Despite being one of the smallest states, Hawaii has many opportunities for aspiring and current practical nurses, including competitive salaries that are on par with many larger states, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that the island will be short some 300 LPNs by 2025, which means practical nurses with the right education and training should see decent employment opportunities, particularly on the island of Oahu where the number of employed LPNs has historically been the highest, according to the Hawaii State Center for Nursing. The following guide provides a detailed look at the practical nursing landscape in Hawaii, helps prospective students explore LPN programs, and offers step-by-step information on how to apply for licensure in the state.
Available LPN Programs in Hawaii
Like all other states, Hawaii requires practical nurses to complete an accredited LPN education and training program. These programs are offered primarily through the state's community colleges. The schools below offer prospective students board approved LPN programs in Hawaii to determine which school is the best fit.
Kapiolani Community CollegeLocation
University of Hawaii Maui CollegeLocation
Kauai Community CollegeLocation
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The Road to Employment: LPN Licensure
In order to work and practice as a nurse of any kind in the US, a state-issued license is an absolute requirement. Because licensure is handled at the state level — specifically by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in Hawaii — the requirements can be slightly different from other states. Take a look at the details of how LPN licensure is handled in Hawaii.
Basic Eligibility for LPNs in Hawaii
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must be a US citizen, national, or otherwise authorized to work in the US
- Register to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN)
LPN Education in Hawaii
Training for LPN takes place through programs approved by the Hawaii Board of Nursing, at community colleges, undergraduate schools, and universities. There are currently fourteen approved programs on the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs list of nursing schools , offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in nursing.
LPNs are required to complete a program in practical nursing, which can be done in roughly a year. This includes classroom and clinical training, and qualifies graduates to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. Upon passing the exam, LPNs are granted a license to practice in Hawaii.
Hawaii also has specific provisions for granting licenses to practical nurses who have already completed the licensure process in another state, for those who have been trained outside of the country, and for members of the military who have practiced as LPNs. Candidates who have previously been granted an LPN license may not have to take the NCLEX-PN exam.
Additional Requirements for LPN Licensure in Hawaii
- Pay a non-refundable $40 application fee
- Provide a valid Social Security Number
- Pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse exam (NCLEX-PN) within two years of registering to take the exam
- LPNs who are licensed in another state must apply for licensure by endorsement in Hawaii, which requires a non-refundable $40 application fee
Maintaining LPN Licensure in HI
Most states require LPNs to be periodically relicensed. In Hawaii, LPN licenses are valid for two years, and expire on June 30 of every odd-numbered year, regardless of the issuance date. Once a licensed has lapsed, LPNs are no longer legally allowed to practice and must apply to have their licenses restored within two years. Once that two-year period has lapsed, the state of Hawaii requires LPNs to retake and pass the NCLEX-PN for licensure reinstatement.
As part of the licensing renewal process, LPNs in Hawaii must demonstrate that they've completed one of several continuing education activities. Some options include:
- National certification or recertification
- 30 contact hours of CE
- Complete a Board approved refresher course
- Complete at least two semester credits of post-licensure nursing practice education at an accredited school
For more information on acceptable CE learning activities, including new options beginning July 21, 2017, visit Hawaii's Board of Nursing .
LPN Salaries: Hawaii vs. National
Salaries for LPNs vary from region to region, both within the US and within individual states. This is often correlated with the relative supply and demand of newly licensed practical nurses, a factor that shapes up quite favorably for Hawaii, where the increase in employment opportunities for LPNs is predicted to be much greater than the national average of 16 percent for the next decade. Here's what the data looks like for LPN salaries and employment in the state.
LPN Employment Outlook in HI
According to the latest BLS data, Hawaii ranks in the lowest category for per-capital employment of LPNs, with between 678 - 799 LPNs per 100,000 people across the state. That's among the nine lowest states, according to the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, and well below the US average of 225 per 1,000. The jobs forecast in Hawaii indicates that the demand for LPNs is likely to outstrip the supply of newly licensed LPNs by 2025. This shortfall is expected to be in the range of 200. The demand for LPNs will likely vary from region to region within the state, but there are expected to be job openings across the board for LPNs in Hawaii over the next decade.
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area||420|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Employment of LPNs in Hawaii
Average Annual Openings: 60
Source: Projections Central