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Nurse Practitioner Zone

Hawaii Nurse Practitioner Certification

The state of Hawaii recognizes NPs as APRNs. An APRN is an RN who has met specific educational and certification requirements and is recognized by the Hawaii Board of Nursing for doing so. The term APRN may apply to NPs, clinical nurse specialists (CNS), nurse anesthetists, or certified nurse–midwives.

To become certified as an NP in Hawaii, you must carry a current RN license and have at least a master’s degree in clinical nursing or nursing science. Your advanced education must include studies in advanced pharmacology, including advanced pharmacotherapeutics.

Your master’s degree must be earned from a university or program that is recognized by the Hawaii Board of Nursing. Some of these schools include Hawaii Pacific University and University of Hawaii at Manoa. You can also elect to complete your studies through an approved online advanced nursing program. Internet-based programs offer the option to complete the program from almost anywhere and to do so as the nurse’s schedule allows. Online programs arrange the clinical sites for students to meet the required clinical hours for their programs. Some of the approved online programs are provided by: Graceland University, Philadelphia University, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, Liberty University, South University, and University of Cincinnati. To become a Hawaii NP, your advanced studies must be in a specialty that you designate.


In addition to these obligations, you must successfully complete an examination and become certified in your area of specialty by a recognized national certifying body. Some of the certifying agencies recognized by the Hawaii Board of Nursing include: the ANCC, PNCB, NCC for Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties, AANP, and the American College of Nurse–Midwives (ACNM) Certification Council.

In order to be granted authority to write prescriptions, APRNs must accrue a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical experience in their nursing specialty. These clinical hours must occur at specific institutions, such as a hospital, HMO, hospice program, community health center, clinic, physician’s office, or other medical facility, that are recognized by the Hawaii Nursing Board. They must be accrued within the 3-year period prior to applying for state certification. The state of Hawaii also requires NPs who seek prescriptive authority to be in a collegial working relationship with a physician who is actively working in the NP’s area of specialty.

A Hawaiian nurse practitioner in mid-career earns an average of $89,000 per year. Depending on the area of specialty, location, and experience, salary rates for NPs in Hawaii can vary widely, but they are still among the highest on average in the nation.

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Last Updated: 05/19/2014