How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Hawaii
LPNs have many responsibilities. These include checking patients’ temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, monitoring intake and output, changing bandages, helping patients with bathing and getting dressed and keeping detailed patient records.
Hawaii LPN Requirements
The path to becoming an LPN in Hawaii is like that of becoming an LPN in other states. You must be a high school graduate or have a GED and complete a nursing training program at a school that has been approved by the Hawaii Board of Nursing. Then, after being electronically fingerprinted and passing a background check, you must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) which is given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The only NCLEX testing center in Hawaii is in Honolulu. Once you have received confirmation that you passed the NCLEX, you can apply for a Practical Nursing license through the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This license must be renewed every odd numbered year by paying a renewal fee and completing 30 credit hours of continued education that has been approved by the Nursing Board.
Nursing Programs in Hawaii
There are currently four schools in Hawaii that offer Practical Nursing programs that have been approved by the Hawaii Board of Nursing. They are listed below.
- University of Hawaii Kapiolani Community College. Located in Honolulu, this nursing program prepares students to take the NCLEX and for entry-level work as an LPN. Students will receive a certificate of achievement in Practical Nursing when they have completed the program. The program consists of 44-46 credit hours of nursing and general education courses.
- University of Hawaii Community College. This nursing program is offered at the Hilo campus. Graduates of the program receive a certificate of achievement in Practical Nursing and are prepared to take the NCLEX and apply for licensure. This program consists of 29 credit hours of nursing curriculum and 17 credit hours of non-nursing curriculum and can be completed in three semesters.
- University of Hawaii Maui College. Located in Kahului, this program also offers students the opportunity to earn a certificate of achievement in Practical Nursing. The program consists of a fall, spring and summer semester of study (or three semesters). Graduates are ready to take the NCLEX and work as entry-level Practical Nurses.
- University of Hawaii Kauai Community College. The Lihue campus has a career ladder nursing program that has been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The first level of the program consists of three semesters. Once this level is completed, students receive a certificate of achievement and can take the NCLEX and apply for state licensure. Students can stop after this level or continue their education and earn an Associate in Science (AS) degree and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and apply for licensure as an RN.
LPN Employment and Salary Statistics in Hawaii
The career of Practical Nursing is growing nationally. The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) predicts that Hawaii will see a 12 percent increase in the number of LPNs working there in the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. This is consistent with the predicted national increase of 12 percent.
In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that LPNs in Hawaii were making $23.65 hourly, or $49,200 annually. The highest earners in the field, those who are more experienced, were making as much as $62,050 annually that same year.
Working as an LPN
There is currently a need for LPNs in nursing homes and home health agencies. LPNs may also find work in physicians’ offices, hospitals and schools. In Hawaii, the highest paying cities for LPNs are Honolulu, Kahului, Lahaina and Wailuku. Hilo and Kula also have high employment rates for LPNs.
To work in Practical Nursing, you must have good math and science skills as well as communication, computer and time management skills. You must also be able to work independently or as a part of a team. If these traits describe you, and you’re interested in a career with job security that allows you to help people daily, you should consider working as an LPN in Hawaii.