Congratulations! You have decided to become a nurse. A lifetime of learning, knowledge, and fulfillment await. The path to licensure can be daunting, but there are resources available to help. Thousands of new graduate nurses enter the workforce every year, but the first step involves selecting and applying to a nursing program.
This is not just for those setting out to get their RN degree. The same applies to those already in the workforce and looking to earn an advanced degree.
Have you dreamed of sun and surf as a backdrop to your nursing studies? If so, a nursing school in Hawaii might be the right fit.
Overall Score = 85
NCLEX Pass Rate = 97.62%
Graduation Rate = 62%
Annual tuition: In-state $11,304, Out-of-state $33,336
The University of Hawaii system has a large student body of over 20,000 split up among 10 campuses. In-person classes are enriched through a state-of-the-art simulation lab. Manoa also uses web-based learning. The school offers “pre-advising” for students seeking more information. This includes the application process, program details, or other degree requirements.
One of the many things that sets this school apart is its Global Health Program. Have you ever wanted to work internationally? Global Health gives you the opportunity to do just that through its study abroad program.
UH at Manoa nursing school offers a variety of CCNE-accredited programs:
Overall Score = 57.7
NCLEX Pass Rate = 92.45%
Graduation Rate = 43%
Annual Tuition = $35,294
If you are interested in a program with a smaller atmosphere, this private Catholic university has a total student body of about of 2,200. Chaminade has an average faculty-to-student ratio of 10:1 and a median class size of 16.
All undergraduate students are required to participate in service-learning projects. This involves completing a series of volunteer hours in the community setting. The focus is working with underserved or vulnerable populations. Program philosophy includes an emphasis on intellectual growth, personal reflection, critical inquiry, and evidence-based, cutting edge practice.
The CCNE-accredited programs include:
Overall Score = 57.5
NCLEX Pass Rate = 82.50%
Graduation Rate = 41%
Annual tuition: In-State $7,344, Out-of-State: $20,304
Also in the UH system, the Hilo campus has a smaller student body of about 3,000. The UHH nursing program philosophy is “founded on a belief that people are unique and holistic, and possess the right to preservation of their personal, ethnic and cultural identities.”
This program has a special emphasis on transcultural nursing. That foundation involves taking into consideration the cultural beliefs and practices of the patient in order to provide sensitive, compassionate care. Knowing how to relate to patients is vital to the nursing process.
The CCNE-accredited programs include:
Overall Score = 50
NCLEX Pass Rate = 85.19%
Graduation Rate = 35%
Annual Tuition = $37,320
HPU is among the top 1% of most diverse universities in the United States and is ranked #1 for safest colleges in Hawaii. The School of Nursing offers several Post-Master’s certificate programs. Master’s and DNP programs are offered online to suit the needs of the working nurse.
Specialty choices within the Master’s degree programs include Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP).
The CCNE-accredited programs include:
- MSN (PMHNP, FNP, or AGACNP options)
- Post-Master’s Certificate Programs
|School||Rank||In-state tuition||Out-of-state tuition||Accreditation||NCLEX pass rate||Graduation rate||Programs offered|
|University of Hawaii, Manoa||1||$11,304||$33,336||Yes||97.62%||62%||BSN, MSN, DNP, Ph.D.|
|Chaminade University of Honolulu||2||$35,294||$35,294||Yes||92.45%||43%||BSN, ABSN, DNP|
|University of Hawaii, Hilo||3||$7,344||$20,304||Yes||82.50%||41%||BSN, DNP|
|Hawaii Pacific University||4||$37,320||$37,320||Yes||85.19%||35%||BSN, MSN, DNP, Post-master's|
Expert advice from nurses like you
How to Choose the Right Nursing Program
There are many factors to consider when choosing a nursing school. It can be overwhelming to weigh the pros and cons of each program. Some of the main factors in the decision-making process include tuition, location, and programs offered.
With only so many hours in the day, distance is an important factor to consider when choosing a school. Nursing programs require clinical rotations which are conducted on-site at local hospitals and health care facilities. It might be important to consider the geographic distance from the campus to various clinical sites. You can expect to go between the hospital and classroom settings on a regular basis.
Even online programs usually require some type of in-person clinical experience. If you attend an online program, ask:
- How many hours will be required in the clinical setting?
- If I am an out-of-state student, will I have to travel to the state my school is located to complete my clinical hours?
If you don’t secure a scholarship, tuition may play a heavy role in your decision-making process. If you choose an online program in a state outside your permanent residence, you will be paying higher out-of-state tuition rates.
Once you begin working as a nurse, ask prospective employers what type of loan repayment programs they offer. More employers are providing competitive sign-on bonuses as the demand for nurses increases. Check out salaries in Hawaii for more information on what hospitals are offering RNs.
NCLEX Pass Rate
Obtaining a nursing degree is an important step to becoming a nurse. But the degree alone does not qualify you to practice. It only makes you eligible to take the national licensure examination, known as the NCLEX. Look for a school that offers prep courses or materials to help you study.
Do you want an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or some type of graduate degree such as a Ph.D. or DNP? If you want to continue your education past an ADN or BSN, see if the school offers more programs that match your interests. It might be helpful to check the acceptance rate of students graduating from the university.
The graduation rate is important when choosing the right school. It is based on undergraduate students that finished their degree in 4-6 years. You need to determine your short- and long-term goals to decide the amount of time you want to stay in school.
There are many challenges during the application process. Your chosen program should reflect your nursing goals. Select one that will help you graduate as smoothly as possible. The best nursing programs support their students on the journey to licensure. Good luck and happy studying!
In order to determine the best nursing schools in a state, Incredible Health compared the top schools among five categories: graduation rate, tuition, NCLEX pass rate, accreditation and the number of nursing programs offered. Each metric was scored on a 100-point scale with 100 representing the highest total for that category. Then we compiled the individual scores to get an overall score.
We used data from:
- University webpages
- Hawaii Board of Nursing
- US Department of Education’s College Scorecard
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
- U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings
- “Chaminade University of Honolulu School of Nursing.” chaminade.edu. Accessed April 9, 2022.
- “Hawaii Pacific University.” www.hpu.edu. Accessed April 10, 2022.
- “University of Hawaii Hilo School of Nursing.” hilo.hawaii.edu. Accessed April 9, 2022.
- “University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Nursing.” manoa.hawaii.edu. Accessed April 10, 2022.
- Photo by WA$$UP!!! on iStock