MSN Programs Hawaii

Continued education is essential to career advancement in nursing. More than that, advanced education is now critical to getting a job in most healthcare settings, as hospitals require advanced degrees from nursing staff. In the United States, the demand for advanced practice nurses is higher than ever. The aging baby boomer generation and the prevalence of chronic illnesses and complexity in care require nurses to demonstrate the skills and learning to meet industry challenges regarding primary care. Add the demand for educated nurses to the shortage of primary care physicians and greater access to healthcare, and you’ll have a strong case for pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

The MSN is primarily designed for nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing and gives them a direct track to career advancement. The program emphasizes advanced level nursing practice to prepare graduates to meet the demand for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s a wide demand for graduate-level nursing professionals to fill management-level nursing positions. Therefore, MSN graduates are well positioned to fill these and other jobs and earn higher salaries. The health care industry relies on these nurses to deliver cost-effective care and improve access to primary care in rural and medically underserved areas. Nurse practitioners, a category of APRNs, can diagnose and treat patients with chronic illnesses, order tests, interpret reports, and prescribe medication, thereby filling a widening gap in primary care. Fewer physicians are pursuing careers in primary, choosing instead options that are more lucrative. Working in nurse-managed clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, and physician offices, nurse practitioners are authorized to perform physical exams, develop care plans, maintain patient records, and other essential duties that fill the demand for primary care. Other types of APRNs recognized by the Hawaii Board of Nursing include Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and Certified Nurse Midwives.

The need for graduate-level educated nurses has resulted in a surge in enrollment in the MSN program. Registered nurses return to school to complete the requirements for a master’s degree and national certification to improve the quality, type, and level of care that they provide to patients.

Specialized Learning

Nurses are taking an increasingly important role in patient care in light of complex patient needs and technological advancements. The master’s degree in nursing helps nurses meet those complex needs by preparing them for specialized roles. Nursing has expanded beyond the generalist to roles in education, administration, organizational leadership, nursing informatics, and primary care. Nurses who complete the program will work in acute care settings, community care, nurse-managed clinics, public clinics, colleges, and in rural areas.

The master’s curriculum prepares students to become leaders, practitioners, and managers capable of promoting optimal health in the complex system. Instructors disseminate knowledge through lectures, presentation, seminars, research projects, and scholarly activities to aid the development of professionals who will promote wellness at every level. In addition to general courses, students will also receive specialized training to prepare for nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse administrator, nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist roles. Through this specialized training, students will learn how to deliver care, manage resources, collaborate with interdisciplinary teams, apply technology in practice, and use critical thinking and information systems to improve patient outcomes.

At the conclusion of the program, students will be able to provide advanced care to patients, analyze health policies and economics related to the delivery of care, collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to use research to improve care, and utilize theory in advanced practice nursing.

To obtain an MSN degree, you’ll have to choose from one of the following options:

RN to MSN: RN to MSN program may have a BSN and MSN component that lets nurses with an associate degree in nursing complete both degrees (in one go) in less time that it would take to complete the degrees separately. The BSN courses will cover contemporary nursing practice, adding depth to the foundational courses covered in the ADN program. The graduate nursing courses will cover complexities in healthcare, caring for diverse populations, and nurse specialization – in the chosen career track. Depending on the path chosen, graduates can choose to take a national certifying exam.

Direct Entry MSN: The direct entry MSN program admits nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and prepares them for a role in leadership, advanced practice, health care administration, or education. The program may be available full-time or part-time, online, or in a traditional format. The online format gives nurses the flexibility to continue their education without compromising their busy work schedules. The curriculum sets the foundation for post-graduate and doctoral level study in nursing that prepares nurses to practice at the highest level in practice and/or to lead health care organizations.

Post-Master’s Certificate: Post-master’s certificates are designed for nurses who hold a master’s degree to obtain additional knowledge and competencies for certification in another concentration. The program builds on students’ clinical skills and knowledge, so they have the option to take their careers in a totally different direction. The plan of study is personalized based on the student’s former education and the certificate requirements. Students who successfully complete the program will be prepared to take the certification exam in an appropriate area of specialty.

Summary of Enrollment Criteria

  • Submit a completed application for admission for graduate studies
  • Submit an application for entry to the Nursing Program
  • Submit official transcripts of all college/university coursework
  • Provide two letters of recommendation
  • Prepare and submit a statement of purpose
  • Have a current, unencumbered Hawaii RN license
  • Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV)

Your chosen field of study will determine additional requirements for entry to the program. Applicants applying for the RN to MSN program must have an associate’s degree in nursing from an accredited institution. Admission to the direct entry MSN will require a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

How Much Do MSN Programs Cost?

The current demand for nurse leaders, primary care practitioners, educations, and expert clinicians guarantees employment for nurses who invest the master’s program. APRNs could see a salary bump by as much as 55 percent on their registered nurse salary just be completing the degree. There are two leading MSN programs in Hawaii. The cost of graduate tuition at Hawaii Pacific University is $18,000 for completing 9 credits per semester. Tuition per credit for part-time students is $1,390. Resident tuition for students enrolled in the University of Hawaii -Manoa nursing program is $12,463 per semester for 12 plus credits. Tuition per credit is $1,452.

Requirements For Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Hawaii

Effective October 1, 2009, initial recognition for advanced practice registered nursing will require a current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in Hawaii or another state, unencumbered recognition as an APRN or similar designation in another state, a master’s degree as a certified registered nurse anesthetist, a clinical nurse specialist, a nurse midwife, or a nurse practitioner from an accredited graduate-level program, current certification from a national certifying body recognized by the Board, and appropriate fees.

Hawaii’s APRNs are authorized to sign, certify, or endorse documents relating to health care within their scope of practice for their patients. These include workers’ compensation verification documents, verification and evaluation forms of the department of human services and department of education, verification and authorization forms of the department of health, and physical examination forms.

Prescriptive Authority is granted only to currently licensed APRNs who wish to apply for prescriptive authority. Once granted, the PA will be added as a special privilege under the APRN license.

All applicants must submit to an FBI fingerprint check through the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center (HCJDC). Candidates must obtain electronic fingerprinting through Fieldprint Inc.

Guidelines for APRN Licensure by Examination

Submit the following to the Hawaii State Board of Nursing:

  • Complete the application form. A fillable online form is available on the Board’s website, or you may print the form and fill it legibly in dark ink. Answer all questions or write N/A for questions that do not apply. Sign and date the application. Note: Failure to provide all the requested information will cause a delay in processing your application.
  • Enclose a check or money order for the application fee. Make check or money order payable to Commerce and Consumer Affairs. If the license will be issued between July 1 of odd-numbered years and June 30 of even-numbered years, the fee will be $194 including the Application fee, License fee, Compliance Resolution Fund, and one half the renewal fee. For licenses issued between July 1, even-numbered years and June 30 of odd-numbered years, the fee will be $126.
  • Make provision for an official transcript of your master-level education from an accredited nursing program to be sent directly to the Board from the nursing school.
  • Verification of current certification in the nursing specialty must be sent directly to the Board from the national certifying body recognized by the Board of Nursing.
  • Provide verification of an unencumbered registered nurse license.
  • Remember to provide your social security number as it is used to verify your identity for licensing purposes and check your compliance with state laws: Federal Laws and Hawaii Revised Statutes.
  • Make an appointment for electronic fingerprinting at Fieldprint Inc for an FBI check through Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. Your license application must be filled within 30 days of the fingerprinting to ensure the results from the HCJDC are available to the Board.
  • Provide the appropriate documents/materials with the license application if you answer “yes” to questions (3), (4), or (5). Example documents include a detailed statement explaining the underlying circumstances that led a conviction, certified copies of court documents related to the conviction, or certified copy of the terms of the parole.

Guidelines for APRN Licensure by Endorsement

Submit the following to the Hawaii State Board of Nursing:

  • Complete the application form. A fillable online form is available on the Board’s website, or you may print the form and fill it legibly in dark ink. Answer all questions or write N/A for questions that do not apply. Sign and date the application. Note: Failure to provide all the requested information will cause a delay in processing your application.
  • Enclose a check or money order for the application fee. Make check or money order payable to Commerce and Consumer Affairs. If the license will be issued between July 1 of odd-numbered years and June 30 of even-numbered years, the fee will be $194 including the Application fee, License fee, Compliance Resolution Fund, and one half the renewal fee. For licenses issued between July 1, even-numbered years and June 30 of odd-numbered years, the fee will be $126.
  • Make provision for an official transcript of your master-level education from an accredited nursing program to be sent directly to the Board from the nursing school.
  • Verification of current certification in the nursing specialty must be sent directly to the Board from the national certifying body recognized by the Board of Nursing.
  • Provide verification of an unencumbered registered nurse license.
  • Remember to provide your social security number as it is used to verify your identity for licensing purposes and check your compliance with state laws: Federal Laws and Hawaii Revised Statutes.
  • Make an appointment for electronic fingerprinting at Fieldprint Inc for an FBI check through Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. Your license application must be filled within 30 days of the fingerprinting to ensure the results from the HCJDC are available to the Board.
  • Provide verification of an unencumbered license as a registered nurse and as an APRN or similar designation in all states in which you currently hold a license. You may use form NSG-28 for this purpose.
  • Provide the appropriate documents/materials with the license application if you answer “yes” to questions (3), (4), or (5). Example documents include a detailed statement explaining the underlying circumstances that led a conviction, certified copies of court documents related to the conviction, or certified copy of the terms of the parole.

If you fail to provide the required documents to complete the licensing process for two consecutive years, your application will be considered abandoned and will be destroyed. If your application is destroyed, you will need to reapply for licensure and comply with the requirements that are in effect during that application period.

If you wish to add another specialty, you may do so after you have been licensed as an APRN. There is no additional fee for adding another specialty. However, you must provide an official transcript of the graduate-level degree related to the specialty and verification of current certification. All documents must be sent directly to the Board of Nursing.

Prescriptive Authority

Prescriptive authority grants APRNs the ability to prescribe controlled and non-controlled substances.

Before applying for prescriptive authority, you must have a current license to practice as an APRN as the PA will be added as a “special privilege” under your license. Hawaii does not reciprocate with any other state or jurisdiction so applicants must meet the requirements according to the state’s laws and rules.

When applying for PA, submit the following to the Board of Nursing:

  • A completed application form for prescriptive authority recognition.
  • Official transcript of graduate-level degree sent directly to the Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (DCCA)
  • Certification of nursing practice specialty sent directly to DCCA.
  • Proof of education in advanced pharmacology including advanced pharmacotherapeutics. Attach course descriptions from the college or university catalog to facilitate timely review of your application. You must have successfully completed one of the following:
    • At least 30 contact hours of advanced pharmacology education integrated into a graduate-level degree in clinical nursing curriculum
    • At least 30 contact hours of advanced pharmacology including advanced pharmacotherapeutics from an accredited institute
    • At least 30 contact hours of continuing education from a Board approved recognized certifying body within three years of the application date.
  • Obtain electronic fingerprints from Fieldprint Inc to facilitate an FBI fingerprint check through HCJDC.
  • Provide appropriate documentation for any “yes” answers to questions (3), (4), or (5).

APRN Renewal Requirements Hawaii

All APRN licenses will expire on June 30 of odd-numbered years. You must submit separate applications for registered nurse and APRN renewal and the accompanying fee for each renewal. The RN license must be renewed for renewing the APRN license.

Renewal requires:

  • A completed application and fee
  • Proof of current certification

If renewing your APRN license, you must provide:

  • Renewal of RN and APRN licenses
  • Proof of current national certification in your practice specialty
  • Proof of completion of at least 30 hours of continuing education – 8 hours of which must be in pharmacology.

Contact the Board of Nursing
Hawaii Professional and Vocational Licensing
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street, Rm. 301
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Mailing Address
DCCA-PVL
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801

Phone: (808) 586-3000

MSN Programs Hawaii

Honolulu, HI MSN programs:
Hawaiʻi Pacific University
1164 Bishop Street, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 544-0200

University of Hawai’i at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall, Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-8522

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *