Updated: November 25, 2021

Overview of Nursing Schools in Hawaii

  • There are 8 nursing schools in Hawaii. The CCNE accredits 3 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 7 schools in Hawaii.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for ADN students in Hawaii is between 76.73% and 89.15%.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for BSN students in Hawaii is between 73.33% and 86.45%.
  • The average annual salary for registered nurses is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in Hawaii can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

About Nursing Schools in Hawaii

There are currently 11,410 Registered Nurses and 390 Nurse Practitioners working in the state of Hawaii. The average annual salary of the former is $104,920, while NPs earn $72,930; this figure only goes on to show how Hawaii is a great place for nurses to work and thrive in. 

While both RNs and NPs work in a culturally diverse and ever-changing environment in Hawaii, the latter has been given Full Practice Authority by the State Board of Nursing. A Full Practice Authority allows NPs to evaluate patients, diagnose, order, and interpret diagnostic tests, and initiate and manage treatments, including prescribing medications and controlled substances, under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing.

One of the best qualities of nursing schools in Hawaii is that they create a close-knit community-like environment for their students to learn and thrive in. 

Nursing Schools in Hawaii prepare professional, competent, and compassionate care providers who are culturally sensitive. The schools allow their students to practice in high-end healthcare clinics as well as in rural settings, so that they are competent enough to work in any kind of setting. The nursing schools mentioned in this article are some of the best in the state and the entire country and they provide their students with countless opportunities to excel at their study and profession while also being accessible and affordable.

Online Nursing Programs Liked by Hawaii Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities beloww.

Hawaii RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN Programs ADN BSN
Number of Nursing Programs 4 4
Average NCLEX Passing Rate 81.00% 80.18%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range 76.73% to 89.15% 73.33% to 86.45%

Nursing Programs Offered by Hawaii Nursing Schools

  • Registered Nursing: 8
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: 3
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Gerontology Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 1

Hawaii Nursing Schools with the Most Degree Types

Best Ranked RN Programs in Hawaii

Best Ranked RN Programs in Hawaii

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Hawaii and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 4 ADN degree programs and 4 BSN degree programs in Hawaii. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Hawaii to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

Best Nursing Schools in Hawaii


University of Hawaii @ Manoa-MEPN

  • 2500 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI - 96822-2217
  • (808) 956-8111
  • Grade: (A) 99.21%
  • Programs: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated MSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
University of Hawaii at Manoa is located in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Their nursing department offers many options for its nursing students.  They offer a general BSN degree.  They also offer a high school direct entry option, which allows an incoming freshmen entrance into the program. The School of Nursing and Dental
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Kapiolani Community College

  • 4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI - 96816-4421
  • (808) 734-9000
  • Grade: (A) 98.70%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Kapiolani Community College is located in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Their motto is "Kulia I Ka Nu'u - Strive for the Highest." The nursing program at Kapiolani Community College ranks as one of the best in both the state and nation. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii prepares nurses to work in a variety of
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Chaminade University of Honolulu

  • 3140 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, HI - 96816-1578
  • () -
  • Grade: (A) 91.29%
  • Programs:
  • Award Levels:

Hawaii Community College

  • 1175 Manono Street, Hilo, HI - 96720-5096
  • (808) 934-2500
  • Grade: (A) 90.40%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
The Division of Nursing and Allied Health offers two separate nursing programs: the Certificate of Achievement in Practical Nursing leading to licensed practical nursing and the Associate of Science in Nursing leading to registered nursing. Adult Residential Care Home Operator classes are also offered. Upon completing the prescribed ARCH coursework,
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University of Hawaii - Maui College

  • 310 W Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, HI - 96732-1617
  • (808) 984-3500
  • Grade: (B) 89.27%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
The Nursing Program at the University of Hawaii, Maui College, provides a collaborative learning experience that teaches the students the values of hope, harmony, compassion, responsibility, and goodness. The university itself is committed to providing affordable, convenient, and inclusive education to every student. Nursing education at the University of Hawaii,
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Kauai Community College

  • 3-1901 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue, HI - 96766-9500
  • (808) 245-8225
  • Grade: (B) 86.30%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Located in Lihue, Hawaii, the nursing school of Kauai Community College ranks among the state’s finest. Kauai Community College strives to create an inclusive environment for all kinds of students, and thus the college doesn’t tolerate discrimination of any kind. If you are looking for a safe and close-knit environment
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Hawaii Pacific University

  • 1 Aloha Tower Drive, Honolulu, HI - 96813
  • (808) 544-0200
  • Grade: (B) 82.81%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to MSN
The nursing department of Hawaii Pacific University College of Health and Society is dedicated to the education of competent healthcare professionals. The students are instructed in an honest, moral, responsible, and kind environment, and they practice these values in their careers as well.  Instructors at HPU are top in their
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University of Hawaii at Hilo

  • 200 W Kawili St, Hilo, HI - 96720-4091
  • (808) 932-7446
  • Grade: (B) 81.81%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP
Located at the heart of Hilo, Hawaii, the School of Nursing at the University of Hawaii at Hilo strives to prepare students to thrive, compete, innovate, and lead in their professional and personal lives. Students are actively engaged in applying their theoretical knowledge with practice and connecting with the distinctive
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Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Hawaii

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Hawaii

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Hawaii offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Online NP Programs Liked by Hawaii Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Hawaii  RN Licensing Requirements

Hawaii State Board of Nursing
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street, Room 301
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 586-3000

Initial licensing fee, RN: $40
License renewal (every two years), RN: $160

Continuing Education Requirements:

It is recommended that an RN candidate should enroll in a professional nursing program that is nationally accredited or state approved. There are five BSN programs within Hawaii: three in Honolulu, one in Hilo, and one in Kaneohe. Programs that have been completed in the armed forces are not usually found to be equivalent to RN programs.

RN Licensure by Exam

The state of Hawaii has strict guidelines for RNs to meet in order to gain licensure. In addition to completing the NCLEX exam (which costs $200 to take and cannot be completed until the candidate has received Authorization to Test), the candidate must also submit the following:

  • Verification of educational requirements
  • $40 for the application fee

It is worth noting that a candidate may retake an exam but it has to be done within two years of completing the application. The exam is the second to last step in the licensing process with the last step being paying the licensing fee.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Candidates who completed a program in one of the other 50 states may be able to obtain licensure by endorsement. They will need to provide license verification through an official document

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

International candidates are required to have equivalency evaluated through the CGFNP. They are also responsible for the NCLEX, with the exception of some Canadian nurses who took the SBTPE.

RN Salaries in Hawaii

It is a fact that a highly educated nurse has the ability to provide safer and more effective patient care. Hawaii was chosen as a recipient of the Robert Wood Johns Foundation Academic Progression in nursing grant in 2012. It was a $300,000 grant that was used to create strategies that led to highly educated and diverse nursing population. There is a wide selection of jobs available in the nursing market of Hawaii that are based on your educational level. The Department of Health in Hawaii also has a variety of specialized nursing positions, which are perfect for a nurse with a Bachelor’s degree and they include:

  • Public Health Nursing
  • Genetics
  • Immunizations
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Early Intervention for at Risk Children and Families
  • Rural Health

Hawaii Registered Nursing Salaries

Honolulu has both more nursing opportunities and higher wages than the non-metropolitan areas of Hawaii like Maui and Kauai. Yet, both areas offer very high salaries for RNs compared to the continental United States.

CityEmploymentHourly WageAnnual Salary
Kauai Nonmetropolitan1,730$47$97,950
BLS - November, 2021

Nursing Salary Comparison in Hawaii

According to the BLS, see what nurses earn depending upon their education and occupation.

OccupationEmploymentHourly WageAnnual Salary
Nursing Instructors280-$76,540
Registered Nurses11,260$50$104,830
Nurse Anesthetists-$97$201,930
Nurse Practitioners390$57$118,780
LPN / LVN930$26$54,160
Nursing Assistants4,050$19$38,650
BLS - November, 2021

Hawaii Nursing Salaries by Experience Level

This culturally rich and inclusive state allows experienced RNs to earn up to $134,660 while NPs with more than 20 years of experience earn up to $163,520. Thus it is safe to say that nursing as a profession is well paid for and has a lot of room to grow in Hawaii.

OccupationEmployment1 to 4 Years5 to 9 Years10 to 19 Years20+ Years
Nursing Instructors280$53,300$57,450$94,620$117,860
Registered Nurses11,260$70,090$90,080$124,880$134,660
Nurse Anesthetists-$176,280$184,120--
Nurse Practitioners390$72,930$95,790$145,350$163,520
LPN / LVN930$43,100$47,290$60,070$64,600
Nursing Assistants4,050$28,500$33,120$44,230$51,070
BLS - November, 2021

Projected Number of Nurses Needed in Hawaii Through 2028

It has been estimated that the number of RNs working in Hawaii will increase by 12.2% from the year 2018 to 2028, taking the total number of working RNs to 13,040. Similarly, with an average annual opening of 40 NPs, the total number of them working is expected to rise to 520 by the year 2028.

Occupation20182028Change%ChangeAvg. Annual Openings
LPN / LVN1,2401,40016012.9120
Nurse Anesthetists80901012.510
Nurse Practitioners42052010023.840
Nursing Assistants4,9305,48055011.2640
Nursing Instructors2603206023.130
Registered Nurses11,62013,0401,42012.2800
US Department of Labor

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