the Hawaii nursing school programs to complete a nursing degree. While there are several types of nurses, there aren't many schools to study from in Hawaii. However, you can still find quality nursing programs in Oahu as well as nursing programs in Honolulu.

Online ADN programs in Hawaii are examples of a nursing bridge that will prepare you to complete the NCLEX, otherwise known as the National Council Licensure Examination. This associate degree in nursing is an important first step for aspiring nurses with no previous experience in an online nursing program.

The Hawaii Board of Nursing sets forth requirements for the licensing and renewal of nurse professionals. They also approve the nursing programs in Hawaii and help set the standards for the schools' initiatives. Graduates of nursing school in Hawaii can earn one of these types of licenses: a licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They can also become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) with a certification if they prefer that route.

Hawaii nursing professionals can pursue a wide variety of career paths in a number of different settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician's offices, nursing homes and more. Available nursing tracks include LPN to RN programs in Hawaii along with more advanced RN programs that are best for those with practical experience under their belt. Beyond these degrees there are master's in nursing (MSN) programs as well, which prepare you for administrative roles and management positions.

In addition to finding the best online nursing programs in Hawaii, it's also smart for aspiring nurses to understand the licensing and renewal process. If you're already a professional nurse and aren't interested in going through the renewal process, you might benefit from learning about career changes for nurses.

Is There a Demand for Nurses in Hawaii?

Over the last 15 years, nursing has been one of the fastest growing job categories in Hawaii, making it a strong field to enter. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that — as of May 2021 — there were 11,110 registered nurses employed in Hawaii

Also, a study from the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis projects that the demand for nurses in Hawaii will reach 16,500 by 2030. It's important to note that the center also projects that the supply of nurses will outpace the demand, with the amount of employed nurses expected to reach 19,800 by the same year.

To learn about online nursing programs and requirements in other states, explore our list of accredited nursing degrees by state below:

How To Get CNA Certification in Hawaii

A certified nursing assistant must start the certification process by completing a training program that is approved by the state. The state of Hawaii partners with a company called Prometric to oversee Hawaii CNA certifications. Once the coursework is completed, prospective CNAs must fill out the Hawaii Nurse Aide Examination application and submit it directly to Prometric; then they are able to take the Nurse Aide Competency Exam. In addition to the exam application, candidates must also fill out the nurse aide application. Upon passing the CNA exam, Prometric sends successful applicants a CNA certificate and adds the applicants' name to the Hawaii Nurse Aide Registry.

CNA Certification Renewal

Hawaii nursing aide registration is valid for two years. To be eligible for renewal, CNAs must have worked for pay as a nurse aide for a minimum of eight hours throughout the certification period. If that eligibility requirement is fulfilled, nurse aides can receive recertification for the next two years.

How To Get an LPN License in Hawaii

In order to obtain a Hawaii licensed practical nurse credential, you must first complete an LPN training program. Most programs typically take students one year to graduate. Once the program is successfully completed, LPN applicants may apply to take the NCLEX-PN exam. They must also submit an application to the state of Hawaii, which includes a criminal history background check along with a fingerprint submission. Hawaii LPN license hopefuls must also submit a photo ID with their date of birth, their social security number, and a $60 fee.

LPN License Renewal

Hawaii nursing licenses are renewed every two years. During that period, LPNs must complete one learning activity, which can range from completing 30 hours of continuing education to 120 hours of a refresher course — split between didactic and clinical practice. LPNs may also take two-semester credits of post-licensure nursing education, perform field research, or publish their writing in a peer-reviewed journal.

How To Get an RN License in Hawaii

Aspiring nurses who wish to become a registered nurse must obtain a Hawaii RN license. An associate or bachelor's degree in nursing is required to apply. Applicants should have an official transcript sent from their school as part of the licensing process.

After achieving their degree, applicants can fill out the form to apply for a Hawaii nursing license. In addition to supplying a picture ID with their date of birth, applicants must also include their social security number; in addition, a criminal history record check is required, including fingerprints. A $60 fee must also accompany the RN application. Once an application is submitted, prospective RNs will receive authorization to test from the Hawaii Board of Nursing. Graduates are then able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. Students must pass the exam in order to successfully receive a Hawaii RN license.

RN License Renewal

Hawaii has a two-year renewal period, during which time licensed RNs must complete one approved learning activity. Options include 30 hours of continuing education courses, a refresher course containing 60 hours of didactic and 60 hours of clinical practice, or two-semester credits of post-licensure academic education relevant to nursing.

How Much Does an RN Make an Hour in Hawaii?

In the state of Hawaii, RNs make an hourly mean wage of $51.22 according to the BLS. Overall, this hourly wage equals a yearly mean salary of $106,530.

Is It Hard To Get an RN Job in Hawaii?

RNs are a fast growing career choice for healthcare professionals in Hawaii. As previously mentioned, the demand for RN roles is growing, which makes it a relatively easy field to enter at the moment. However, the supply will soon outweigh the demand, which may make it harder to find work in the next decade. Furthermore, RN students must meet strict state requirements to receive their license before they are able to apply for work.

How To Get an APRN License in Hawaii

In order to obtain a Hawaii advanced practice registered nurse license, nurses must hold an RN and earn an MSN, with a focus in one of four practice specialties:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Certified nurse midwife (CNM)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

To gain prescriptive authority, APRNs must also complete 30 hours of advanced pharmacology coursework as part of their master's degree program. Additionally, applicants need national certification from one of the following organizations:

Once these steps have been completed, applicants must fill out Hawaii's application for APRN Recognition.

APRN License Renewal

To renew a Hawaii nursing license, current APRNs must submit a renewal every two years. Hawaii APRN licenses expire on December 31 of odd-numbered years. Additionally, APRNs must provide evidence of their current national certification in order to renew.

Those with prescriptive authority must complete 30 hours of continuing education, with at least 22 hours in their practice specialty, and eight hours in pharmacology. APRNs without prescriptive authority don't have continuing education requirements set forth by the state but may have requirements to maintain through their certifying board.

FAQs About Online Nursing Schools in Hawaii

How Many Online Nursing Schools Are in Hawaii?

There are currently four online nursing schools available in the Hawaiian Islands. You can find nursing programs in Oahu, such as the University of Phoenix, as well nursing programs in Honolulu by way of the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University.

Are There Online LPN to RN Programs in Hawaii?

There are no online LPN to RN programs available in Hawaii. However, local students may apply for the LPN to RN Transition Program from the University of Hawaii's companion school, Kapi'olani Community College. (Keep in mind that this program requires in-person attendance.)

Is Hawaii Good for Nurses?

Hawaii's field of professional nurses is growing by the thousands every year. Despite consistent growth, nurses are still experiencing high rates of burnout, especially on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to a 2021 survey from the Hawaii Center for Nursing, 70% of nurses reported feeling stressed at work alongside 37% who experienced some form of workplace violence. 

Salary may also be a concern for some: As mentioned above, RNs in Hawaii earn a mean annual salary of $106,530, which sits above the national mean of $82,750 for RNs.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Nurse in Hawaii?

The average nursing degree takes two to four years to complete. A bachelor's in nursing (BSN) generally takes four years, after which a student can enter the workforce. 

A doctor of nursing practice (DPN) — the highest degree a nurse can earn — will add an additional four years to a student's overall education. 

Completion time for some degrees may be accelerated if students have previous experience working in the field or have already completed a portion of their studies during another degree or certificate program.

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