Becoming a nurse can help you serve the population of Hawaii while contributing to the growing health care system. If you want to take your career further by becoming a nurse educator, nurse administrator, nurse researcher, or advanced practice nurse, you may be interested in earning a Hawaii Master's in Nursing degree. These degrees build on your existing nursing knowledge to prepare you for a variety of higher-level nursing careers.
If patient care is your favorite aspect of your nursing career, you may want to become a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist. In Hawaii, nurse practitioners enjoy full freedom to practice. This means that you don't have to work under the supervision or direction of a physician while providing care.
Recent legislation has further expanded the role of nurse practitioners. The University of Hawaii reports on a new law passed in June of 2014. It allows nurse practitioners signatory authority on Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment.
Furthermore, nurse practitioners may address the serious care shortage in Hawaii. Honolulu Magazine reports that primary care doctors have waiting lists that include up to 500 people, leaving many people without a source of primary care. Nurse practitioners can act as primary care providers and help decrease this shortage.
Hawaii Master's in Nursing Program Info
MSN Hawaii programs tend to be very flexible. If you have a Bachelor's degree in nursing, you may be able to earn your Master's degree in nursing in just two years of full-time study. If you have a Bachelor's degree in an unrelated field, you may still be able to earn your degree in two to three years if you attend an accelerated program. There are also some Hawaii RN to MSN programs that are designed for Associate's-level nurses. You should plan on four to five years of school to move from an RN to an MSN nursing degree.
To figure out the length of your program and which classes you need to take, you need to choose your specialty. Popular choices include nurse education, nurse leadership, and advanced nursing practice. Courses that are required of all nursing students include Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Health Policy, and Nursing Research.
If you go into a clinical program, you may have to take Advanced Assessment, Clinical Reasoning for Advanced Practice Nurses, and Clinical Care of Women and Families. Nurse education programs may include classes like Nursing Curriculum Development, Assessment of Student Nurses, and Nurse Evaluation Strategies. Leadership programs may include classes on nursing policy, administration, and management. When it comes to nursing programs, Hawaii has a wide range of classes and options.
Hawaii is home to lots of organizations that offer scholarships to students at nursing schools in Hawaii. The Gromet Foundation awards scholarships to nursing students across the state. Another local organization is the Hawaii State Center for Nursing, which offers scholarships to nursing students at different levels. One of the largest scholarship resources in the state is the Hawaii Community Foundation.
Careers for Advanced Practice Nurses in Hawaii
The vast majority of Hawaii's master's-prepared nurses are nurse practitioners (NPs) who provide primary care services to the state's medically underserved residents. But while Hawaii's 230 nurse practitioners (BLS) are providing excellent care, healthcare experts say that state needs still more nurse practitioners. Like many other states, Hawaii is currently in the midst of a physician shortage, and only expects the demand for healthcare to increase as the state's residents age.
Nurse education is another growing nursing specialty. Hawaii Workforce Infonet reports that the demand for nurse instructors is expected to increase over 15 percent through 2020. In this role, you can help address the state's growing nursing shortage by offering comprehensive education and training to student nurses.
Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are also an important part of healthcare in Hawaii. They typically provide care to specialized patient populations in hospitals.
Other master's-prepared nurse specialists in Hawaii include certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and certified nurse midwives (CNMs). NPs, CNSs, CRNAs and CNMs are considered advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in Hawaii. To be eligible for licensure as an APRN in Hawaii, you must complete an MSN program and pass a national certification exam in your specialty. Advanced practice nurses who wish to prescribe medication must also complete additional pharmacology education.
In many cases, Hawaii nursing professionals earn salaries that are higher than the national average. O*Net report that nurse practitioners earn an average of $103,000 per year. Their estimates show that nurse midwives earn an average salary of $100,600 (O*Net, 2013). Nurse instructors earn an average salary of $76,600 (O*Net, 2013).
Take some time to learn about which programs you are most interested in, then request information from the Hawaii nursing schools on our site.
MSN programs for Hawaii nurses include:
- Hawaii Pacific University. Hawaii Pacific strives to prepare its grads to practice in a transcultural environment. MSN students can attend full-time or part-time and choose from either the family nurse practitioner track or the clinical nurse specialist track. The school also offers an RN-to-MSN pathway for nurses who lack a bachelor's degree.
- University of Hawaii at Manoa. U of Hawaii offers a wide-range of MSN degrees, including nurse practitioner, nurse educator, nurse leader and clinical nurse specialist programs. It also offers a distance-learning MSN degree in advanced public health nursing. An RN-to-MS program is available for nurses who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing.