Nursing Degree Programs in Hawaii

Nurses must possess a unique set of skills to help their patients, and students can develop those skills in one of the accredited nursing degree programs in Hawaii. Hawaii has a high need for trained and qualified nurses, and many of the students who enter one of these programs later move to the state to live and work. Imagine spending a few hours in the classroom or working at a hospital and spending the rest of the day lounging on the beach and feeling the sunshine beating down. Those benefits and many others are why so many students move to Hawaii for college.

Chaminade University of Honolulu

School of Nursing

The Marianists, an offshoot of the Roman Catholic Church, sent missionaries to Hawaii and found that the state desperately needed dependable schools. After opening a school for boys that was a big success, the Marianists set about founding a new college, which eventually opened as the St. Louis Junior College. This later became Chaminade College and then became Chaminade University of Honolulu. CUH still retains its connection to the Church. The college offers an e-learning option for students that lets them gain valuable real life experience through internships and fieldwork that they can complete in lieu of some classes.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Chaminade University of Honolulu offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program that is open to continuing, transfer and new students. Applicants must have a grade point average of 2.75 or higher and score a minimum of 20 on the ACT or 950 on the SAT. Those who do not meet the minimum requirements may have the option of taking general education and some introductory nursing courses to increase their total GPA before entering the nursing program. All students must apply during the spring semester and agree to start the following autumn. Those who apply later in the year cannot start until the fall two years later. In addition to requiring students complete fieldwork and specific classes, students also have the chance to use field simulators. These simulators help them see what life is like for working nurses and how to use different types of medical equipment once they enter the field.


  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education


3140 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816
(808) 735-4711

Hawaii Pacific University

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Though Hawaii had several public colleges, a group of locals wanted to create a private institution of higher learning for those living in Honolulu. The group came together, solicited donations and raised funds to open what was then Hawaii Pacific College in 1965. As enrollment grew, the school found itself adding new programs and awarding new degrees to keep up with the demand. The dedication that it had to its students led to the school obtaining accreditation and later earning university status. Its student population now tops 7,000, and those students come from Hawaii and dozens of other states.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

Hawaii Pacific University launched its Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program after noticing a lack of trained nurses capable of keeping up with the unique conditions of the people living on the islands. Though many students during its first few years came from Hawaii, students now come from all across the country. Many of those students enjoy the area so much that they remain behind and work as nurses on one of the islands. This is a 120 credit hour program that includes 24 credit hours of general education classes, nine credit hours of electives and 87 credit hours of nursing and medical courses. Many of the general education courses teach students about the unique and diverse backgrounds of those living in Hawaii. Upper level students will also gain course credit for completing clinical rotations in mental health, family health, adult care and other fields of nursing.


  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education


1164 Bishop Street
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813 U.S.A.
(808) 544-0200

University of Hawaii at Manoa

School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene

The University of Hawaii is the largest public school system in Hawaii and has branches located on several of the islands in the chain. The University of Hawaii at Manoa was the first public school established in Hawaii and opened in 1907, though it later moved to a newer and bigger location nearby. Originally founded as an agricultural school, it later added a College of Arts and Sciences and several other departments that offered classes in psychology, nursing, business and other fields. UHM also introduced its own online system, which U.S. News and World Report ranked as one of the best in the country.

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing Program Pathways

When designing its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing Program Pathways, the University of Hawaii at Manoa knew that it needed programs for all types of students. That is why students can now enter the nursing program as a freshman right out of high school, after taking classes or earning a degree from another school or after obtaining a nursing degree and working in the field. There are also programs designed for those who posses an ADN degree, which lets them earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in as little as two years. New students meet with a counselor and develop a course schedule that shows them what classes they will take every year until they graduate. Upper level nursing students complete practical experiences and fieldwork in local facilities and hospitals. Students can also get help preparing for the NCLEX examination they must take after graduation.


  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education


2500 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-8111

Nursing is one of a few handful of career fields that requires more than just a degree. After finishing school, students need to take the NCLEX, which is a thorough examination of nursing and medical topics, before obtaining a license. Those who graduate from one of the accredited nursing degree programs in Hawaii have a better chance of passing that exam.