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Top Nursing University - Honolulu, HI

Honolulu, Hawaii, has few universities with programs in nursing. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings and tuition info.

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School and Ranking Information

There are four school options for nursing education in the Honolulu, HI, area. The top three nursing schools in Honolulu are ranked below based on national rankings for graduate-level nursing programs, nursing degree levels offered, undergraduate graduation rates and the number of degrees awarded.

  • Winner: The University of Hawaii at Manoa is the top pick because it has the highest nursing program ranking. The school also offers the most nursing program options - bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. It also had the highest graduation rate among the three top schools.
  • Runner-Up #1: Hawaii Pacific University offers bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing. It takes second place since it trails behind UH - Manoa with regards to rankings, program diversity and graduation rate, but it did produce the most nursing graduates in 2011-2012.
  • Runner-Up #2: Kapiolani Community College takes third place since it awarded the fewest nursing degrees among these schools and offers only an associate degree program; however, it has the lowest tuition rate of these three institutions.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Hawaii at Manoa Hawaii Pacific University Kapiolani Community College
Rankings 99th for graduate nursing programs nationwide (2011)*, 156th for national universities (2013)* 265th for graduate nursing programs nationwide (2011)*, 81st for regional universities - West (2013)* N/A
Location Honolulu, HI Honolulu, HI Honolulu, HI
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $9,404 (undergraduate in-state), $25,652 (undergraduate out-of-state), $12,352 (graduate in-state), $28,912 (graduate out-of-state)** $18,600 (undergraduate), $13,590 (graduate)** $2,484 (undergraduate in-state), $7,164 (undergraduate out-of-state)**
Nursing Degree Programs Offered Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; graduate certificate Bachelor's and master's degrees; graduate certificate Associate degree
Nursing Certificates/Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2011-2012 181** 267** 77**
Most Popular Nursing Program (2011-2012) Bachelor's degree in registered nursing (113 awarded)** Bachelor's degree in registered nursing (254 awarded)** Associate degree in registered nursing (77 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) 56% (2006 entering class)** 40% (2006 entering class)** 13% (19% transfer-out-rate) (2009 entering class)**
Noteworthy Only university in the state with a doctoral research program*** Leader in private, non-profit education in the state of Hawaii*** The nursing program has been operating for more than 50 years***

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report, **National Center for Education Statistics, ***Schools' websites.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Direct-Entry Midwifery - LM, CPM
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
  • Nursing Science
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
  • Registered Nurse

Winner: University of Hawaii at Manoa

  • Master of Science (MS) advanced practice nursing program offers specialties in pediatric, family, adult, geriatric and public health
  • UH - Manoa has both Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD in Nursing programs.

Students starting the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program after high school enter a cohort and can expect to graduate in four years. BSN graduates can join the workforce or continue their education with a graduate degree program. Some of the courses taken in the bachelor's degree program include anatomy and physiology, health and illness and pathophysiology. There are eight laboratory courses required, some of which include family health, global health and nursing leadership. There are also RN to BSN programs.

Several types of master's-level programs are available: entry-level nursing, advanced practice nursing, executive leadership nursing, clinical nurse specialist and joint nursing-MBA. All students in the MS programs take courses in health policy, nursing roles, health promotion, disease prevention and nursing research.

The DNP includes courses like health program evaluation, health informatics and health policy. The PhD program trains students to become academic scholars; courses include nursing curriculum development, creative pedagogical teaching strategies, multicultural nursing research and advanced statistics.

Runner-Up #1: Hawaii Pacific University

  • BSN students learn in small classroom and clinical group sizes of 6-10 students.
  • The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) has two concentrations: family nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist
  • MSN graduates are eligible for national certification from the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)

Students enrolled in the BSN degree program take courses in pharmacology, mental health, health assessment, nursing concepts, complex care and community health. Additionally, HPU offers LPN to BSN, RN to BSN and international nursing programs.

HPU also offers an MSN degree. Core classes include epidemiology, advanced nursing research and applied drug therapies. Students who select the family nurse practitioner concentration take three practicum courses and study primary care theory for children, adults, the elderly and women. Those studying to become clinical nurse specialists learn about human resources and agency management, community analysis procedures and characteristics of vulnerable populations.

Runner-Up #2: Kapiolani Community College

  • The nursing program has a built-in career ladder that allows students to attain three different nursing positions as they advance through the program
  • Associate degree graduates can transfer to UH - Manoa to earn their BSN.

Kapiolani Community College offers a 72-credit Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). This program is designed specifically for students who have no nursing experience and wish to become registered nurses. After taking all necessary prerequisite courses, the program can be finished in four semesters. Prospective students can expect to take courses in human anatomy and physiology, fundamental nursing concepts, pharmacology, microbiology, family nursing and contemporary nursing trends.

After completing the first semester, students can work as uncertified nurse aides or enroll in a long-term nurse aide course and then seek certification. Once they have completed the third semester, they can become certified as licensed practical nurses, and after graduating from the program, they are eligible to become registered nurses.

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