Hawaii Nursing Requirements & Licensing

Hawaii is a great place to become a nurse. Although it does not have a lot of different nursing schools, it does have great employment opportunities. Additionally, demand is incredibly high and likely to grow further. Let’s take a closer look at how you become a nurse in Hawaii.

ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSING

STAGE 1. DECIDE ON A PROGRAM TO COMPLETE AND ENSURE YOU MEET ALL THE PREREQUISITES.

It will generally take just one year to complete an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) program, and you usually won’t need to meet any prerequisites. However, if you want to become an RN (Registered Nurse), you will need to complete either a 2 year ADN (Associate’s Degree) or 4 year BSN (Bachelor’s Degree). These will usually want you to complete some undergraduate courses first.

STAGE 2. LEARN ABOUT PATIENT CARE AND OTHER ESSENTIAL SKILLS.

If you have chosen an ADN or BSN degree program, you will then progress to more advanced courses. BSN students complete their two final years studying highly specific topics, as well as having to choose advanced elective specializations.

STAGE 3 – AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR DEGREE PROGRAM, YOU WILL TAKE AN NCLEX EXAMINATION.

The NCLEX-PN is the exam to pass for LPNs and the NCLEX-RN is for RNs. Almost 90% of graduates pass their NCLEX examination in Hawaii, which is above the national average.

ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES

To become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), you will need to complete the following steps.

STAGE 1. EARN A GRADUATE DEGREE FROM AN ACCREDITED PROGRAM.

It must culminate in a nursing science or clinical nursing degree. The accreditation agency must be recognized by the United States Department of Education. Furthermore, the Hawaii Board of Nursing must approve the curriculum. In order for it to be approved, the curriculum must include diagnosing, choosing, administering and prescribing therapeutic measures; advanced assessment; and advanced pharmacology.

APRNs in Hawaii can apply for prescriptive authority. However, this means that their graduate program must have included additional advanced pharmotherapeutics courses. Additionally, continuous education (CE) courses must be taken in advanced pharmacotherapeutics and advanced pharmacology biannually.

STAGE 2. BECOME NATIONALLY CERTIFIED.

There are four different types of APRNs recognized in Hawaii and you will not be recognized by the Board until you are nationally certified. This is done through independent national agencies, which have their own requirements in terms of allowing certification. The four types recognized in Hawaii are:

1. NP – Nurse Practitioner
2. CNM – Certified Nurse Midwife
3. NA – Nurse Anesthetist
4. CNS – Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Board of Nursing recognizes national certification from the following agencies:

• The ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), which recognizes Adult Nurse Practitioners, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner PNP) and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

• The AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners), which recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP.

• The NCC (National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties), which recognizes the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP).

• The PNCB (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, which recognizes the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute Care and Primary Care.

• The ONCC (Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation), which recognizes the Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (AOCNS).

• The AMCB (American Midwifery Certification Board), which recognizes the certified nurse midwife (CNM).

• The National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), which recognizes the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

STAGE 3 – BECOME RECOGNIZED AS AN APRN IN HAWAII.

This requires you to show your social security number. Additionally, you must complete the Application for APRN Recognition, including all necessary documentation.

You can also become recognized as an APRN-RX, which is an advanced practice nurse with prescriptive authority. To achieve this, you must meet the educational prerequisites and complete the Application for APRN Prescriptive Authority (APRN-RX). This does not allow you to prescribe controlled substances, however. For this, you will need to be licensed by the DEA, as well as complete the Application for APRN Prescriptive Authority for Controlled Substances.

STAGE 4 – RENEW YOUR RECOGNITION.

Both your APRN license and your RN license expire every two years on the 30th of June in an odd numbered year. Both licenses must be renewed separately. You can check on the status of your application online.

There are CE requirements for prescriptive authority as described previously. There are no CE requirements for APRNs without prescriptive authority. However, the national certification agency that you are registered with may have CE requirements that you must comply with these in order to keep your registration valid. You will receive a reminder from the Board when your license is up for renewal. You must then complete a Renewal Application for each of your licenses.

State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
King Kalakaua Building aka United States Post Office Custom House and Court House
335 Merchant Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Google Map

DCCA has two of its divisions, RICO and OCP located in the:

Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building aka State Office Tower
235 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

DCCA also has 4 neighbor island offices located in Hilo, Kona, Maui, and Kauai.