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Hawaii Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide

The following guide will give you an overview of the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs available in Hawaii. The universities in Hawaii provide students with a diverse menu of concentrations from which to choose, among them nursing education, nurse practitioner, adult health clinical nurse specialist, and nursing executive leadership. In addition to traditional nursing programs, online universities like Western Governors University offer students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in nursing through distance education.

Nursing Program Stats

  • 4 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
  • 4 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • 3 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
  • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Graduate Schools in 2017 for Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs: Hawaii Pacific University (#170, MSN; DNP not ranked), University of Hawaii at Manoa (#87, MSN; #88, DNP).

Institution-Wide Facts

  • Highest graduation rate: University of Hawaii at Manoa 57%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate: Kapiolani Community College 22%.1
  • Highest net price: Hawaii Pacific University $23,845.1
  • Lowest net price: Kapiolani Community College $4,670.1
  • Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Hawaii with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $7,063 – $21,275.2

Continue reading below where you will find profiles of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs offered in Hawaii and online.

NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in Hawaii

The following table allows you to easily compare not-for-profit Hawaii nursing schools on a variety of factors. Click on the arrows in the top row to sort the table. In addition to seeking a program that leads to licensure in your desired area of nursing, it’s advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associate’s level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a common requirement for admission to master’s degree, ADN/LVN and RN to BSN, and specialized certificate programs. You should also check to ensure that the school you are considering is approved or accepted by the Hawaii Board of Nursing (http://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/boards/nursing/).

SchoolADN or LVN ProgramBSN ProgramGraduate Nursing ProgramACEN/CCNE Accredited*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**Number TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate***Number TakingNet Price****
Chaminade University of HonoluluNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A61.4%57$21,077
Hawaii Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN83.33%684.62%26$8,384
Hawaii Pacific UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A67.81%146$23,845
Kapiolani Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%2283.33%18$4,670
Kauai Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%483.33%18$6,220
University of Hawaii at HiloNoYesYesACEN/CCNEN/AN/A80%25$10,513
University of Hawaii at Manoa (BSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A89.66%87$12,721
University of Hawaii at Manoa (MSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A81.25%48$12,721
University of Hawaii-Maui CollegeYesNoNoACEN95.74%4775%40$6,366

*The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits ADN/ASN/BSN programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits BSN/MSN/DNP programs.4,5
**NCLEX-PN pass rates are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
***NCLEX-RN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
****The National Center for Education Statistics calculates net price from the total estimated cost of attendance, including includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses, for in-state students minus the average financial aid award (such as grants and scholarships).

Schools in Hawaii with Nursing Degrees

Associate’s in Nursing Programs

Hawaii Community College
Hawaii Community College offers an associate’s degree in nursing that emphasizes safe, effective, and holistic care. The Associate of Science in Nursing qualifies graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and earn registered nurse licensure in Hawaii. Core courses include Adult Health Nursing, Family Health Nursing Care, and Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing. Hawaii Community College maintains transfer agreements with the University of Hawaii at Hilo and the University of Hawaii at Manoa that can ease the articulation process for students interested in furthering their education through a bachelor of science in nursing program. Hawaii Community College also offers a certificate program in practical nursing.

Kapi’olani Community College
Kapi’olani Community College’s Associate in Science in Nursing degree program helps students develop the skills and knowledge required to be effective, professional registered nurses. The degree requires 72 credit hours to complete, including prerequisite courses and general education requirements. Admission is selective and is based on such factors as the applicant’s GPA, score on pre-admissions testing, and prior healthcare experience. Core nursing courses include Professionalism in Nursing, Health Promotion Across the Lifespan, and Health and Illness. Graduates are well-prepared to seek transfer to a four-year nursing program. Kapi’olani Community College’s associate degree in nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs

Hawaii Pacific University
Hawaii Pacific University confers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to students who successfully complete the 122 credit, four-year undergraduate program. The program is divided into general education requirements (45 credits) and nursing core and elective coursework. Nursing classes are comprised of four levels and cover such topics as pathophysiology, adult gerontology, altered mental health patterns, and childbearing family. Nursing majors also complete laboratory courses to gain hands-on experience and may be eligible for departmental and other nursing scholarships to help cover educational expenses. Registered nurses, who already possess an associate’s degree in nursing, can opt for the RN to BSN program.

Chaminade University
Chaminade University, unlike many universities, accepts undergraduates into the nursing major in their freshmen year of the four-year program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The program prepares students to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam and to work as registered nurses in Hawaii and in the mainland United States. The program combines both general college and nursing requirements with nursing majors taking nursing courses, such as introduction to nursing and lifespan development, beginning the first semester. In addition to coursework, students gain experience through clinical practicums at local medical facilities, including Castle Medical Center, Shriners Hospital, and Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific.

Master’s in Nursing Programs

University of Hawaii at Manoa
The University of Hawaii at Manoa Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) is designed for those students who do not have a nursing license, who possess a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, and who want to pursue a career as a nurse. The 52 credit program takes two years to complete. The first year, which spans a full 12 months, prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Nursing students must take and pass the NCLEX exam prior to beginning clinical courses. The second year of the MEPN program focuses on the traditional MSN curriculum. Graduate students in the MSN program may choose from one of the several specialties including nurse practitioner, adult health clinical nurse specialist, and nursing executive leadership. The MSN program generally requires between 44 credits and 64 credits depending on the specialty.

Western Governors University
Western Governors University affords graduate students in Hawaii the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) entirely online. Nursing students may choose to concentrate in nursing education or nursing management and leadership. Both programs require 38 credits to fulfill degree requirements and typically take between two and two-and-a-half years to complete. All graduate nursing students must complete core nursing courses and coursework in the concentration in addition to a capstone course and a mandatory 40-hour practicum. Successful applicants to the program generally already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and possess a current registered nurse’s license.

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report Best Nursing Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?program=top-nursing-schools
3. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=HI&major=nursing&sort=best
4. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
5. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
6. Hawaii Board of Nursing: http://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/files/2013/06/PublicAnnualPassRate-HI_NursingPrograms-2015.pdf