Licensed practical nurses are regulated health care professionals working under the guidance of registered nurses and physicians. They collaborate with other members of the health care team to prevent illnesses and promote patients’ health and well-being. LPNs work in nursing homes, physician offices, long-term care facilities, home health care, and hospitals. Their primary duties involve assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating care for patients under their jurisdiction. Like the CNAs, who often fall under their direction, they work with patients on a personal level and have direct contact with them daily. The Hawaii Board of Nursing requires all licensed nurses to understand the Nurse Practice Act, which imposes strict limits on an LPN’s duties. Nursing education programs prepare student nurses to collect patients’ health information, perform wound care, administer oral medications and injections, record vital signs, monitor changes in patients, insert and care for urinary catheter, and relay information between patients and other health care professionals. Prospective nurses should enjoy caring for others. They should be excellent communicators, have good manual dexterity and coordination, and be able to remain calm in emergencies and work independently within the context of the health care team.
LPN Training Hawaii: Prerequisites and Program Content
The Practical Nursing program equips students with the entry-level skills needed for a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse. The program is a combination of planned learning experiences in the classroom, lab, and clinical setting supervised by experienced faculty. Graduates are well-prepared to function as capable members of the healthcare team, helping to prevent illness, promote wellness, and assist with the care and rehabilitation of the sick and injured.
Common concepts covered in the classroom and clinical sessions include the legal aspects of practice, mental health concepts, family and community care, human growth and development, pharmacology, interpersonal relationship and communication skills, body structure and function, maternal-child nursing, medical-surgical nursing, and current issues and trends in nursing.
The clinical experience at local hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities gives students a first-hand experience in providing for the physical and emotional needs of patients or residents and assisting with therapeutic treatments and rehabilitation. The mandatory clinical experience accounts for 50 percent of the program.
With just four Board-approved practical nursing program in Hawaii, admissions to the program is a competitive process. Prospective students must attend a mandatory information session. Applicants must complete the program prerequisite courses before applying to the program. Other eligibility requirements include passage of the ATI Teas exam, a physical exam, immunization (including TB and MMR clearance), academic transcripts, letters of reference (including a letter from employer verifying nurse aide work experience), liability insurance, and criminal background check for students accepted into the program.
Program graduates are eligible to apply to the Hawaii Board of Nursing for authorization to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN). Newly licensed PNs can also pursue further training to become a registered nurse.
Duration and Cost of Training: The average cost of tuition for a practical nursing program at Hawaii’s colleges is $7,600. Students complete the program in 12-months based on full-time attendance. In addition to covering the cost of tuition, students must pay for the cost of textbooks, clinical supplies, lab supplies, uniform, liability insurance, immunization, physical exam, criminal background check, and admissions testing. Prerequisite courses and CNA certification will require additional time and money. The 12-month pre-licensure program is eligible for financial aid from federal loans, scholarships, and grants for qualifying students.
After graduating from an approved nursing program and submitting an application for the licensure exam, the Board of Nursing will determine your eligibility to take the NCLEX. The computer adaptive test is designed and developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to determine graduates’ competency to practice safe and effective care.
After submitting a completed application and fee to the Board of Nursing, the office will determine your eligibility to take the exam. Eligible candidates will receive a Candidate Bulletin and registration form in the mail to proceed with registration. Pearson Vue facilitates easy registration and payment of the $200 fee online or by phone (1.866.496.2539). The testing agency will process your registration, verify your eligibility with the Board, and mail the Authorization to Test and a list of available testing centers. The ATT contains vital information, including your candidate ID, authorization number, and test validity dates. Check your personal information on the letter for accuracy and notify Pearson Vue of any corrections.
Select a testing center of your choice and schedule your appointment to take the test. You can take the test in Hawaii or any other jurisdiction. The testing center will give priority and schedule your exam within 30 days of your requested date. If you do not take the test within the validity dates, you must re-register and pay another fee. The validity dates cannot be extended for any reason.
Results are available within two weeks. The Board will mail the results to your address provided during registration – they will not provide results over the phone. Pearson Vue offers quick results for an additional fee. Through the service, candidates can log into their online accounts and access the results – may not be the final results – within two days. A passing score does not authorize the candidate to practice nursing; only the Board can authorize an applicant to begin practice after issuing a valid license.
If you fail the exam, you will receive a Candidate Performance Report outlining your strengths and weaknesses on the exam. You must wait 45 days before retaking the exam.
Hawaii LPN Licensure Requirements
A nurse engaged in practice as a licensed practical nurse must possess a current license issued by the Hawaii Board of Nursing. Until the nurse receives a license, he/she may not assume employment as an LPN. The Board will issue a license to an individual they deem fit after the passage of the NCLEX. The candidate for licensure must submit an application, on a board-approved form, and appropriate application fee, and evidence of education.
LPNs with a license issued by another state or jurisdiction may apply for a temporary permit after submitting a completed application, fee, and evidence of current licensure in another state.
All licensees bear the responsibility or reading and maintain an up-to-date knowledge of Hawaii Statutes and Rules governing the practice of nurse.
Licensure By Examination
The Board will confirm a candidate’s eligibility to take the licensure exam after receiving and reviewing a completed application. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis and will be kept on file for two years. Failure to complete the requirements for licensure will cause the Board to void the application after two years.
The Board requires the following before authorizing you to take the exam:
- A completed application for the licensure exam. Answer all questions in type or in dark ink. Include your social security number to verify your identity and to comply with federal and state laws.
- Attach the $40 application fee. Make check payable to Commerce & Consumer Affairs. The application fee is non-refundable. A license fee is due after passing the exam.
- An official final transcript indicating degree conferred or an official letter verifying successful completion of a nursing program. The school should send verification directly to the Board’s office. Foreign nursing graduates must have successfully completed a nursing education program that is equivalent to U.S. nursing education standards. The applicant must submit a CES full course-by-course report sent directly from the CGFNS. Military program graduates should submit official transcripts and a copy of course descriptions to the Hawaii Board of Nursing.
- A request for special testing arrangements due to disability if applicable. A written request should be sent to the Examination Branch (808) 586-2711.
- Your registration for the NCLEX-PN. The Board will mail the Candidate Bulletin and registration form to eligible candidates.
Licensure By Endorsement
Licensure by endorsement is available for LPNs, who hold a current, active nursing license in another U.S. state or territory.
Submit the following for licensure by endorsement:
- A completed application for licensure by endorsement. Answer all questions in type or in dark ink. Include your social security number to verify your identity and to comply with federal and state laws.
- Attach the application fee. Make check payable to Commerce & Consumer Affairs. The fee is $202 if the license will be issued between July 1, odd-numbered years and June 30, even-numbered years. The fee includes application ($40), license ($24) compliance resolution fund ($86), ½ renewal ($12) and center for nurse fee ($40). The fee for licenses issued between July 1, even-numbered years and June 30, odd-numbered years is $146.
- Evidence of successful completion of the NCLEX or SBTPE or a state board constructed exam prior to the inception of the SBTPE in the licensing jurisdiction.
- Evidence of education – indicted on the Licensure Verification Form for both U.S. and foreign-educated graduates.
- Verification of license. Send a request for verification of your license to the licensing authority along with the appropriate service fee. The verification should confirm your educational credentials, exam scores, and out-of-state licensure. You may use NURSYS for verifying your license if the state participates. The license verification is valid for one year only.
A non-renewable temporary permit is available to applicants who submit a completed endorsement application, application fee, copy of a current U.S. nursing license indicating an expiration date, a completed Verification of Employment form (signed by a Hawaii employer), and proof of mailing the Verification of License form or NURSYS verification.
Renewing Your LPN License
All practical nursing licenses expire on June 30 of odd-numbered years. The Board makes renewal applications available 60 days prior to the license expiration. Renewal notices are mailed as a courtesy. However, it is up to license holders to maintain an accurate address to receive notifications and contact the Board if they do not receive a notice. All licensees are ultimately responsible for renewing on time. No nurse with a lapsed license may continue practicing as a nurse. Online renewal is available to those who have not had disciplinary actions taken or criminal convictions in the preceding two years.
Licenses, not renewed by the June 30 deadline, will be forfeited. LPNs have two years to restore their forfeited licensed. After the two-year period, the licensee must submit a new application if he/she did not restore the forfeited license.
Salary and Job Outlook LPNs Hawaii
Nurses account for the largest group of healthcare professionals in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There’s an obvious shortage of nurses across the nation, but it is especially evident in Hawaii and expected to worsen in the next decade. Just over 50 percent of licensed practical nurses are currently practicing, and with a population of 1.2 million, the 1,200 employed LPNs are not sufficient to care for the population’s healthcare needs.
The state’s four nursing programs have, thus far, been fighting a losing battle in their efforts to produce sufficient graduates to meet demands. Schools turn away hundreds of applicants due to a shortage of faculty and space to meet demands. Approximately 250 students graduate annually, and sadly, only 75% of new graduates take the NCLEX for state licensure to practice nursing. Nearly 68% of existing LPNs are expected to retire by 2025, which will place further demands on an overburdened health care system.
The ongoing shortage increases the workload for current nurses, leading to high turnover, mandatory overtime, loss of compassion, and a reduction in overall job satisfaction. Overworked nurses are also more likely to cause errors leading to serious injuries or death.
Home care agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities recognize that a shortage of qualified staff is a threat to patients’ health and welfare, so they’re always on the lookout for new staff. Without qualified professionals, they’ll be forced to discontinue services to maintain the required staff to patient ratio. Ultimately, the shortage guarantees employment for newly licensed nurses. Furthermore, they can count on competitive salaries, attractive benefits, and employment – even in the acute care settings of the state’s hospitals.
The yearly mean wage for Hawaii’s LPNs is $46,520 according to the BLS.
Contact the Board of Nursing
Hawaii Board of Nursing
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street, 3rd Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-3000
Fax: (808) 586-2689
Hawaii Board of Nursing Approved Training Programs and NCLEX Pass Rates
Hilo, HI LPN Training Programs:
Hawaii Community College
200 W Kawili St, Hilo, HI 96720
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 100.00%
Honululu, HI LPN Training Programs:
Kapi‘olani Community College
4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 96.55%
Kahului, HI LPN Training Programs:
University of Hawaii – Maui College
310 W. Ka’ahumanu Ave., Kahului, HI 96732
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 96.92%
Lihue, HI LPN Training Programs:
Kaua´i Community College
3-1901 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 91.67%