While Accelerated BSN programs are growing in popularity nationwide, Hawaii does have limited ground based resources for non nursing degree holders to earn a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree. If you already have a Bachelor's degree in another field, you can complete your Bachelor's degree in nursing, possibly in 18 months or less.
Online programs, which are featured in the box below, allow you to complete your classes at your convenience; this is a good option for students with heavy work schedules or family obligations, and may be the only feasible option for you as a Hawaii resident.
To learn more about your fast track BSN options in Hawaii, request information from the schools below, keeping in mind that it is beneficial to get as much information as you can before you make a decision about nursing school, as there may be small differences between programs that can make a big difference to you.
Accelerated BSN Program Curriculum in Hawaii
Prior to starting your accelerated BSN program, you will have to ensure that your prerequisites are done. Prerequisite courses generally include biology, human biology, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry. Each school has different requirements, so it's important to meet the prerequisite requirements of your chosen school.
As soon as your program starts, you will likely dive right into your nursing courses. Your coursework includes introductory nursing classes like pharmacology, introduction to nursing, health assessment, care planning and medication administration. However, you will also have to take a variety of Baccalaureate geared nursing classes that prepare you for work in more specialized fields, and with broad responsibilities.
This is ideal if you have a desire to work in fields like labor and delivery, or in nursing management. Hawaii is making a concerted effort to lower the preterm birthrate, so they need dedicated labor and delivery nurses within the state, for which you should be prepared upon completion of your BSN program.
Some of the higher level courses you will likely encounter include nursing for childrearing women, caring for children and adolescents, leadership issues in nursing, population based nursing, nursing research, and nursing for aging adults. Some of these courses are unique to Baccalaureate prepared nurses, reflecting the expanded educational background that you will possess as compared to a diploma or Associate's prepared RN.
Once you have completed your in-person or online coursework, you will incorporate that knowledge into clinical rotations. Whether you attend school in person or online, you will need to do your clinical practice at a healthcare facility near you. This gives you the chance to put what you have learned into practice. You'll also gain valuable skills in patient interaction, what it feels like to work as a nurse, and how to communicate effectively with coworkers.
Career Considerations in Hawaii
Depending on which island you want to work on in Hawaii, there are varied nursing jobs available. Some of the largest nursing employers in Hawaii include UnitedHealth Group, AMN Healthcare, Hawaii Pacific Health, and Community Regional Medical.
Nurses in Hawaii may be able to earn a higher salary than elsewhere in the country. The median salary for a nurse in Hawaii, according to O*Net, is $85,200 per year. This is considerably higher than the national average.
The demand for skilled nursing professionals is growing quickly in Hawaii. O*Net (2013) predicts a 21% increase in nursing jobs by 2020 (O*Net). As a nurse with a BSN, you can apply for many different positions, opening up many opportunities that may not be available to nurses without a Bachelor's degree.
Licensing Issues in Hawaii
Nurses in Hawaii are regulated by the Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs, Professional and Vocational Licensing. After completing an accredited nursing program, you can apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Hawaii requires a $200 fee to take the exam. Nursing licenses expire every two years on odd-numbered years. You must renew your license through the Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs prior to the end of year, or your license will be considered forfeited.
Registered nurses are eligible to join the Hawaii Nurses' Association as well. Membership in the association entitles you to annual events that maximize your presence in the nursing community, advocacy services, and training programs.