Top Hawaii Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
There is some confusion about whether or not Hawaii is currently facing a nursing shortage or not. There are four schools in Hawaii that are accredited with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to deliver nursing degrees. Unfortunately, these schools had to refuse enrollment to 302 qualified students because there is insufficient staff to educate new nurses.
At the same time, however, many believe that those nurses who gain their training in Hawaii stay in Hawaii, which should make the shortage less significant. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic disagrees.
The population of the country is growing and getting older, which means that the nursing demand will grow as well. Additionally, the incidences of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure are rising too, which is putting additional pressure on the healthcare system. Furthermore, the existing workforce is aging, with many approaching or having gone past retirement age. This is no different in Hawaii, where the deficit of nurses means that those who are already employed in the healthcare system have to work harder and for longer hours.
Incentives are being offered to existing nurses to further their education and degrees, encouraging them to achieve bachelor’s and master’s degrees. However, as the shortage of nursing educators is so significant, these incentives can often not be taken up on. Only 5.2% of the nursing workforce in Hawaii have reached Advanced Practice Registered Nurse level, which really highlights the fact that there is a need not just for new nurses, but for nurses with a higher education as well.
Although most nurses in Hawaii work in hospitals, there is also a strong demand for those who want to work in rural settings. About 60.58% of residents of Hawaii live in medically underserved areas and hence do not have adequate access to healthcare. This makes rural nursing and the job of nurse educator the most interesting positions in the state at present.
The average annual salary of a registered nurse in Hawaii currently stands at $80,020. The best salaries are enjoyed in Ewa Beach, Hilo, Honolulu, Kahului, Kaneohe, Pearl City and Waipahu. Although the annual salary is higher than the national average, the cost of living in Hawaii is incredibly high too. This means that the overall comfort score for nurses in the state is lower than in many other states. However, it is hoped that new incentives will help to improve this and those with higher education tend to earn more too.