How to Become a Nurse in Hawaii

The Hawaii Board of Nursing sets forth requirements for the licensing and renewal of nurse professionals. Graduates of nursing schools in Hawaii can earn one of these types of licenses: LPN, RN, APRN. The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs handles certification for CNAs. Successful applicants must graduate from specific types of nursing programs and pass the relevant exam before receiving a license. Over the last 15 years, nursing has been one of the fastest growing job categories in Hawaii, making it a strong field to enter. With a license in hand, 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. In addition to finding the best nursing schools in Hawaii, it’s also smart for aspiring nurses to understand the licensing and renewal process.

How to Get Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification in Hawaii

The state of Hawaii partners with a company called Prometric to oversee Hawaii CNA certifications. New CNA applicants can start the process by completing a training program that is approved by the state. 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.

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 a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Hawaii

In order to obtain a Hawaii LPN license, aspiring nurses must first complete a licensed practical nurse training program. Most programs typically take one year to complete. 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 fingerprint submission. Hawaii LPN license hopefuls must also submit a photo ID with their date of birth, their social security number and a $40 fee.

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 in a peer-reviewed journal.

How to Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Hawaii

Aspiring nurses who wish to obtain a Hawaii RN license must go through a series of steps. An associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing is required. 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 date of birth, applicants must also include their social security number; in addition, a criminal history record check is required, including fingerprints. A $40 fee must also accompany the RN application.Once an application is submitted, prospective RNs will receive authorization to test from the Hawaii nursing board. Graduates are then able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. The exam must be passed in order to successfully receive a Hawaii RN license.

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 to Get an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse License (APRN) in Hawaii

In order to obtain a Hawaii advanced practice registered nurse license, nurses must hold an RN and earn a master’s in nursing 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:

  • The American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
  • The National Certification Corporation
  • The American Midwifery Certification Board
  • The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists
  • The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board
  • The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

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

To renew a Hawaii nursing license, current APRNs must submit a renewal every two years. Hawaii APRN licenses expire on June 30 of odd-numbered years; therefore, 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.